I saw and heard the exchange between Kyrgios and Chair Umpire Mohamed Lahyani, and I believe it was based on genuine concern on Lahyani’s part to encourage Kyrgios to start playing to the elite level of which we all know Nick is capable. Lahyani was not coaching, and for the matter Kyrgios wouldn’t listen even if he was. The biggest issue I have with this whole ‘controversy’ is the fact that the women can and do have coaching while on court – not from umpires granted, but coaching just the same, so why can’t the men (again, not by chair umps, but coaches)? And my pet peeves: why are the women still playing only 3 sets at the slams, receiving coaching while on court, but getting equal prize money? It’s not equal time or effort.
Based on the last few days of ‘discussion’ regarding Serena Williams’s attire on court, I implore, especially the media, to get back to focusing on the game, on court, and not fashion and what or who someone is wearing: it belittles women’s tennis and women’s sports in general. Serena said her French Open catsuit was ‘medically necessary’. If that’s the case, why isn’t she wearing something similar now? I doubt the tutu was medically necessary for avoiding potential blood clots. I totally sympathize with Serena and her need to address serious health issues but, as she admitted during the French Open, the catsuit was more of a statement – a ‘superhero’ nod to new moms. Again, with all due respect to Serena, she’s a superb, some say the best, women’s tennis player ever, THAT’S being a superhero, not wearing a catsuit.
I think it’s time for the ATP, WTA, and all tournament organizers to take a close look at the unequal rules and protocols in professional tennis.
Read the Associated Press’s article (via MSN) here. Below is an excerpt.
“NEW YORK — Nick Kyrgios was losing big at the U.S. Open on Thursday, and barely even trying. Didn’t move while so-so serves flew by for aces. Casually put groundstrokes into the net. Double-faulted without caring.
The crowd began booing. The chair umpire, Mohamed Lahyani, decided to intervene. In an unusual sight for Grand Slam tennis, Lahyani clambered down out of his seat during a break between games, leaned over with hands on knees, and spoke with the 30th-seeded Kyrgios, saying, among other things, “I want to help you.”