US Open takes me for 'fool', says Herbert after Kyrgios row

New York (AFP) –


Pierre-Hugues Herbert lambasted the US Open for "taking us for fools" as the row over umpire Mohamed Lahyani's "I want to help you" offer to opponent Nick Kyrgios took a dramatic new twist.

Lahyani caused a sensation on Thursday when he climbed down from his chair to talk to Kyrgios over a perceived lack of effort in his second round clash against Herbert who was a set and 3-0 ahead at the time.

"I want to help you," Lahyani could be heard saying to the Australian.

"This isn't you. I know that. You are great for tennis."

After the impromptu pep-talk on Court 17, Kyrgios won 19 of the next 25 games to win 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3, 6-0.

The US Open issued a statement claiming that Lahyani had needed to climb down from his chair because crowd noise meant Kyrgios could not hear him.

But 27-year-old Herbert was furious with that response.

"The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is clearly taking us for fools," Herbert said in a statement.

"We all hear on the video what the umpire said to Nick, overstepping his functions.

"To err is human but I am still waiting for explanations.

"When we players make mistakes on court we are sanctioned."