Rublev Defaulted for Screaming at Line Judge as Bublik Reaches Dubai Final

In the last set of a heated match against Alexander Bublik, Andrey Rublev yelled at a line judge, earning him a default from the Dubai Tennis Championships semi-finals on Friday due to unsportsmanlike conduct.

In a wild encounter in which both players yelled at the referees at different times, Rublev was defaulted by the chair umpire when it seemed that a Russian-speaking official had accused him of using profanity, while he also yelled at the line judge.

Disputed by the accusation, Rublev said he had conversed in English during the altercation.

Despite expressing his desire to finish the match, a bewildered Bublik—who rallied from a set down to lead 6-7(4) 7-6(5) 6-5—was given the victory.

The Kazakh, who was born in Russia, has resisted.

Another official, who spoke Russian, then confronted Rublev and appeared to accuse him of swearing at the line judge in his mother tongue, which the world number five vehemently denied.

But after a lengthy back-and-forth, the 26-year-old was disqualified.

“I highly doubt Andrey said something crazy. He’s not this kind of guy. But I guess that’s the rules. That’s what they did, they just follow the procedure,” Bublik told reporters.

“There’s not much to say. With all due respect, it was a great match and both of us deserved to win. The crowd was there and we could have played one of the greatest matches against each other. It’s a pity it ended like this.

“I wish Andrey to get back on track as soon as possible.”

The result meant that Rublev will lose his prize money and ranking points earned at the tournament and that there would be no repeat of last year’s title clash where he was beaten by fellow Russian Daniil Medvedev.

Top seed Medvedev also endured a disappointing outing as the world number four crashed to a 7-5 6-3 loss against fifth-seeded in-form Frenchman Ugo Humbert in the other semi-final.

Earlier, Rublev was a point away from an early break in the first set, but he raged at an umpiring call and allowed Bublik to hit back and build a 3-0 lead. He then calmed himself and clawed his way back to win the set in a tiebreak.

Having drawn level after a tense second set, Bublik smashed his racket and received a code violation for swearing after he was broken at the start of the next and argued with the umpire.

But all that paled in comparison to the scenes at the end of the match as Rublev was left to rue a missed chance to reach the final in Dubai for a third straight year.


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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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