The father of former Australian tennis star Mark Philippoussis [photo], was arrested this week in San Diego for allegedly molesting two young boys he trained.
Nikolaos Philippoussis, a 68-year-old tennis coach, was taken into custody at his home by polices Tuesday morning.
He was charged with 12 counts of committing a lewd or lascivious act with a minor and two counts of committing sexual acts with a child younger than 10 years old, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“Philippoussis works as a personal tennis coach in Northern San Diego County and the alleged molestation victims took tennis lessons from him,” sheriff’s Lieutenant Greg Rylaarsdam said in a statement. “The investigation is ongoing at this time.”
Nikolaos Philippoussis, father of Australian tennis star Mark Philippoussis was arrested in San Diego this week
Following a search of Philippoussis’ home, Rylaarsdam said “at this point, nothing indicates that there are other victims, but anyone with information about this case should call us.”
Philippoussis also coached his son Mark Philippoussis to prominence in the 1990s and early 2000s.
In April 1999, Mark climbed to No. 8 in the world, his highest pro ranking. He made the finals of the 1998 U.S. Open and Wimbledon in 2003.
His father coached him until 2006 amid reports that the two had a falling out. Mark Philippoussis strongly denied those rumors, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Retired tennis pro Mark Philippoussis was coached by his dad Nikolaos Philippoussis [right], for the greater part of his career. Mark reached two Grand Slam finals during his tennis career.
“Let me tell you, that stuff’s ridiculous,” he said after he was eliminated from the U.S. Open in 2006.
“It’s frustrating when I hear that stuff because I’m a tennis player and athlete,” he said. “Someone wants to write about my tennis, great. It’s unfortunate when I have to read things about my personal life and my family. My dad’s my dad. He’s been there from the start. Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am. There’s nothing at all that’s happened with my dad. I just needed to spend some time on my own.”
However, professional colleagues who have worked with him describe Nick Philippoussis as demanding and possessive.
In a 1997 interview with The Independent, former coach, Nick Bolleteri, called Nick Philippoussis was anything but subtle describing the clannishness displayed by the senior Philippoussis.
“I thought Nick and I could work together, and I was wrong. After the Australian Open Mr. Philippoussis decided he didn’t like stepping back. He chased Todd Viney, the trainer, away. Then he drove me away. He treated me like the water boy, not like a coach. Whatever I said, he said the opposite,” Bolleteri said. “He embarrassed me in front of other players. He embarrassed Mark, too, berated him in the locker-room at Monte Carlo. His rivals should be intimidated by Mark; they should not be feeling sorry for him.”
he was further castigated by other contributors in the article as possessive, hypersensitive and easily hurt by criticism, forging an “us vs. them” mentality on Mark.
But for the occasional appearance, Mark Philippoussis is retired from professional tennis since 2015 after more than 300 singles wins and 11 tournament titles.