Andrey Rublev shares what he told umpire in Dubai meltdown & what he’d tell him now

Andrey Rublev says he is the first to tell that his actions in Dubai were unacceptable but remains adamant that receiving a $36k fine and a disqualification for just using the word “moron” while unloading at a line umpire was simply too much. 

In late February and early March, Rublev was in the midst of a great Dubai run and put himself in a strong position to contend for the title. But then, Rublev’s promising Dubai run ended in the most unfortunate and bizarre way as he was defaulted from his semifinal match against Alexander Bublik after getting into the face of a line umpire. 

On Bublik’s game point late in the third set, Rublev felt that a line umpire failed to call a very blatant out. After losing that point and also the game, the Russian absolutely exploded at a line umpire, with another umpire claiming that the 26-year-old used foul language in Russian – which led to the world No. 6 being thrown out of the match. 

At the moment of the disqualification, Rublev and Bublik were on the court for two and a half hours and the Kazakh had a 6-5 lead in the decider. Bublik attempted to convince the chair umpire and supervisor to let the match continue but the initial call stayed. 

Andrey Rublev© Getty Images Sport – Christopher Pike


Later, Rublev was given a $36k fine and stripped of all of his Dubai prize money and rankings points. However, the 26-year-old Russian appealed and was able to at least retain his prize money and rankings from Dubai. 

“If we look at the situation as a whole, I think this is too much. Because, as I said earlier, I had much worse situations, and the punishments for them were much softer, warnings with a minimal fine. And I didn’t say half the things that were written in the report,” Rublev told Russian outlet Sport-Express.

“That’s why it was possible to refute this because there was video evidence that made it clear: I did not say exactly the things that were attributed to me. Thanks to this, my rankings points were returned. But still, a 36 thousand [dollar] fine and disqualification for the word ‘moron’ – based on all my experience in my career, this is too much. Although if we take my behavior, then I am wrong and, of course, this is unacceptable.”

Rublev: Doing what I did was wrong

After Rublev was left believing that he lost a point that he should won, he approached a line umpire and started angrily screaming in his face. The line umpire remained cool and didn’t make any reactions to Rublev’s actions but then another line umpire went to the chair umpire, alleging that the 26-year-old hurled obscenities and swore in Russian. 

That sealed Rublev’s fate despite the Russian’s big efforts to convince the chair umpire that he didn’t curse. 

While Rublev maintains that he definitely didn’t say everything that he was accused of, he admits that the act of getting into an umpire’s face and screaming at someone isn’t right.

“That, of course, in any case it is impermissible to raise your voice at a line judge – or at anyone in general. At a spectator, a chair umpire, a lineman, or some other employee. You shouldn’t raise your voice at all,” Rublev said.

“This is wrong, unacceptable and disrespectful. And this is even banal bad manners. I learned both this and the fact that some changes in the rules are still needed.”

Andrey Rublev
Andrey Rublev© Getty Images Sport – Christopher Pike


Rublev on what he would now tell the line umpire in question

When asked what he would do if he met the line umpire that he screamed at in Dubai, Rublev insisted nothing particular but would just wish him all the best in both professional and private life. 

“Never mind. Just so that everything is fine with him, so that he is healthy,” Rublev said.

Throughout his career, Rublev has been prone to outbursts and meltdowns but his Dubai meltdown was probably the biggest he has had in his career. Going forward, Rublev – who turns 27 in October – identifies balancing better his emotions on the court is the area he needs to improve.

“Find a balance of emotions. I’m an emotional person, and when there are too many of them, they can destroy me on the court. And when it’s too little and I’m overly calm, I can’t start,” Rublev explained.

“I look for that emotional energy all the time because it allows my game to improve. Even more so than physical condition or tactics.”

Andrey Rublev
Andrey Rublev© Getty Images Sport – Christopher Pike


Since the Dubai incident, Rublev hasn’t looked pretty well on the court as he suffered a surprise Indian Wells Masters third-round loss to Jiri Lehecka before picking up another shock defeat to Tomas Machac in his Miami Masters opener. 

Rublev is now preparing for next week’s Monte Carlo Masters, where he is the defending champion.

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