‘F***ing moron’: Russian star DQ’d in ‘shameful’ drama after epic blow-up at official

Russia’s Andrey Rublev was defaulted from the Dubai ATP tournament for allegedly using obscene language in an angry tirade at a line umpire on Friday, gifting Alexander Bublik a place in the final.

Most of the deciding set was dominated by arguments between Bublik and chair umpire Miriam Bley over the timing of the introduction of new balls.

However, it was Rublev who lost his cool at 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/5), 6-5, yelling towards a line umpire, and getting accused by a different one that the second seed swore at his colleague in Russian.

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Rublev insisted he was speaking in English and that he did not use any foul language but the 26-year-old was defaulted after the second line judge, who speaks Russian, claimed foul language had been used.

Bublik tried to convince Bley and ATP supervisor Roland Herfel to continue play but the call was made and the match was over.

Herfelt asked the line referee: Did he say “f***ing moron”?

Rublev interjected: I didn’t say “f***ing.” What do you mean – “f***ing”? I didn’t say that! It’s a huge lie! I swear – I didn’t say that.”

The result also means Bublik has secured his top-20 debut and will become the first Kazakh man to crack the world’s top 20 in the history of the ATP rankings when the new standings are released on Monday.

“I would have preferred to lose 7-6 in the third than to win the match like this,” said Bublik after the match.

“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 it’s ended like this.”

Up next in the final for the seventh seed is French fifth seed Ugo Humbert, who ended the title defence of Daniil Medvedev with a 7-5, 6-3 win in one hour and 51 minutes.

Rublev found sympathy from Spanish player Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, a quarter-finalist in Dubai, who described the sanction as “shameful”.

“Very unfair that they disqualify Rublev without first ensuring that what the line judge understood is correct,” the world number 24 wrote on X.

“That rule should be reviewed and changed. Shameful. We need VAR in tennis.”

Russian Daria Kasatkina, the women’s world number 12, called the decision a “joke”.

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

She added: “I didn’t said that he is right. What I’m saying is that the supervisor has to have a 100% confirmation in front of his eyes before making such a decision” and further commented “Trust me, many times they lie”.

Rublev was stunned after being defaulted.
Rublev was stunned after being defaulted.Source: Getty Images

Rublev fought back from 0-3 down in the first set and played a solid tie-break to take the lead in 50 minutes, surviving 17 winners off of Bublik’s racquet.

The second set followed a similar pattern, with Bublik claiming an early break of serve but failing to maintain his advantage as Rublev forced a tie-break.

This time though, the big-serving Kazakh snatched the last four points of the breaker to take the semi-final into a decider.

Bublik, who came into the match with an 8-0 record in deciding sets this season, dropped serve in the opening game of the final set, and got into a lengthy argument with Bley about the timing of new balls coming into play.

He also received a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct for using obscene language in anger after getting broken.

Despite continuing to debate the issue with Bley during changeovers, Bublik managed to break back on a horrendous overhead miss from Rublev, who had seven break point opportunities to extend his lead over his opponent but couldn’t convert and the set was suddenly even at 4-all.

After Bublik held serve for 6-5, Rublev screamed towards a line judge in anger and soon received his marching orders.

Rublev had a heated argument with the court supervisor.Source: Getty Images

Bublik believes implementing electronic line-calling at all tournaments will help avoid such incidents moving forward.

“We have this proof every week that when the tournament is with electronic line-calling, we don’t have these troubles. Players are not getting crazy. It’s our passion. We play for this. We live for this. We grew up dreaming to be playing these stadiums,” Bublik explained.

“Then some guy who is working for three years as a line judge, staying there deciding something. Then you come up to the situation like this. Is it fault of Andrey? Maybe. Is it fault of the umpire? Maybe.

“If we take the umpire out, we cannot take off Andrey. That is the thing. We cannot take off players. Players will be there. It’s tennis because of the players, because we are playing this sport, not the opposite way around.

“We can take any umpire away — and that would solve many issues.”

Meanwhile, the left-handed Humbert snapped Medvedev’s eight-match winning streak in Dubai to improve to 4-3 head-to-head against top-five opposition and 3-1 overall in clashes against the Russian.

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