Published: Tue, September 04, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Nick Kyrgios slammed after pep talk by umpire at US Open

Nick Kyrgios slammed after pep talk by umpire at US Open

Roger Federer on Thursday set-up a US Open third round clash against Nick Kyrgios who found himself at the centre of an impartiality row after an umpire climbed down from his chair to tell him: "I want to help you".

Australian Nick Kyrgios had lost 3-0 to, Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the second set of their match at Flushing Meadows, but battled back to defeat the Frenchman after the Umpire 's freaky intervention.

But Kyrgios said the pep talk "didn't help me at all" and said his opponent had "let me back into the second set".

Kyrgios is no stranger to controversy, although it may be the umpire's actions on this occasion that draw the attention of tournament organisers and tennis officials.

Kyrgios downplayed what was said, but Herbert had a press conference and his own personal statement on his Twitter where he was visibly upset over the situation. "At the same time I will try to maintain the level of focus and performance and level of tennis that I've had today". You never know what would have happened if Mohamed didn't go down off the chair and started talking to him.

"I don't know what he said. I don't think he's a coach, he's an umpire".

Kyrgios maintains there was no "coaching" involved, while the USTA has since cleared Lahyani of any major wrongdoing, saying the Swede went "beyond protocol" but will continue to umpire at the tournament.

"I think Nick today could be an awesome player".

After dropping the first set of his second-round match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Kyrgios basically stopped trying.

Kyrgios, a 23-year-old Australian, has run into trouble in the past for not giving his all during matches, even drawing a fine and suspension from the ATP men's tour in 2016. "There has never been a better chip return ever", Kyrgios said when asked what made Federer great.

"I thought I played very well for the first two and a half sets and then I just lost it mentally".

"I think if you took that shot away, he wouldn't be as good because he neutralises big serves as well". I'm not sure if that was encouragement. "Nick, I know this is not you". He was there for too long.

However, ex-world number one and 2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick said Lahyani was guilty of nothing more than a misjudgement.

'I can't really talk in detail about what happened.

Federer said he didn't care what Lahyani said.

"And look what happened, it's backfired on the umpire, Nick Kyrgios turned it around and I can imagine the French player Herbert is not so happy". We all hear on the video what the umpire said to Nick overpassing his function. "Ironic coming from someone who gets on court coaching every week of the year and also out of the US Open".

Normally, a chair umpire leans over from his or her post to speak to a seated player during a changeover. It's just that sometimes he's mentally not here. I know this is not you.

"It's a conversation, and a conversation can change your mindset".

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