Nick Kyrgios’ second-round win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the US Open has made headlines for a number of different reasons.
The match has been tainted in controversy after umpire Mohamed Lahyani came under fire for a ‘pep talk’ he gave to Kyrgios during the second set.
The Australian had lost the first and was trailing by a break in the second. Then, Lahyani descended from his chair to have a word with Kyrgios.
A video that surfaced showed Lahyani saying to Kyrgios: “I want to help you, I know this isn’t you.”
The Australian then went on to win the match, advancing to the third round where he will take on Roger Federer. Players and fans alike have all chimed in on the matter, some disgusted by the umpire’s actions and others praising him.
However, another incident during the match has also drawn attention.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Daniel Rapaport, via Twitter, an exchange between Kyrgios and a member of the crowd during the second set is one that certainly brought a chuckle to those paying close enough attention.
The heckler supposedly shouted at Kyrgios, “Just leave, we want Genie”, referring to Canadian women’s singles competitor Eugenie Bouchard, who was up next against Markéta Vondroušová on Court 17.
The Australian replied by saying: “Well, you’ll never have her.”
Bouchard has gathered a cult following on Instagram, amassing over 1.8 million followers. She has also previously competed alongside Kyrgios in mixed doubles competition.
Unfortunately for those fans, Genie lost her round of 64 match 6-4 6-3 against Vondroušová.
However, Kyrgios now has the opportunity to build on his hearty comeback in the round of 64, being matched against arguably the sport’s greatest of all time, Roger Federer.
A win for the Australian would be a massive upset, and a massive show of character.
Will Mohamed Lahyani’s words of encouragement finally be the wake-up call Kyrgios needs? We’ll soon find out.