Alexander Bublik, Nick Kyrgios side with Andrey Rublev after wild Dubai default

Bublik and Kyrgios react to Rublev being disqualified in Dubai for his outburst at a line umpire.

by Dzevad Mesic
Alexander Bublik, Nick Kyrgios side with Andrey Rublev after wild Dubai default
© Getty Images Sport - Christopher Pike

Alexander Bublik was not happy at all about Andrey Rublev's disqualification from their Dubai match and he is calling for the ATP to completely ditch line umpires and introduce the electronic line calling across all tournaments. 

On Friday, world No. 23 Bublik was in the midst of a brutal fight against fifth-ranked Rublev when the Russian exploded at a line umpire, and what was a great match up until that point, finished in a default. 

With Bublik leading 6-5 in the third set, Bublik approached a line umpire and unloaded at him - which led to a second umpire accusing the Russian tennis player of swearing at his colleague in Russian. After hearing of what he was accused of, Rublev insisted he was only speaking in English and didn't use any obscenities. 

Andrey Rublev and line umpire
Andrey Rublev and line umpire© Getty Images Sport - Christopher Pike

After chair umpire Miriam Bley disqualified Rublev, the 26-year-old attempted to convince her and supervisor Roland Herfel to change the decision. But nothing was changed and Rublev ended up disqualified from his Dubai semifinal against Bublik. 

At the time moment of the disqualification, the match was going on for about two and a half hours. Also, the score was 6-7 (4) 7-6 (5) 6-5 in Bublik's favor. 

"I would have preferred to lose 7-6 in the third than to win the match like this," Bublik said after the match, via AFP News.

"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."

Bublik defends Rublev, calls for ditching of line umpires

After progressing into the Dubai final via a Rublev disqualification, Bublik didn't hide that he was pretty frustrated and annoyed with the fact that a great tennis match could finish because a line umpire felt offended by one action. After making that clear, Bublik highlighted that getting rid of line umpires and using the electronic line-calling system across all tournaments would ensure something like this never happens again. 

Also, Bublik added that getting rid of umpires would "solve many issues."

Alexander Bublik
Alexander Bublik© Getty Images Sport - Christopher Pike

"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 said.

"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."

Nick Kyrgios also defends Rublev

After Bublik came to Rublev's defense and said that the match should have continued, 2022 Wimbledon finalist Kyrgios also issued his take on X, praising the Kazakh for his statement and also adding that the Russian should not have been disqualified. 

"Class from Bublik, saying he wanted to continue. Respect. Feel for Rublev. Did not warrant a default," Kyrgios wrote on X.

In the locker room, Rublev is actually considered one of the kindest and nicest guys on the Tour. But on the court, Rublev can get too emotional and passionate, which can then lead to outbursts and meltdowns. But when those outbursts and meltdowns happen, the 26-year-old Russian is usually directing them at himself - not at his opponent, chair umpire or line umpires. 

During last year's ATP Finals, Rublev had a stunning meltdown during his match against Carlos Alcaraz as he violently hit himself in the knee six times. As a result, Rublev got himself bloodied and required medical assistance on his knee before he was allowed to resume the match. 

Kyrgios, who was working for Tennis Channel as an analyst in Turin, was stunned by that scene.

“I mean, from someone who holds their composure pretty well, like myself, this is crazy. I’ve never done that, to be honest. I mean, he needs a knee," Kyrgios said in Tennis Channel's studio. 

Nick Kyrgios and Andrey Rublev
Nick Kyrgios and Andrey Rublev© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

On Friday, Rublev apologized but didn't issue any statements regarding the incident. It will be interesting to see what will Rublev say when he decides to publicly address the Dubai incident.

Alexander Bublik Nick Kyrgios Andrey Rublev