Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have waded into the fiasco involving chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani and Nick Kyrgios, with both players offering contrasting opinions.

The US Open has been mired in controversy since the opening day with numerous faux pas including the organizers being branded sexist after French women’s player Alize Cornet was given a code violation for showing her sports bra on court while rectifying her shirt which was on wrong in between games.

The latest episode involves tennis’ controversy’s favorite child Kyrgios and chair umpire Lahyani, with the latter being accused of helping the Australian during his second round clash against Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Kyrgios went on to win the match against the Frenchman but his game seemed to improve after advise from the chair umpire when he was one set down and trailing 3-0 in the second. He came back to win the second set 7-6 before winning the next two 6-3, 6-0 to wrap up the game.

The Australian cut a frustrated figure when things were not going his way and looked ready to throw in the towel like he has done in the past, but during a mid-game break, Lahyani decided to get off his chair and give Kyrgios a pep talk. In the video, the chair umpire can be heard telling the player “I want to help you” and reportedly also said “I’ve seen your matches: you’re great for tennis. Nick, I know this is not you.”

It is unheard of for a chair umpire to engage in such a long conversation with a player during a game, even if it was to advise him that he could be penalized if he does not put in his full effort. Kyrgios’ opponent Herbert was not happy after the game and admitted it was unnecessary for Lahyani to talk to the Australian and did not address the conversation between the two that was audible in the video.

The Frenchman was more incensed by the USTA’s statement, which completely failed to address the complaint and simply said the chair umpire was checking the Australian’s health. Herbert made it clear he was still waiting for an explanation from the organizers.

Roger Federer, who is set to play Kyrgios in the third round Saturday, has weighed in on the controversy and does not agree with the events and is clear it is not the referee’s job to get off his chair and have such a long conversation with the player. The Swiss ace insisted “conversations can change mindsets” and it seems like it could be the case.

“It’s not the umpire’s role to go down from the chair,” Federer said, as quoted on the Sydney Morning Herald. “I get what he was trying to do. He behaves the way he behaves and then you decide if you like it or you don’t like it.

“But you don’t go speak like that. I don’t know what he said, I don’t care what he said. It was not just about how you’re feeling, ‘Oh, I am not feeling well. He was down there for too long. It was a conversation and conversations change mindsets,” he added. “That’s why it won’t happen again and everybody knows that.”

Djokovic, meanwhile, has taken the chair umpire’s side by stating Lahyani, who is a little different from other umpires would not have meant to cause any harm. The Serb, however, made it clear he had not seen the video of the two in conversation.

“I understand why people, maybe Herbert, is upset because that has happened,” Djokovic said, as quoted by the Express. “Obviously it's understandable. A chair umpire should be neutral. ... But everybody who knows Mohamed knows as well he's quite different from others. He's always very positive, smiles, tries to bring that energy to the court. He likes to make a show, as well, out of it.

“Knowing Mohamed, I really don't think that he meant to do it for any other reason but to really try to help Nick to understand that if he continues doing that, he might get, you know, fined or penalty or whatever, or warning,” the Serbian added. “I haven't seen it, as I say. From I what heard, knowing Mohamed, I think he has done it in a friendly way.”