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ATP suspends umpire over Kyrgios mid-match 'pep talk' at US Open

The ATP said Mohamed Lahyani’s mid-match chat with the Australian was “well-intended”, but has still suspended him.

The pair have history - clashing at the French Open earlier this year.
The pair have history - clashing at the French Open earlier this year.
Image: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

THE ATP HAS handed a two-tournament suspension to Mohamed Lahyani following an internal review of the mid-match discussion the umpire had with Nick Kyrgios at the US Open.

Lahyani hit the headlines at Flushing Meadows when he came down from his chair to speak to Kyrgios, with the Australian trailing Pierre Hugues-Herbert by a set and a break in their second-round clash.

The official was heard to tell Kyrgios: “I want to help you. This isn’t you, I know that.”

A subsequent United States Tennis Association statement claimed Lahyani left his chair to check on the condition of Kyrgios, as he was concerned the player may require medical attention.

However, Lahyani’s actions sparked huge debate, particularly as Kyrgios duly staged a stirring recovery to win in four sets.

The ATP has now barred the Swede from umpiring at his next two scheduled tournaments, the China Open and Shanghai Masters, having ruled his actions “were deemed to have compromised the impartiality that is required of an official.”
 
Gayle David Bradshaw, ATP executive vice president of rules and competition, said: “Mohamed is a world-class and highly-respected official. However, his actions during the match crossed a line that compromised his own impartiality as a chair umpire.

“Although well-intended, his actions were regrettable and cannot go without disciplinary action on our own tour. We know that he will learn from this experience and we look forward to welcoming him back in October.”

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