Call it the Greek Connection.
Stefanos Tsitsipas says that his coaching partnership with Mark Philippoussis, an Australian with a proud Greek heritage, has been a resounding success. The former Wimbledon and US Open finalist joined Tsitsipas’ father Apostolos in the coaches’ box in the second half of last season. And the chemistry worked from the start.
“Mark is a very wise man, he has a lot of knowledge,” Tsitsipas said ahead of the 2023 BNP Paribas Open. “I think the fact that he’s lived these things himself on the tour and he’s able to provide some [advice] to me now is essential. He provides a lot of feedback. He can relate to a lot of things that have happened to me and sees a little bit of himself in me in some circumstances and situations.
“I very much enjoy this relationship that the two of us have. There’s so much compatibility in terms of team chemistry but also our philosophy behind the tennis we’re trying to pursue.”
Stefanos Tsitsipas practises at the 2023 Australian Open while Coach Mark Philippoussis watches on. Credit: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images
Boasting a 13-2 record in 2023, the Australian Open finalist turns his attention to the California desert, where he will be in action Friday against Australian Jordan Thompson, who Tsitsipas has defeated in both of their meetings (‘19 Washington, D.C., ‘22 Wimbledon).
Tsitsipas’ best result in Indian Wells was a quarter-final appearance in 2021, when he was ousted by eventual finalist Nikoloz Basilashvili. Set to compete for the first time since the ATP 500 in Rotterdam, the 24-year-old is thrilled to be back at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
“This tournament always has such good energy,” Tsitsipas said. “The fans here are incredible. For me, it’s been a while since I’ve stepped on court and played a match. It’s great being back here.”
Tsitsipas shared that the 15 matches he’s played this year have taken a toll on his body. But that hasn’t stopped the nine-time tour titlist from competing during the Sunshine Double, where he has a chance to become World No. 1 following Miami if he wins one title and reaches another final during the stretch.
“I’ve had a lot of tennis the last couple months,” Tsitsipas said. “I think I’m paying the bill for it now, which is okay. I’m still very much in love with this game and I [made] the decision to come here and try my best.”