Rublev disqualified from Dubai ATP for angry outburst at umpire

Russia’s Andrey Rublev has been disqualified from the Dubai ATP tournament after reportedly using abusive language towards a line umpire during a heated outburst on Friday. The decision means that Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik will play in the final.

It was a very even match between Andrey Rublev and Alexander Bublik for a place in the final of the ATP tournament in Dubai. When Rublev had a moment of frustration at 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/5), 6-5, he loudly expressed his displeasure to a line umpire. Another official accused the second-seeded player of using offensive language in Russian towards his colleague. 

Rublev insisted he was speaking in English and had not used obscene language, but despite his protestations, the 26-year-old was disqualified. Bublik tried to persuade Bley and ATP supervisor Roland Herfel to allow the match to continue, but the decision was final, and the match came to an abrupt end.

“I would have preferred to lose 7-6 in the third than to win the match like that. We could have played one of the greatest matches we played against each other in front of a packed crowd in Dubai. It’s a pity that it ended like this,” said Bublik after the match.

Spanish player Alejandro Davidovich criticised the sanction as “shameful.” “It is very unfair to disqualify Rublev without first making sure that what the line judge understood is correct. This rule should be reviewed and changed. Shameful. We need VAR in tennis,” the world number 24 wrote on X.

“We have this proof every week that we don’t have these problems when the tournament is with electronic line-calling. The players are not going crazy. It’s our passion. We play for it and we live for it. We grew up dreaming of playing in these stadiums. We can take away every referee and that would solve a lot of problems,” Bublik explained.

The result also means that Bublik has broken into the top 20 for the first time in his career, marking a historic moment as he becomes the first male player from Kazakhstan to crack the top 20 in the ATP rankings when they’re updated on Monday.

The seventh seed will meet fifth seed Ugo Humbert in the final. The French booked his place in the final by beating another Russian, the defending champion Daniil Medvedev, with a score of 7-5, 6-3. The match lasted one hour and 51 minutes and Humbert improved his record against top-five opponents to 4-3 and against Medvedev to 3-1.

Bublik, who came into the match with an 8-0 record in deciding sets this season, concluded with a clear message after Rublev’s episode on court: “We can’t take Andrey away. That is the problem. We cannot take away the players. It’s tennis because of the players, because we play this sport, not the other way round.”

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