US Open 2018: Roger Federer beats Benoit Paire to reach third round

Tyler Owen
August 31, 2018

NICK Kyrgios has leapt to the defence of chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani after the official's extraordinary mid-match pep talk fired the volatile Australian into a US Open third-round blockbuster with Roger Federer.

Kyrgios went on to see the trainer a couple of games later before breaking back to overturn the deficit and then run away with the contest in the third and fourth sets.

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. "The only thing he can tell him is pay attention, because if you continue like this, I'm going to give you a warning", said the 27-year-old.

According to tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg, Lahyani could be heard saying things like "I want to help you", "You're great for tennis", and "I know this is not you". "I think that was a good choice".

Seeking some sort of physical treatment, Kyrgios responded to Lahyani: "Okay". I don't care how fit you are, what you're used to, the humidity can really get to you.

Despite Lahyani being picked up by on-court microphones pleading with Kyrgios to try harder as he trailed the Frenchman by a set and 3-0, the USTA claimed the Swede was merely concerned about Kyrgios's health. It was not just about, 'How are you feeling?

The chair umpire's intervention left many fans furious.

Federer, a five-time U.S. Open champion, had steeled himself for the heat by changing up his routine - he made an early trip to NY to prep his game in the sweltering sun.

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I feel like David Warner and Nick Kyrgios are cut from the same cloth.

"This was not his job", Herbert said, adding that he thinks Lahyani should be sanctioned in some way. He said he liked me.

Even before the match had finished tournament officials were launching an investigation into the conduct of the Swedish umpire, looking at whether he had breached the rules governing impartial conduct. "I can't think of one". I don't know if something would've changed if Mohamed didn't say anything to him.

"I felt like it's maybe one of these years where it could be hot", Federer said Thursday.

"That won't happen", the 20-times grand slam champion said when asked how he'd react if "hypothetically" that occurred when he played Kyrgios for a spot in the last 16.

Of course we have seen this from Kyrgios before, but it's what happened next that really caused controversy.

Second seed and five-time champion Federer, 37, made it 18 wins in 18 second round appearances in NY by seeing off error-plagued Frenchman Benoit Paire 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.

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