Australian Nick Kyrgios was saved from possible expulsion from the US Open after chair umpire, Mohamed Lahyani broke convention to stop and comfort the young player about tanking. This came during the second round that had Kyrgios facing Pierre Hughes Herbert.
Kyrgios was one set and 0-3 down when he failed to take any action against two serves sent his way by his French opponent, and seemingly had a physical and emotional meltdown on the court before Lahyani decided to step down and intervene. It worked well, as Kyrgios went on to win the match 4-6, 7-6, 6-3, 6-0 after 2 hours and 47 minutes on the court.
Not long after the end of the match, Herbert made a statement saying that he believes both Lahyani and the United States Tennis Association were in the wrong, and condemned them both. Lahyani, who is one of the most respected officials in the game, is currently under review by the USTA, but tournament referee Brian Earley has since exonerated his actions.
Lahyani told reporters afterwards that he approached Kyrgios because he believed the player might have required medical assistance due to the extreme heat on the day. He explained that he told Kyrgios that the tournament could provide help if he was feeling ill, and that he might have to remove the player from the court if he continued to show a lack of interest in the game.
Kyrgios will now move on to face Roger Federer in the third round.
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