Umpire Mohamed Lahyani suspended for Nick Kyrgios pep talk

Mohamed Lahyani will be back in the umpire's chair in October

The U.S. Open organizers decided not to suspend Lahyani from working the tournament, but later released another statement that said his conduct "went beyond protocol" and that he had been "advised to adhere to proper protocols in all matches that he officiates moving forward".

The Swedish umpire, however, was suspended for two weeks without pay by the ATP Tour after his on-court pep talk with Nick Kyrgios during the Open. Lahyani appeared to offer words of encouragement to Kyrgios, who ended up winning the match 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 6-0.

"However, his actions during the match crossed a line that compromised his own impartiality as a chair umpire", Gayle Bradshaw, ATP executive vice-president of rules and competition, said in Tuesday's statement.

While the incident took place at a tournament that falls under the jurisdiction of the United States Tennis Association, it was still subject to ATP disciplinary action due to Lahyani's position as full-time ATP employee.

Lahyani left his chair and begged Kyrgios to start trying for the sake of the paying crowd and avoid being sanctioned again for another meltdown. This isn't you. I know that.

Lahyani pleaded with an unmotivated Kyrgios to not waste his talents and pull his head back into the game as the Australian called for a trainer.

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"I've seen your matches, you're great for tennis". I know what I was doing out there wasn't good.

When the trainer arrived and asked the Australian what he needed treatment for, Kyrgios replied, "I don't know".

"I think this was not his job", Herbert said. "I don't think he's a coach; he's an umpire and he should stay on his chair for that".

The next day, USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said Lahyani had gone "beyond our protocol", but would be allowed to continue to work matches during the U.S. Open because of his "exemplary track record as an worldwide tennis official".

Kyrgios went on to turn the match around to progress, with an annoyed Herbert claiming afterwards he felt Lahyani had overstepped the mark - sentiments also backed up by the likes of Roger Federer.

News of his ban met with a mixed response on social media, with some fans believing he had gone beyond his duties while others though the punishment was too harsh.



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