2 Days After Andrey Rublev Controversy, Reilly Opelka Finds a Way to Defend the Russian’s Actions

Yet again, Andrey Rublev was caught off-guard on the court on Friday at the Dubai Open. The 26-year-old Russian was disqualified from the tournament for unsportsmanlike conduct during his semifinal match against Alexander Bublik. Two days have passed since that incident and reactions are still coming surrounding the controversial saga. American tennis star Reilly Opelka recently shared his take on the subject.

The tall American tennis sensation stated that the linesman should be moved to Pickleball. But what exactly happened on that day? Let’s have a look at that incident and the reactions that have come to it over the last few days, including Opelka’s.

“Bush League” – Reilly Opelka on the Andrey Rublev saga


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Alexander Bublik was leading by 6-7(4),7-6(5),6-5 when Andrey Rublev was defaulted. How did it start? During the match, a return made by Bublik landed very close to the line but there was no call. However, a few shots later, a similar return made by Rublev was called out. As a result, it led the Kazakh to hold his serve in the deciding set.

As soon as the point ended, Rublev was seen walking towards the line judge and screaming at him asking how he failed to see the previous ball hit by Bublik, which, according to him, landed out. Supervisor Roland Herfel swiftly moved on to the court to cool down the situation. He called the line judge in question first, and then another Russian-speaking line judge was called in, who later on confirmed that Rublev had sworn in Russian.

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Although Rublev completely denied it, he was defaulted by umpire, Miriam Bley. Relating to that incident, Reilly Opelka commented, “Bush League..linesman should get demoted to Pickleball asap.” But what did Rublev say to defend himself?

Andrey Rublev stated he was speaking in English and added, “I didn’t say ‘f****’. I swear to God. This is huge. I swear to God.” Later on, Bublik also stood beside his long-time friend stating, “I highly doubt Andrey said something crazy, he’s not this kind of guy.” Alexander Bublik felt sad with the abrupt ending to this tight contest and wished Rublev to be back on the court as soon as possible. 

As a result, Rublev will now lose all of his prize money and points that he earned during the tournament. He will also drop down to 6th place when the rankings come out on Monday. Let’s have a look at some more reactions from the tennis world.


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“Feel for Rublev” – Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios, who has earlier offered help to Andrey Rublev with his anger management on the court, stated, “Class from Bublik, saying he wanted to continue. Respect. Feel for Rublev. Did not warrant a default.” However, fans didn’t like his comment as they brought in a similar incident surrounding Serena Williams‘ default at the 2009 US Open.

Even renowned tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg called such incidents like what Rublev did during the match should be ‘tolerated‘ at any cost. However, fellow Russian tennis star Daria Kasatkina stated, “So you can just default a player, take his points and money away, without even checking a video replay? What a joke.” She called for an electronic line calling on all tournaments.


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Even Coco Gauff‘s coach, Brad Gilbert admitted that having an electronic line calling should be mandatory now. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comment box.

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