Dubai scandal: Andrey Rublev was disqualified for insulting a linesman

The judge said he was verbally assaulted by the Russian tennis player, who yelled in his face after losing a point. The match was won by Kazakh Aleksandr Bublik 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5) and 6-5.

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Tennis - ATP 500 - Dubai Tennis Championships - Dubai Duty Free Tennis Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - March 1, 2024 Russia's Andrey Rublev talks to the umpire during his semi final match against Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
Tennis - ATP 500 - Dubai Tennis Championships - Dubai Duty Free Tennis Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - March 1, 2024 Russia's Andrey Rublev talks to the umpire during his semi final match against Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik REUTERS/Amr Alfiky

Russian tennis player Andrey Rublev, number five in the world, was disqualified from the Dubai tournament for insulting a linesman while playing in the semifinal against Kazakh Aleksandr Bublik.

After losing the eleventh game of the third set, Rublev angrily turned to one of the linesmen and cried out to him, screaming and in his face, for a ball that had gone too long for him.

The judge stated that Rublev had called him an “idiot” in Russian and although the second favorite in Dubai claimed that he was speaking in English, after the intervention of the supervisor he was disqualified by the German Miriam Bley, the chair judge. The match was in favor of Bublik 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5) and 6-5.

After qualifying for the final due to Rublev’s expulsion, Bublik said that “it’s a shame that it ended like this” and acknowledged that “I would have preferred to lose 7-6 in the third than win the game like this”.

The Kazakh tennis player also reflected on the technology used in some competitions: “When the tournament is held with electronic line calls, we don’t have these problems. Players don’t go crazy. We can eliminate any referee and that would solve a lot of problems.”

Another tennis player who referred to what happened with Rublev and who described his disqualification as “shameful” was the Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich, who in his X account said: “It’s very unfair that they disqualify Rublev without first making sure that what the linesman understood is correct. That rule should be reviewed and changed. Shameful. We need the VAR in tennis.”

Because of the disqualification, Rublev, champion in 2022 and finalist last year in Dubai, not only lost the match against Bublik but also all the points and money he had earned to reach the semifinals. Thus, it will leave the top 5 of the ranking.

Bublik will define the title against Frenchman Ugo Humbert, who in the other semifinal surprised by defeating Russian Daniil Medvedev, the top favorite for the title and defending champion, with partials of 7-5 and 6-3.