Roger Federer has hit out at chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani over the well-respected official's "pep talk" with Australian youngster Nick Kyrgios during the latter's US Open second-round win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Thursday.
The Australian looked to be heading out of the tournament after losing the first set and trailing 3-0 in the second when Lahyani intervened. During a changeover, Lahyani left his chair - a rare sight in Grand Slam tennis - to speak to Kyrgios, leaning with hands on knees while saying, "I want to help you". I didn't see what happened. "I can't think of one", Ings tweeted.
There was an immediate reaction from current and former players on social media claiming Lahyani had majorly overstepped his role.
Federer has insisted that Lahyani didn't do the right thing by having a mid-match conversation with Kyrgios, who was looking uninterested after being a set and 3-0 down on a hot and humid day in NY. I'm not sure if that was encouragement. "I think everybody knows that". "He just said that it's not a good look", Kyrgios said about his chat with Lahyani. I wasn't feeling good. I know he was on court after when he started playing, when he kicked my ass and was much better than me.' What action by the tournament would satisfy you after what has happened? 'Maybe give me the prize money of the victor. "I had no real choice".
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"It didn't help me at all".
The No. 2 seed beat Benoit Paire 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday in NY to continue his streak of reaching the third round in the tournament he has won five times.
That would be I think fair, yes (smiling). "Just call the trainer to the court and I'll try".
After an unusual visit from the chair umpire, Kyrgios turned around his match and won it to reach the third round. I was a little bit surprised.
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The crowd of just under 10,000 gave him a loud ovation when he stepped onto the pitch, an uneasy smile on his often-beaming face. He got himself in the box soon after but a cross whipped in from the left went over his head.
"I felt like it's maybe one of these years where it could be hot", Federer said Thursday. "Those things happen, I guess". Don't expect another half-hearted Kyrgios display: All three of their prior meetings - one on hardcourt, one on Federer's preferred grass, one on clay - have been best-of-three nailbiters that have finished in a third-set tiebreak, with two decisions for Federer and one for Kyrgios. He doesn't need to say the words he said on the video. I think he cares for Nick. After this, for sure, when I saw how it went, you never know what would have happened if Mohamed didn't go down of the chair and started talking to him.
Tournament referee Brian Earley added a freakish twist by claiming that Lahyani had only come down from his chair as the noise from the crowd made it impossible for him to communicate with the Australian.
Aug 30, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts after beating Benoit Paire of France in a second round match on day four of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
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