Tennis coach accused of molestation suffered massive stroke in jail

VISTA, Calif. — A private tennis instructor who is the father of a retired tennis professional and is accused of molesting two minors who took lessons from him in North County is not expected to recover after suffering a massive stroke, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported, sourcing his defense attorney.

Nikolaos Philippoussis, 68, suffered the stroke early last fall while jailed and awaiting trial, according to the U-T. He has been hospitalized for months and his prognosis is “very poor,” his attorney Ryan Tegnelia said.

Philippoussis is the father of retired Australian professional tennis player Mark Philippoussis, who has participated in San Diego Aviators competitions. Mark is a former Davis Cup champion and one-time Wimbledon finalist.

Vista Superior Court Judge Harry Elias agreed to release the Australian citizen pending any change in his medical condition, the U-T reported.

Tegnelia said Nikolaos Philippoussis, who has breathing and feeding tubes, is conscious but unresponsive to stimuli, according to the U-T.

Nikolaos Philippoussis was arrested at his home in Mira Mesa in July. He pleaded not guilty to charges he sexually assaulted two 9-year-old girls he taught while working as a private tennis instructor in northern San Diego County.

The defendant was charged with two counts of sexual penetration/oral copulation with a child under 10 and a dozen counts of lewd act on a child under 14. Each of those 12 charges has an allegation that the crime was committed against more than one person, said prosecutor Garret Wong.

According to a criminal complaint, the alleged crimes took place over the last year at the Fairbanks Ranch Country Club, at the defendant’s residence and in his car.