For giving Nick Kyrgios a pep talk at the US Open, the ATP has suspended chummy chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani for two events without pay.
The USTA, which had jurisdiction over Lahyani, moved him off singles matches to lower profile doubles contests. The ATP took it a step further.
“Despite the incident taking place at the U.S. Open, under the jurisdiction of the United States Tennis Association, the incident was still subject to ATP disciplinary action due to Lahyani’s position as full-time ATP employee and the high standards the ATP requires of its chair umpires regardless of the event to which he or she is assigned, in order to maintain the integrity of the Tour,” the ATP told the New York Times in a statement.
Lahyani was scheduled to work both Beijing and Shanghai.
In New York, Roger Federer sternly took Lahyani to task for trying to help Kyrgios.
“It’s not the umpire’s role to go down from the chair,” Federer said earlier this month. “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.”
And it won’t happen in Asia.
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