US Open umpire suspended for two weeks by ATP for pep talk to Nick Kyrgios

The chair umpire who gave Nick Kyrgios a pep talk at the U.S. Open has been suspended by the ATP Tour for two weeks without pay.

Mohamed Lahyani, one of seven full-time chair umpires on the men’s tour, had come down from the umpire’s chair during Kyrgios’ second-round match against France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Kyrgios had been trailing the Frenchman a set and a break when Lahyani had a conversation with the world No. 30. 

“I want to help you,” Lahyani said to Kyrgios. “This isn’t you. I know that. I’ve seen your matches; you’re great for the sport.

Kyrgios would come back to win the match in four sets before losing to Roger Federer in the next round. After the match, Herbert issued a statement complaining about Lahyani’s actions.

“I think this was not his job,” Herbert said. “I don’t think he’s a coach; he’s an umpire and he should stay on his chair for that.”

Herbert also criticized the USTA for their statement claiming that “Lahyani was simply checking on Kyrgios’ condition and offering him help in terms of seeing the trainer or a doctor if he was feeling unwell.”

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30 highest-paid tennis players of all time

30. Goran Ivanisevic — $19,878,007

Nationality: Croatian

Grand Slam titles: 1 (Wimbledon)

Overall titles: 22

(Photo by James Elsby/Getty Images)

29. Stefan Edberg — $20,630,941

Nationality: Swedish

Grand Slam titles: 6 (2 Australian, 2 Wimbledon, 2 US Open)

Overall titles: 41

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28. Andy Roddick — $20,640,030

Nationality: American

Grand Slam titles: 1 (US Open)

Overall titles: 32

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27. Lleyton Hewitt — $20,849,000

Nationality: Australian

Grand Slam titles: 2 (1 Wimbledon, 1 US Open)

Overall titles: 30

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26. Justine Henin — $20,863,335

Nationality: Belgian

Grand Slam titles: 7 (1 Australian Open, 4 French Open, 2 US Open)

Overall titles: 43

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25. Ivan Lendl — $21,262,417

Nationality: Czech and American

Grand Slam titles: 8 (2 Australian Open, 3 French Open, 3 US Open)

Overall titles: 94

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24. Martina Navratilova — $21,626,089

Nationality: Czech and American

Grand Slam titles: 18 (9 Wimbledon, 4 US Open, 3 Australian Open, 2 French Open)

Overall titles: 167

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23. Steffi Graf — $21,895,277

Nationality: German

Grand Slam titles: 22 (7 Wimbledon, 6 French Open, 5 US Open, 4 Australian Open)

Overall titles: 107

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22. Lindsay Davenport — $22,166,338

Nationality: American

Grand Slam titles: 3 (1 Australian, 1 Wimbledon, 1 US Open)

Overall titles: 55

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21. Yevgeny Kafelnikov — $23,883,797

Nationality: Russian

Grand Slam titles: 2 (1 Australian, 1 French Open)

Overall titles: 26

(Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)

20. Svetlana Kuznetsova — $24,484,712

Nationality: Russian

Grand Slam titles: 2 (1 French Open, 1 US Open)

Overall titles: 18

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19. Kim Clijsters — $24,442,340

Nationality: Belgian

Grand Slam titles: 4 (3 US Open, 1 Australian Open)

Overall titles: 41

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18. Martina Hingis — $24,749,074

Nationality: Swiss

Grand Slam titles: 5 (3 Australian Open, 1 Wimbledon, 1 US Open)

Overall titles: 43

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17. Boris Becker — $25,080,956

Nationality: German

Grand Slam titles: 6 (3 Wimbledon, 2 Australian, 1 US Open)

Overall titles: 49

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16. Petra Kvitová — $26,983,358

Nationality: Czech

Grand Slam titles: 2 (2 Wimbledon)

Overall titles: 25

(Photo by Chaz Niell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

15. Agnieszka Radwańska — $27,626,407

Nationality: Polish

Grand Slam titles: 0

Overall titles: 20

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14. Tomas Berdych — $28,931,999

Nationality: Czech

Grand Slam titles: 0

Overall titles: 13

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13. Victoria Azarenka — $29,088,041

Nationality: Belarusian

Grand Slam titles: 2 (2 Australian Open)

Overall titles: 20

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

12. Caroline Wozniacki — $30,880,173

Nationality: Danish

Grand Slam titles: 1 (Australian Open)

Overall titles: 29

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11. Andre Agassi — $31,152,975

Nationality: American

Grand Slam titles: 8 (4 Australian Open, 2 US Open, 1 Wimbledon, 1 French Open)

Overall titles: 60

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10. Stan Wawrinka — $31,378,297

Nationality: Swiss

Grand Slam titles: 3 (1 Australian Open, 1 French Open, 1 US Open)

Overall titles: 16

(Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

9. David Ferrer — $31,230,696

Nationality: Spanish

Grand Slam titles: 0

Overall titles: 27

(Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

8. Maria Sharapova — $38,076,119

Nationality: Russian

Grand Slam titles: 5 (2 French Open, 1 Wimbledon, 1 US Open, 1 Australian Open)

Overall titles: 36

(Photo by Chaz Niell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

7. Venus Williams — $40,775,048

Nationality: American

Grand Slam titles: 7 (5 Wimbledon, 2 US Open)

Overall titles: 49

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6. Pete Sampras — $43,280,489

Nationality: American

Grand Slam titles: 14 (7 Wimbledon, 5 U.S. Open, 2 Australian Open)

Overall titles: 64

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for IPTL 2014)

5. Andy Murray — $60,931,985

Nationality: Scottish

Grand Slam titles: 3 (2 Wimbledon, 1 US Open)

Overall titles: 45

(Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

4. Serena Williams — $86,383,301

Nationality: American

Grand Slam titles: 23 (7 Wimbledon, 7 Australian, 6 US Open, 3 French Open)

Overall titles: 72

(Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

3. Rafael Nadal — $102,326,975

Nationality: Spanish

Grand Slam titles: 17 (11 French Open, 2 Wimbledon, 3 US Open, 1 Australian Open)

Overall titles: 80

(Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

2. Novak Djokovic — $115,310,890

Nationality: Serbian

Grand Slam titles: 13 (6 Australian Open, 4 Wimbledon, 2 US Open, 1 French Open)

Overall titles: 70

(Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

1. Roger Federer — $117,507,812

Nationality: Swiss

Grand Slam titles: 20 (8 Wimbledon, 5 US Open, 6 Australian Open, 1 French Open)

Overall titles: 98

(Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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The U.S. Open organizers decided not to suspend Lahyani from working the tournament, but later released another statement that said his conduct “went beyond protocol” and that he had been “advised to adhere to proper protocols in all matches that he officiates moving forward.”

Kyrgios denied that Lahyani coached or had any effect on his comeback.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Kyrgios. “He wasn’t coaching me at all. I don’t have a coach. I haven’t had a coach for, like, years. Of course he wasn’t coaching me. What are you talking about?”

Regardless, Lahyani did not work any more “high-profile” singles matches during the tournament according to the New York Times.

After the tournament, the ATP Tour levied a harsher punishment on the Swedish umpire.

He will be suspended for two weeks and will not officiate the China Open in Beijing and the Shanghai Masters despite being scheduled to initially.

Lahyani is expected to return to the court for the Stockholm event in mid-October.

Mohamed [Layhani] 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,” said Gayle David Bradshaw, the ATP’s executive vice president for rules and competition, in a statement to the New York Times. “Although well-intended, his actions were regrettable and cannot go without disciplinary action on our own Tour.”

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