If the suspension seems harsh, it may be because the Swedish umpire has priors. He has gotten personally involved with players who were struggling on court on previous occasions.
In 2011, Lahyani gave a heartfelt pep talk to a struggling Gaël Monfils during a match in Valencia.
And in 2016, he offered similar advice to another underachieving talent, Bernard Tomic.
In both cases, Lahyani didn’t get down from his chair. But the actions were otherwise very similar.
Did Lahyani’s bosses at the ATP sit him down after either of those incidents and tell him he had overstepped his job description? If they did not, perhaps Lahyani felt they were okay with it by default. To take that one step further, perhaps he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong.
If they did talk to him, and he disregarded that and decided to go rogue in his quest to help Kyrgios? The suspension would be more than deserved.
Asked about this very thing, ATP executive vice-president, rules and competition Gayle Bradshaw responded to tennis.life via email:
“We constantly communicate with our officials after each match. The decision made regarding Mohamed’s actions in the Kyrgios vs. Herbert (match) was based solely on the chair umpire actions in that match.”
Things couldn’t be sweeter for French Open quarterfinalist Marco Cecchinato.
The 25-year-old Italian, who will make his top-50 debut next week, will surpass $700,000 in prize money for the season.
But in his recent past are allegations of match-fixing – not from the Tennis Integrity Unit, but from the Italian Federation, which has been aggressive in pursuing these cases.
His original ban was 18 months, later reduced to 12 months and then eliminated completely, per the New York Times’ Ben Rothenberg, because the Italian federation missed a deadline during the appeals process.