Sports

US Open: Nick Kyrgios fires back at heckling Eugenie Bouchard fan

US Open: Nick Kyrgios fires back at heckling Eugenie Bouchard fan

Sometimes you wonder why they ask you again because do they not hear what I said yesterday? "This isn't you. I know that". The chair umpire, Mohamed Lahyani, chose to intervene.

The tempestuous Australian appeared not to be trying when he trailed Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 4-6, 0-3, nearly seeming to be deliberately avoiding a potential match-up against Roger Federer.

"Herbert saw things differently and felt that Lahyani's intervention did affect Kyrgios" mental approach. "I want to help you", Lahyani said. "I spend the least possible time here on site because that takes energy away", Zverev said.

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.

'I wasn't feeling good. "I think everybody knows that".

The umpire's controversial "coaching" was savaged on social media, with fans furious about his perceived bias towards Kyrgios.

Kyrgios twice bit back on Twitter at fellow player Donna Vekic for questioning Lahyani's conduct but deleted both messages and later apologised.

The 13-time major champion seemed to be along the same path at Flushing Meadows on Thursday night, standing one point from victory while leading 5-4 in the third set as Sandgren served at 30-40.

Aug 30 2018 New York NY USA Nick Kyrgios of Austria greets Pierre Hugues Herbert of France after a second round match on day four of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit
Image Kyrgios beat Pierre Hugues Herbert of France in four sets

"I was like, yeah everything is actually fine, I just wasn't feeling great", Kyrgios continued. "I got pissed off", said 2011 and 2015 champion Djokovic. I was a little bit surprised. Nearly every interview I do, they have to ask me the question, so. I stayed out here in the second set.

"Go back up to the chair".

"He can tell him from the chair". He doesn't need to say the words he said on video.

Observers wondered whether such encouragement from an umpire was appropriate or permitted.

The aftermath to Kyrgios' 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-0 comeback win over Herbert was dominated by a mid-match pep talk given to him by the chair umpire; an incident that has been widely criticised. "For sure from that point, something changed", Herbert said. "I don't think he's a coach, he's an umpire". "But you don't go down and speak like that, in my opinion". He was there for too long. It's a conversation. Conversations can change your mindset.

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.

"The umpire should have given Nick Kyrgios a warning for unsportsmanlike behaviour because he's not trying and it's bad for the sport but in no chance can the chair umpire go down and have a sort of psychology session with one of the players".


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