Father of tennis champ Mark Philippoussis denies molesting girls

Father of tennis champ Mark Philippoussis denies molesting girls

At the hearing, his bail was raised from 2.5 million to 9.2 million dollars (£7m).

The 68-year-old was arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing two nine-year-old girls that he had been privately coaching.

Tagnelia told reporters Philippoussis' family were in shock following the arrest but were supporting him.

Philippoussis Snr's lawyer Ryan Tegnelia, however, said his client was innocent and would fight the charges. They also asked he be made to surrender his passport.

Mark Philippoussis attended the court hearing but refused to answer reporters' questions.

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The assaults allegedly took place between 2016 and 2017.

Appearing in court Thursday, Philippoussis was charged with 14 counts. The alleged crimes occurred over the previous year at the Fairbanks Ranch Country Club, in a vehicle, and at the coach's residence, the Telegraph reported citing a criminal complaint.

"[Nikolaos] Philippoussis works as a personal tennis coach ... and the alleged molestation victims took tennis lessons from him", Lieutenant Greg Rylaarsdam said. "The investigation is ongoing at this time", according to the press release by San Diego County Sheriff's Department. "He understands the serious nature of the charges", News Mail reported.

The younger Philippoussis is a retired sporting legend whose career highlights include a Wimbledon final and winning two David Cup titles with Australia, in 1991 and 2003. Nikolaos was his coach until 2006 amid controversies that the two reportedly had a fallout.

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