US Open 2018: Nick Kyrgios booed on court following heat row but gets last laugh as he beats Pierre-Hugues Herbert after umpire pep-talk

NICK KYRGIOS was a target of the boo boys once again – but the Aussie had the last laugh.

With the scorching New York temperatures making life very difficult for the third day on the spin, Kyrgios, 23, looked close to quitting his second round clash against Pierre-Hugues Herbert after losing the first set.

 Nick Kyrgios was booed by the US Open crowd after struggling with the heat during first set

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Nick Kyrgios was booed by the US Open crowd after struggling with the heat during first set

The no30 seed was playing in slow motion.

He was barely moving his feet – and the catcalls began to rain down.

Things got so bad umpire Mohamed Lahyani even came down from his perch and tried to give the shattered Aussie a pep-talk.

He was heard to be saying: “I want to help you. I’ve seen your matches, you’re great for tennis. I know this is not you.”

 Kyrgios has been vocal in his criticism of US Open chiefs amid brutal temperatures in New York

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Kyrgios has been vocal in his criticism of US Open chiefs amid brutal temperatures in New York
 Nick Kyrgios needed a pep-talk from umpire Mohamed Lahyani to inspire him to continue

USA TODAY Sports
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Nick Kyrgios needed a pep-talk from umpire Mohamed Lahyani to inspire him to continue

It seemed to have a magical effect on Kyrgios who went on to win 19 of the next 25 games to storm into round three.

His serve was on fire and reached 142 mph – the joint fastest at the tournament so far.

Kyrgios, who blasted US Open chiefs on Monday for making stars play in such brutal temperatures, was clearly struggling but the court 17 fans made their feelings known – before cheering him to the rafters after completing an ultimately comprehensive 4-6 7-6 6-3 6-0 win.

Yet during a bizarre passage of play in the second set which saw him fall 1-4 down, the natives began to get very restless.

 Nick Kyrgios came from a set down to defeat Pierre-Hughes Herbert at the US Open

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Nick Kyrgios came from a set down to defeat Pierre-Hughes Herbert at the US Open

One screamed at him to get off so the next match involving Canadian Eugenie Bouchard could start early.

“You'll never have her,” Kyrgios replied with a smile.

Jokes aside, his US Open charge looked destined to melt under the burning Big Apple sun.

He was just throwing his racket viciously and serving like a crazed madman desperate to get home for his supper.

But once he settled down, Kyrgios' incredible power was just too hot to handle for the Frenchman who was totally overpowered by one of the most controversial, and fascinating, players on the planet.

Kyrgios lapped up the boos and said: "I love it. I love it. "When I was up 40-Love at the end, I put my ear to the crowd because I just wanted to hear them boo again. I loved it."

Grand Slam rules state officials have to remain impartial but Lahyani was cleared after a USTA probe.

Kyrgios said he had no problem with the umpire giving him words of encouragement.

Hilarious moment terrified Andy Murray filmed hurtling round a roller coaster with tennis pal Nick Kyrgios

He added: “It's ridiculous. He wasn't coaching me at all. I don't have a coach. I haven't had a coach for, like, years. Of course he wasn't coaching me.

“I'm not sure it was encouragement. He said he liked me. I'm not sure if that was encouragement. He just said that it's not a good look.

“Look. I wasn't feeling good. I know what I was doing out there wasn't good. I wasn't really listening to him, but I knew it wasn't a good look.

“I was down 5-2. If it was 3-0, and maybe if I would have come back and won six games in a row, fair enough.

But it didn't help me at all.”

Kyrgios couldn't help having a sly-dig at the doubters and joked: “If I was up a set and 3-0, and my opponent was getting that talk from Mohamed Lahyani, obviously an unbelievable tennis player, yeah, I wouldn't care less. I couldn't care less.

 Pierre-Hugues Herbert was critical of umpire Lahyani after his loss

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Pierre-Hugues Herbert was critical of umpire Lahyani after his loss

“Obviously you know he's achieved a lot in his tennis career. Mohamed, he had a big one.”

Herbert wasn't happy and added: “The umpire doesn't have to do that. He should just stay in the chair. He cares for Nick and the show because people started to leave when he was in a bad mood.

“I have never seen an umpire do that but it's not his job. It didn't affect me too much. Mohamed is a good umpire but I am going to talk about it with him.

“He made a mistake and perhaps he should be punished.

“Nick is an amazing player but sometimes mentally, he just isn't there. At the start he wasn't but he definitely was at the end when he kicked my ass.”

A USTA statement read: “Chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani was concerned Kyrgios might need medical attention and informed him that if his seeming lack of interest in the match continued, he would need to take action.”

Kyrgios plays Roger Federer in round three, as the Swiss maestro is confident there will be no repeat of the controversy.

After winning his second round match against Benoit Paire, he added: “That won't happen. It's not the umpire's role to go down from the chair. You don't go and speak like that.”

NICK KYRGIOS was a target of the boo boys once again – but the Aussie had the last laugh.