Nick Kyrgios finds himself in the midst of another massive controversy, however, not due to himself this time.
Kyrgios received a rather unusual pep talk from the chair umpire during his Round 2 US Open match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
Kyrgios was ‘feeling the heat’ as he was down a set and 3-0 in a rather challenging match against the Frenchman.
At the change up, Kyrgios just wouldn’t get off from his chair and thus the chair umpire got off from his and went down to Kyrgios asking him if he needed some medical attention.
Check out the video:
Never seen this before. Umpire had to get out of his chair and beg Nick Kyrgios to start trying in his match. pic.twitter.com/nk9k56yTrB
— Eric Hubbs (@BarstoolHubbs) August 30, 2018
But the conversation did not end there, as Lahyani really wanted to help Kyrgios by making him understand the importance of getting out there and competing.
“I want to help you. I want to help you,” Lahyani said.
“I’ve seen your matches: you’re great for tennis.
“Nick, I know this is not you.” he added.
US Open was forced to release a statement in order to clarify what the entire incident was about, but to be mild, the statement was ‘laughable’.
#USOpen puts out a statement on Kyrgios-Lahyani with its official version of events… which doesn’t align all that well with what was audible on microphones and why it was an issue. pic.twitter.com/0FySZcUs9D
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 30, 2018
Roger Federer too has pitched in with his thoughts about the entire incident and how the umpire’s pep talk was largely uncalled for.
“It’s not the umpire’s role to go down from the chair,” Federer said.
“I get what he was trying to do. He behaves the way he behaves and then you decide if you like it or you don’t like it.
“But you don’t go speak like that.
“I don’t know what he said, I don’t care what he said. It was not just about how you’re feeling, ‘Oh, I am not feeling well.’
“He was down there for too long. It was a conversation and conversations change mindsets.
“That’s why it won’t happen again and everybody knows that.
“It’s not the umpire’s role to go down from the chair. You don’t go and speak like that.” he added.
Check out Federer’s press conference:
Nick Kyrgios clarified that he wasn’t being coached by the umpire and that it was just a normal conversation that they had, one that happens in soccer all the time.
“I know what I was doing wasn’t good,” Kyrgios said.
“It didn’t help me at all, it’s so ridiculous. He wasn’t coaching me at all. I don’t have a coach, I haven’t had a coach for years. Of course he wasn’t coaching me.
“What are you talking about?
“It happens in other sports, too. In soccer, if someone is being roughed, they get warned. If you keep doing this you get penalised. Same sort of thing. It had not effect at all.
“I’m not sure it was encouragement. He said he liked me. I’m not sure if that was encouragement. He just said that it’s not a good look. Look. I wasn’t feeling good. I know what I was doing out there wasn’t good. I wasn’t really listening to him.” he added.
Nick even tweeted about the incident after the video went viral on social media.
I shouldn’t have tweeted so quickly after the match. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but I can assure you it wasn’t coaching. https://t.co/hvlwPyzC0E
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) August 30, 2018
Kyrgios’s opponent Herbert wasn’t very thrilled with what had transpired on court and voiced his concerns about the entire incident.
“The umpire doesn’t need to talk to him. This was not his job,” Herbert said.
“He’s not a coach, he’s an umpire and he should stay in his chair for that.
“They can tell him from the chair. He doesn’t need to go down. He doesn’t need to say the words he said on the video. I think this was not his job.
“I don’t think he has to go down and take the position of a coach like you can see on the WTA Tour.
“It’s not his job.” Herbert added.
He then went onto blast the US Open authorities for their statement which completely ignored the audio footage that had emerged.
“After seeing the video I am angry against the umpire,” Herbert said.
“He should not go down of his chair and try to reason (with) Nick.
“Did this action affect the game? We will never know …
“I am even more upset against the statement of the USTA that is clearly taking us for fools.
“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.” he added.