By Steve Keating
NEWYORK (Reuters) – Nick Kyrgios appeared to take some advice to try harder from chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani as he rallied to beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert and reach the U.S. Open third round on Thursday.
In a bizarre scene that caused an instant stir on social media, Lahyani got off his chair with Kyrgios down a set and trailing 3-0 in the second to give the Australian a pep talk.
For almost a minute the animated Lahyani gestured and pleaded with the stone-faced Kyrgios and the Swedish umpire could be heard telling him: ‘I’m trying to help you”.
Although Kyrgios dropped the opening set his level of play and interest appeared to rise dramatically after the pep talk and he swept the next three sets for a 4-6 7-6(6) 6-3 6-0 win.
The enigmatic Australian had earlier looked poised to produce another lacklustre effort as he remained cemented to the baseline, barely flinching as Herbert served for a 3-0 lead.
It was at that point that Lahyani came down during the changeover and advised Kyrgios to show more interest.
The incident caught the attention of United States Tennis Association officials who could look into the umpire’s conduct.
(This story corrects first set to second set in second para)
(Editing by Ken Ferris)