Andrey Rublev - Australian Open 2024

Andrey Rublev defended as ‘not this kind of guy’ after disqualification drama

Andrey Rublev has been defended by his opponent Alexander Bublik, after the Russian was disqualified for allegedly swearing at a line judge.

Rublev was looking to reach a third consecutive final at the Dubai Tennis Championships, with the match on serve as Bublik had just won a point to put him 6-5 up in the deciding set.

After a call did not go the way Rublev that saw it, the world No.5 approached the line judge and proceeded to shout in his face.

This led to that line judge detailing what was said to the main chair umpire, with it being suggested that Rublev called him a ‘f****** moron’ in Russian.

Rublev proceeded his innocence, arguing that he was not even speaking in his native language, but the 26-year-old was defaulted after the altercation.

As a result, Rublev has lost $157,755 in prize money and 200 ranking points for reaching the semi-finals at the ATP 500 tournament this week, which will force him to drop down to world No.6 on Monday.

This is something that was pointed out by Rublev’s WTA compatriot Daria Kasatkina, who labelled the default as ‘a joke’.

“So you can just default a player, take his points and money away, without even checking a video replay???” questioned Kasatkina on social media. “What a joke, another confirmation we need a VAR in tennis and electronic line calling on all tournaments.”

Kasatkina was not the only player to defend Rublev on social media, with Nick Kyrgios and Adrian Mannarino amongst many others to do so.

Bublik also supported his opponent after the match, “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.

“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.”

Bublik will bid to win the fifth title of his career this afternoon, when he takes on Ugo Humbert in the Dubai final.

Inside the baseline…

It was a very messy situation in Dubai yesterday afternoon, with Andrey Rublev completely out of line to shout at the line umpire the way he did, regardless of what was actually said. It is quite an ironic situation really, as Rublev had only just spoke of his desire to improve his mentality. Hopefully everyone in this situation can learn from it, because this cannot become an acceptable way to speak to those that are just trying to do their job.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.