Swedish tennis umpire Mohamed Lahyani provoked mixed reactions in the ATP 250 tournament in Gijon during the match between Andy Murray and Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina after a loud correction call. Some spectators started smiling and even laughing at the intensity of Lahyani’s intervention but others had to clutch their hearts.
Watch the video of the moment below:
Epic stuff https://t.co/AYGaKcPNqR — José Morgado (@josemorgado) October 11, 2022
Lahyani’s flesh was once hit by a strong return
During the 2020 quarterfinal of the ATP Rio Open between Austrian Dominic Thiem and Italian Gianluca Mager, a return from Mager hit the chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani by mistake.
Fortunately it was nothing serious and Layani was all smiles about the same after the incident.
¡SE SALVÓ LAHYANI!💥 Durante el partido con 🇦🇹 Dominic Thiem, el italiano 🇮🇹 Gianluca Mager casi baja de un pelotazo al umpire 🤣 pic.twitter.com/IJcLcL8F7E — Golf of Tenis (@golpedetenis) February 22, 2020
Wilander: “Lahyani is Roger Federer of tennis”
“Mohamed keeps the match in life”, Wilander recognized in an interview with L’Equipe.
“Because he creates energy on and off the court. His abilities as chair umpire reflect his personality. He is a little bit extravagant. When you meet him, it’s just excitement: ‘Heyy, how are you doing?’ On the chair, I find him amazing.
It’s not only about his eyes, but the way he lives the game. He is completely into the game. For me, he is the Roger Federer of umpires. Yeah, he was silly. But I think we need umpires like him, who are involved and who get other people involved.
Mohammad is very professional.”
Lahyani was once suspended
Lahyani encouraged Nick Kyrgios to make an effort in his US Open second-round encounter against Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in 2018, influencing the outcome of the match, which Kyrgios won in four sets.
Lahyani continued to officiate because the USTA indicated that even if the senior umpire committed a mistake, he would not have been sanctioned due to his extensive experience. However, ATP investigated the case and issued a statement in which they stated their decision.
“Despite the incident taking place at the US Open, under the jurisdiction of the United States Tennis Association, the incident was still subject to ATP disciplinary action due to Lahyani’s position as full-time ATP employee and the high standards the ATP requires of its chair umpires regardless of the event to which he or she is assigned, in order to maintain the integrity of the Tour”, ATP said.