Why This Photo Of Nick Kyrgios Is Going BONKERS
Two controversial moves have caused outrage at the US Open, one of which involved Australian Nick Kyrgios.
Firstly, this week, the high temperatures and humidity in New York led tournament organisers to introduce a new rule permitting a 10-minute break between the third and fourth sets during men's matches.
Players are not allowed to talk to their coaches during this break.
However, Andy Murray said he saw opponent Fernando Verdasco doing exactly that after finishing a cold shower after he was beaten 7-5 2-6 6-4 6-4.
Murray was furious that it was he who alerted officials to the incident, telling umpire Nico Helwerth when he returned to the court: "I had to tell them because no-one knows the f***ing rules.
"I went and told the supervisor. I said, 'what are you guys doing? I mean, there's clear rules here and you're allowing this to take place. I don't get it.'
"Then he ran through, 'oh, you're not allowed to speak.' They obviously weren't in there for long, but you've got to do better than that. This is one of the biggest events in the world."
Verdasco flatly denied any such rule breach, claiming that while his coach was in the locker room, he spoke only to another player, Marcos Baghdatis, and the Cypriot's coach.
It didn’t stop Murray using #liarliarpantsonfire on an Instagram post…
View this post on Instagram
Bye bye New York😔 Was nice to be back out there competing in a slam again. Gave it my best effort but it wasn't enough. Thanks to everyone for the support and messages last few days 👍 I'm off to get a health check as apparently I've started imagining things. #liarliarpantsonfire🔥
Nick Kyrgios, who has history with Verdasco, also weighed in on the debate, saying of the coaching accusations on Twitter: "Let's be real, very believable because it is Verdasco lol."
Let’s be real, very believable because it is verdasco lol https://t.co/xFSg0aU8qj— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) August 29, 2018
Speaking of Kyrgios, this brings us to the second controversy...
The bloke who was the chair umpire during Kyrgios’ match (and subsequent win) over Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert is copping massive heat after giving Kyrgios a mid-match pep talk.
Thing is, after Kyrgios was spoken to by chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani, Kyrgios rallied to pull off an impressive 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 comeback.
It was reported that Lahyani left his chair to beg Kyrgios to try harder for the sake of the paying crowd and to avoid being sanctioned - again - for not giving his best effort.
"I want to help you. I want to help you," Lahyani said.
"I’ve seen your matches: you’re great for tennis.
"Nick, I know this is not you."
On social media, the pitchforks came out over the umpire’s "coaching", fans furious about his perceived bias towards Kyrgios.
Didn’t know umpires were allowed to give pep talks .. 🤔 https://t.co/82k0cQvwZM— Donna Vekic (@DonnaVekic) August 30, 2018
Kyrgios won the second set after a pep talk from the chair umpire Mo Lahyani.— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 30, 2018
A USTA rep told me it is already looking into Lahyani's conduct in this match.
Absurd scenes. #USOpen pic.twitter.com/6qTMaoqPQd
This has got to stop. It’s just wrong and brings the game into disrepute.— Andrew Castle (@AndrewCastle63) August 30, 2018
Umpire Lahyani is a great guy and a fine official but there is no way he should have come down from the chair to speak with Kyrgios. If he is self destructing it is not the umpire’s job to calm him down. https://t.co/LtjZ0oV0rz
Herbert later put out a statement, expressing his anger at Lahyani and his disappointment at the statement from the US Open.