Chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani will be suspended without pay for two weeks by the ATP Tour.

By Jenna West
September 18, 2018

The ATP Tour has suspended chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani for giving Nick Kyrgios a pep talk at the U.S. Open, according to The New York Times.

Lahyani has been suspended for two weeks without pay by the ATP Tour. He will miss the China Open in Beijing and the Shanghai Masters, which he was scheduled to officiate in October. He is expected to return on Oct. 15 at an event in Stockholm, reports the Times.

"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 Tour said in a statement, per the Times.

During Kyrgios's U.S. Open match on Aug. 30, Lahyani came out of his chair to approach Kyrgios while the Australian was down 0-3 in the second set to Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Lahyani appeared to offer words of encouragement to Kyrgios, who ended up winning the match 4-6, 7-6 (8–6), 6-3, 6-0.

Umpires are not allowed to offer any sort of advice or encouragement to either player and are expected to stay perfectly neutral.

The U.S. Open did not suspend Lahyani at the tournament but released a statement saying his conduct "went beyond protocol." The chair umpire's actions upset several tennis players, including Herbert and Roger Federer.

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