Published: Tue, September 04, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Federer blasts umpire in Kyrgios 'I want to help you' row

Federer blasts umpire in Kyrgios 'I want to help you' row

Nick Kyrgios takes a break during his second-round match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert at the U.S. Open on August 30.

On Thursday, Kyrgios, a 23-year-old Australian, did not appear to be putting forth much effort while dropping the first set and falling behind 3-0 in the second against Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France. "You are great for tennis", Lahyani can be heard saying. "It didn't help me at all".

Five-times champion Federer eased through the opening rounds with typical Swiss precision, winning both matches in straight sets, while the hot-blooded Kyrgios was gently chided by the chair umpire to try harder before coming through his last match.

"With Kyrgios down 0-3, chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani left his chair to check on the condition of Nick Kyrgios. I'm not sure if that was encouragement", said the Australian who nevertheless won 19 of the last 25 games following Lahyani's unprecedented intervention. "I think everybody knows that".

Sixth seed Caroline Garcia, who looked in good form in beating Briton Johanna Konta in the first round, is up against Olympic champion Monica Puig on Grandstand, followed by men's seventh seed Marin Cilic, the 2014 champion, who meets Poland's Hubert Hurkacz. Oh, I'm not feeling so well.

"I know what I was doing wasn't good", Kyrgios said. "I really like him as a human". "It didn't help me at all, it's so ridiculous".

"I do believe I can win". I don t care what he said. "I think everybody knows that". I was a little bit surprised. I didn't listen to what they said.

"On court I tried to focus on myself".

"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". "He (Kyrgios) behaves the way he behaves and then you as an umpire take decision on the chair - do you like it, or you don't".

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"He can tell him from the chair, he doesn't need to go down. I think everybody knows that".

According to a statement later released by the U.S. Open, Lahyani went down to Kyrgios due to the crowd noise and warned him over his apparent lack of interest in proceedings as well as advising him on possible medical assistance.

The incident caught the attention of United States Tennis Association officials who could look into the umpire's conduct.

"We all hear on the video what the umpire said to Nick, overpassing his functions". "(To) Err is human but I still wait for explanations".

"Sometimes he plays very deep in the court, then he plays up in the court".

Meanwhile, Kyrgios is looking forward to a blockbuster third round with Federer. Federer was tested by Frenchman Benoit Paire but did not drop a set in a 7-5 6-4 6-4 victory.

Richard Ings, a former umpires chief on the ATP, said Lahyani's move was unprecedented. But you don t go and speak like that, in my opinion. He was there for too long. It was a conversation and conversations change mindsets.

Kyrgios and Federer have met three times before, all in best-of-three-set matches, each of which went to a deciding tie-break, with Federer leading 2-1.

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