After Visit From Umpire, Kyrgios Goes on to Win at US Open Setting up Match Against Federer
(August 30, 2018) The Australian who is the 30th seed was trailing Pierre-Hugues Herbert – down a set and 3-0 in the second when Lahyani climbed down from his chair and spoke to Kyrgios. Some observers thought that the umpire was giving him advice or coaching.
Kyrgios said no.
“I’m not sure it was encouragement,” said Kyrgios. “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, but I knew it wasn’t a good look. It didn’t help me at all. Like, I was down 5-2. If it was 3-0, and maybe if I would have come back and won six games in a row, fair enough. Didn’t help me at all.”
Asked if the umpire should be sanctioned for his actions, Kyrios said:
“I don’t believe that he deserves it. I mean, the umpire in Shanghai didn’t cop any backlash. It happened to me in Cincinnati two weeks ago against Del Potro, the exact same thing happened. I wasn’t putting forth my best performance.
“I did the same today. The umpire was like, Nick, you can’t be doing this. It’s a bad look. Same thing happened there.”
Kygios won the match 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-0.
Herbert said in his news conference about the incident: “I think from a set and 4-1, 3-0, I think Nick was not playing. Had the feeling he was, yeah, not giving 100%, not focused. For sure from that point something changed. He got better and better until the end. Then he beat me because he was better in the third and the fourth.”
“On court I tried to focus on myself. I just saw that Mohamed went down at the chair. I was a little bit surprised. He went to talk to him. I didn’t listen to what they said because I tried to be focused on me, because it’s not easy to play someone who’s playing, not playing, you don’t know.
“I tried to concentrate on myself. That’s it. On court, I tried to concentrate on myself. I didn’t see what happened. I just saw that Nick from that point started to playing really, focused, 100%. Yeah, then I saw what happened after the match.”
Herbert said that it’s not and umpires’ job to go down and talk to Kyrgios.
“The fact is, I think Mohamed is an amazing umpire. But today I don’t think he had to go down.
“It didn’t affect me that much. I mean, it was a big mess during the first and second set. You don’t know, Nick is playing, not playing. He’s serving first serves on the second, doing double-faults, then playing. For me, was like very hard. I was prepared for that. You know when you’re playing Nick, anything can happen. That’s why the crowd is here. That’s why everybody loves him because you don’t know what’s going to happen.
“So I was prepared for. I tried to focus on myself. But, yeah, like I said, afterwards, when I saw the video, when I heard what he said, was not his job. That’s not what he’s supposed to do.”
— PH Herbert (@p2hugz) August 30, 2018
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
Roger Federer is into the third round with a 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 win over Benoit Paire.
He was asked asked about the Kyrgios incident and responded:
“It’s not the umpire’s role to go down from the chair. But I get what he was trying to do. He behaves the way he behaves. You as an umpire take a decision on the chair, do you like it or don’t you like it. But you don’t go and speak like that, in my opinion.
“I don’t know what he said. I don’t care what he said. It was not just about How are you feeling? Oh, I’m not feeling so well. Go back up to the chair. He was there for too long. It’s a conversation. Conversations can change your mindset. It can be a physio, a doctor, an umpire for that matter.
“That’s why it won’t happen again. I think everybody knows that.”
Fourth seed Alexander Zverev has made his best showing at the US Open be reaching the third round on Thursday. The German defeated Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 6-4 6-2.
Countrywoman Angelique Kerber needed to serve for the match three times before defeating Johanna Larsson 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.
“I think it was really a tough match and a tough battle, especially in the third set,” said the 2016 champion. “I think that I played, like, good until like 5-2 in the second set, and I was really trying to playing the game I was planned to play.
“Yeah, and then I think it is tennis that you have to play until the last point. She came back. She played good when she was down, and she had nothing to lose then.
“I think, you know, the conditions are really tough out there also today. But, I mean, at the end, in the third set, it was just like two, three points which decide the match. Yeah, I was happy that at the end I could, yeah, serve the match until the end.”
Petra Kvitova defeated Yafnan Wang 7-5, 6-3 to reach the third round where she’ll meet 26 seed Aryna Sabalenka who just won the Connecticut Open.
Kvitova on playing Sabalenka next: “she’s on fire right now and in great form.
“I did play her in Miami. We played three sets. I do remember something from that match. She’s playing kind of, you know, sometimes that she really serve and have one great shot. I don’t see her as a kind of player who is moving side to side, playing lots of rallies.
“So overall I think that we are playing a little bit similar game. I gonna try to be the one who put the pressure on her and not she will put pressure on me.”
Other seeds advancing during day session included 6th seed Caroline Garcia besting Monica Puig in a three-set battle, 13th seed Kiki Bertens, 14th seed Madison Keys, 20th seed Noaomi Osaka and 29th seed Dominika Cibulkova,
In other men’s action: 13th seed Diego Schwartzman advanced with a 6-2, 6-0, 5-7, 6-2 win over Jaume Munar. John Millman upset 14th seed Fabio Fognini 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Millman will play Mikhail Kukushkin who knocked off No. 23 seed Hyeon Chung 7-6, 6-2, 6-3.
More to follow….