Social media has field day with Nick Kyrgios-chair umpire discussion

NEW YORK -- Nick Kyrgios was caught in the middle of another controversy, this time during his third-round match against France's Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Kyrgios, down 6-4, 3-0, was hardly reacting to serves and looked lackadaisical with his returns. During a changeover, chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani got out of his chair, walked to Kyrgios and gave him what appeared to be a minute-long pep talk.

During his postmatch news conference, Kyrgios said he wasn't being coached by Layhani. He said Layhani told him, "This does not look good for the integrity of the sport," and that this exact same thing has happened to him in the past in Shanghai and two weeks ago in Cincinnati. He said he would be disappointed if Lahyani was sanctioned for his actions (which he was not).

Twitter had a field day with this surreal situation.

The WTA's Donna Vekic was not happy with what she saw.

After the match, Kyrgios immediately responded to Vekic's tweet with one of his own. Kyrgios would later take it down:

Kyrgios amended his response later:

As much as Kyrgios tried to diffuse the incident, the controversial question lingered: Did Lahyani cross the line from impartial judge to cheerleader or life coach or whatever you want to call it?

New York Times tennis writer Ben Rothenberg pointed out Lahyani has done this in the past.

When asked about it, Kyrgios' next opponent, world No. 2 Roger Federer, had a strident response:

We, of course. can't forget about Kyrgios' opponent. Here's what he had to say: