A near-anonymous coaching advisor partnership has suddenly dissolved, with Mark Philippoussis calling a halt to his quiet collaboration with Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The under-the-radar relationship was barely noted, with the former Australian great nicknamed The Scud for his missile-like serve, parting company with the long-haired Greek.
Philippoussis had been working all but undercover since he sat in the player box at the Australian Open, where Tsitsipas reached the final against Novak Djokovic.
Though the world No. 5 won the Barcelona title after failing to complete a Monte Carlo trophy hat-trick last month, the Tsitsipas clay season has been a minor disappointment.
Wimbledon finalist Philippoussis announced he was leaving a team which is dominated by Tsitsipas’ father-coach Apostolos with Russian-born mother Julia providing drama.
In Rome last week, Tsitsipas appeared to order his mother to leave the box mid-match so he could concentrate during a semi-final loss to eventual champion Daniil Medvedev.
Philippoussis posted his goodbye message on social media:
“@stefanostsitsipas98 thanks for the opportunity of being a part of your team,” Philippoussis wrote on Instagram. “It was a great ride and experience, I’m proud of what we achieved together in the short amount of time we had.
“I wish you health, happiness and success for your future, on and off the court!”
The break just prior to Sunday’s French Open start leaves Tsitsipas in the hands of his father in the coaching department.
Philippoussis was cited as a somewhat calming influence on the volatile family dynamic during his time – mainly behind the curtain.