Social media and fellow players erupt with fury over Andrey Rublev disqualification

Rublev was disqualified after screaming at a lines person.

Christopher Pike/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

What happened with Andrey Rublev on Saturday is complex. During the third set after Alexander Bublik had just won a game to make the score 6-5 in one semifinal match at the Dubai Championships and during the changeover, Rublev approached a lines person and began screaming at them for what turned out to be a missed call. In such a tight match with a finals appearance on the line, had the call been correct then Rublev might have gone on to win the game and served out the match.

That last bit is the simple part. The problem is partly that Rublev has earned a reputation for exploding on the court in anger. He mostly does this toward himself, but he has directed his rage at others as well. By the strict interpretation of tennis rules, Rublev could have been seen as being abusive toward the lines person and could be disqualified. He was.

But the call was wrong and might have cost Rublev a tournament victory had he won in the final. Instead, he could lose any prize money from the vent and any accrued points since he was disqualified. The issue could have maybe been fixed if a video review of the point had simply been completed. But social media did not hold back in their thoughts.

Players and coaches take to social media to defend Andrey Rublev

Kasatkina is correct here in terms of points and money. While Rublev's outburst could have resulted in disqualification, the fact was that he was correct about the call. The linesperson was a bit intimidated, and Rublev should not have gotten in their face as he did, but the entire official should have handled the situation better. A bad call led to the outburst so Rublev had to pay twice for the error: Disqualification and potential loss of points.

The real hero in the whole ordeal was Alexander Bublik. He handled the stressful situation with class and defended Rublev, too. Post-match, Bublik said, "I highly doubt that Andrey said something so crazy, he is absolutely not that kind of person. I understand that they will have followed the rules, it’s really a shame that it ended like this, I would have preferred to lose 7-6 at third in this way."

Of course, whether Kyrgios is correct in saying Rublev did not warrant a default, is debatable. By the rules, he did. Again, though, had the call not been made in error, Rublev would have never reacted as he did.

This is the crux of the problem. Rublev screamed and was disqualified. He likely should have been. But video review should be available in every tournament already. Thankfully, the issue becomes moot on the ATP tour in 2025 because all events, except for some of the clay court tournaments such as the French Open, will have electronic line calls.

Davidovich Fokina refers to the words Andrey Rublev used and not the action itself. Rublev appeared to be talking in English the entire time to the officials but there was some question about if Rublev said a derogatory term in Russian. Even if that is so, would the lines person understand Russian?

You can see in the video above the entire event. The call was made and was in error and then Rublev did overreact. By rule, the disqualification was correct but the root of the issue was false. The call was bad and Rublev appears to have said nothing extremely derogatory and was speaking English.

Read more from Lob and Smash

manual