Umpire Mohammed Lahyani has been suspended for his next two scheduled tournaments for trying to encourage Nick Kyrgios during a match at the US Open.
Lahyani went down from his chair and had a lengthy chat with the Australian during his second round match with Pierre Hugues Herbert when Kyrgios was showing little effort when he was a set down and losing 3-0. The umpire was heard saying ” I want to help you, you are great for tennis, I know this is not you”.
The words of encouragement obviously worked as Kyrgios went on to win the match to progress, while Herbert wasn’t impressed claiming that Lahyani had overstepped the mark, which tennis great Roger Federer has also came out on said. US Open officials decided while Lahyani went beyond protocol regarding his actions, he was allowed to continue for the rest of the tournament but stressed he should adhere to proper protocol.
The ATP have since conducted ged an internal review, they confirmed in a statement that Lahyani who is a full umpire has been suspended for the next two tournaments which are the China Open and the Rolex Shanghai Masters. ATP executive vice president of rules and competition Gayle Bradshaw described Lahyani as a world class and highly respected official. He did however state that his actions crossed the line during the match and compromised his own impartiality as a chair umpire. However he went on to say that they will welcome him back in October.
Kyrgios speaking at the time felt that the referees pep talk had little difference. He said, “I’m not sure it was encouragement, he said he liked me, he just said it’s not a good look”. The Australian went on to say further, “I wasn’t feeling good, I know what I was doing out there wasn’t good”. “I wasn’t really listening to him, it didn’t help me at all he said”.