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Umpire ‘pep talk’ row is just latest drama in the Nick Kyrgios soap opera

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The tennis player is one of the most unpredictable athletes in the world, but he can always be relied on for drama

The main interview room in the bowels of Arthur Ashe Stadium was as packed with reporters and cameramen as you’ll find it after a second-round match on an otherwise routine Thursday afternoon during the first week of the US Open.

The occasion was an audience with Nick Kyrgios, the mercurial Australian star who an hour earlier had seen off the Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert amid sweltering heat and humidity on the fully exposed Court 17, where after what appeared to be a public unravelling was curtailed by an unusual intervention from the chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani, who descended from his chair and entered an exchange with the world No 30 that many onlookers, particularly those privy to the intimate angles and sound captured by the television cameras and on-court microphones, was interpreted as a pep talk.

Related: US Open: Nick Kyrgios gets pep talk from umpire to set up Federer clash

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