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Andrey Rublev disqualified for embarrassing act towards line judge in Dubai semi-final

The Russian was defaulted for unsportsmanlike conduct after screaming in the face of a line judge.

Pictured Andrey Rublev
Andrey Rublev was defaulted from his semi-final match at the Dubai Tennis Championships for unsportsmanlike conduct after screaming in the face of a line judge. Image: Getty

Andrey Rublev was defaulted from his semi-final match at the Dubai Tennis Championships for unsportsmanlike conduct after screaming in the face of a line judge in the final set of a tense encounter against Alexander Bublik. The Russian lost his temper at the end of the third set and was accused of swearing at an official in chaotic scenes at the ATP Tour event.

Rublev denied the allegation, stating that he had spoken in English during the confrontation with the line official at the change of ends after disagreeing with a call. During an exchange with umpire Miriam Bley and a Russian speaker following the altercation, Rublev insisted: "I was not talking Russian".

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"I was talking first of all in English, not Russian, second I can say he was talking in a bad way too," Rublev said. "I didn’t say ‘f******’. I swear to God. This is huge. I swear to God."

A shocked and confused Bublik - who clawed his way back from a set down to lead 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5) 6-5 - urged the umpire to continue the match but Bley ultimately disqualified the World No.5 for his outburst. Following the match Bublik leapt to the defence of Rublev, saying his outburst was out of character and didn't believe he would have said anything "crazy".

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

"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 tennis world was shocked by Rublev's actions but fans were divided about whether the outburst deserved him to be disqualified.

Andrey Rublev and Alexander Bublik engage in fiery semi-final

Tensions had been simmering before Rublev's outburst after the momentum had swung in favour of Bublik. Rublev at one point led the match 7-6 6-7 4-2 and held three break points to move a game away from the final.

But Bublik clawed his way back to edge ahead 6-5 in the deciding set, at which point the Russian lost his cool at the line judge. Bublik also had moments where his temper got the better of him, receiving a warning for smashing his racket earlier in the third set.

TOPSHOT - Russia's Andrey Rublev reacts after a point against Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan during their semi-final match at the ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai on March 1, 2024. (Photo by RYAN LIM / AFP) (Photo by RYAN LIM/AFP via Getty Images)
After being defaulted, Andrey Rublev must forfeit all prize money and ranking points won at the tournament. Image: Getty (RYAN LIM via Getty Images)

After being defaulted, the Russian will forfeit all prize money and ranking points won at the tournament. The disqualification means Bublik automatically advances to Saturday’s final, where he will play Ugo Humbert, who upset top seed Daniil Medvedev in the other semi-final. The reigning champion Medvedev was swept aside by the Frenchman 7-5 6-3.

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