New York: Roger Federer set-up a US Open third round clash against Nick Kyrgios who found himself at the centre of an impartiality row after an umpire climbed down from his chair to tell him, “I want to help you”. Second seed and five-time champion Federer, 37, made it 18 wins in 18 second round appearances in New York by seeing off error-plagued Frenchman Benoit Paire 7-5, 6-4, 6-4. “I think it’s always tricky against Benoit, never quite the same point. Sometimes he plays very deep in the court, then he plays up in the court,” said Federer.
Kyrgios game creates storm
Also going through were Wimbledon champion and two-time US Open winner Novak Djokovic as well as Marin Cilic, the champion in New York in 2014. Kyrgios, 23, reached the third round by seeing off France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3, 6-0. However, the match created a huge storm after respected umpire Mohamed Lahyani lost patience with the under-performing 30th seed and climbed down from his chair to tell the Australian, trailing by a set and 3-0, to try harder. “I want to help you,” Lahyani could be heard saying. “This isn’t you. I know that. You are great for tennis.” A furious Herbert said that Lahyani had over-stepped the mark. Kyrgios, however, played down the incident.
Victory for ‘angry’ Djokovic
Djokovic downed Tennys Sandgren of the United States 6-1, 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-2. “I thought I played very well for the first two and a half sets and then I just lost it mentally. I got pissed off,” he said. German third seed Alexander Zverev made the third round for the first time in four tries after a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 victory over French lucky loser Nicolas Mahut. Seventh seed Cilic had a second successive easy day with a 6-2, 6-0, 6-0 rout of qualifier Hubert Hurkacz.
Kerber, Sabalenka through
Wimbledon women’s champion Angelique Kerber kept her bid for a second US Open title on track, outlasting Sweden’s Johanna Larsson 6-2, 5-7, 6-4. Belarus 26th seed Aryna Sabalenka continued her red-hot summer by seeing off 2010 runner-up Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 7-6 (9/7). Sabalenka has made the third round of a Slam for the first time.