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US Open Umpire 'Brings Game Into Disrepute' With Bizarre Pep Talk

US Open Umpire 'Brings Game Into Disrepute' With Bizarre Pep Talk
By Gary Connaughton Updated

US Open Umpire Mohamed Lahyani has been condemned after he appeared to give a pep talk to a losing player during a match.

Australian Nick Kyrgios was trailing Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 3-0 at the time, with Kyrgios seemingly displaying a clear lack of effort.

During a break in play, the umpire climbed down from his chair and approached the player, giving him what looked like a motivational speech.

The quotes are quite remarkable:

I want to help you. You are great for tennis. I know this is not you.

I’ve seen your matches: you’re great for tennis.

Nick, I know this is not you.

Amazingly, the world number 30 would recover from this perilous position and go on to claim a victory in four sets.

He would later claim in his press conference that his poor play was a result of the New York heat.

The incident has received mixed reactions from within the tennis world. Some, including Kyrgios' opponent, have claimed that the umpire overstepped the mark.






Others have defended both the umpire and the player involved.

Speaking on US television coverage of the tournament, John McEnroe leaped to their defence. The American rarely saw eye-to-eye with umpires during his playing career, so it is somewhat surprising to see him react to the incident in this way.

The US Open official twitter account were quick to release a statement on the matter. It stated that Lahyani was simply asking the player if he required medical treatment, while also issuing a warning that he would abandon the match if Kyrgios' effort levels did not improve.

It was also claimed that the umpire left his chair as the noise of the crowd stopped him from communicating with the Australian.

Strange to say the least.

Kyrgios will now face Rodger Federer in the next round.

SEE ALSO: The GAA Obsessive Behind Kerry's Incredible Minor Team

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