Andrey Rublev rips people who 'accused me of things I didn't do' in Dubai meltdown

Rublev admits his actions in Dubai were wrong but claims some things said about him just weren't truthful or fair.

by Dzevad Mesic
Andrey Rublev rips people who 'accused me of things I didn't do' in Dubai meltdown
© Getty Images Sport - Christopher Pike

Andrey Rublev acknowledged that he was wrong in taking it out on a line umpire in Dubai but highlighted that it wasn't fair for some people to use the situation to "accuse me of some things that I didn't do" during the incident. 

Late in his Dubai semifinal against Alexander Bublik, Rublev was left furious after he felt that a line umpire missed a key call in a point that gave the Kazakh a 6-5 lead in the third set of their match. Moments after, the 26-year-old Russian approached the line umpire and started screaming in his face in a wild meltdown. 

Another line umpire - who was Russian apparently - accused Rublev of swearing in Russian and that led to the world No. 5 being disqualified after the supervisor paid a visit to the court. During the discussion, Rublev strongly denied that he was swearing in Russian. 

Andrey Rublev
Andrey Rublev© Getty Images Sport - Christopher Pike

After arriving in Indian Wells for this week's opening Masters 1000 tournament of the season, Rublev spoke with Russian sports journalist Sofya Tartakova. In one of the first questions, Rublev was asked about the criticism that he received because some fans felt that he didn't make a really big effort to apologize to the line umpire. 

"Of course, I was disturbed, too. So, by now, I've apologized several times," Rublev told Tartakova.

When asked it if was hard to apologize, the 26-year-old Russian insisted not at all because he would be the first to admit that he was wrong. 

"No, not hard at all (to apologize) because it was my fault and it's unacceptable to behave like that, to raise my voice like that. No matter if it's a line judge, a fan, or just a regular person. I am no one to allow myself such things doesn't matter if a person has been correct or not," Rublev said. 

"Such things are unacceptable in general, it's disrespectful. So of course, I feel guilty about it, and I'm ashamed that I allowed myself to do such things, it just never (gained such attention).

"To be honest, I have been allowing myself similar things many times before that incident."

Rublev: I was accused of things I didn't do

While Rublev made it clear that getting into the umpire's face and screaming at him wasn't right, he also took an exception with everything that was said about the incident afterward. According to Rublev, some went too far and started accusing him of things that he absolutely didn't do during his Dubai meltdown. 

"It was also difficult because I was being accused of things I didn't do," Rublev said.

"Of the words that I didn't say. I talked to them, it was all discussed and watched, then, after the discussion you suddenly see that they've added even more words that you didn't say.

"I wasn't even offended. I just didn't understand how, we've talked it over, you can see it clearly, you can hear it clearly. 

"I just wanted justice. I just wanted to be fair. At least punish me fairly for what I've really done: For screaming at a person, for swearing at a person. It was indeed unacceptable to punish me for that."

Rublev avoided the worst-case scenario after his Dubai meltdown

Rublev being disqualified from his Dubai semifinal match wasn't even the worst thing to happen because in that situation he was also set to lose all of his Dubai ranking points and prize money - it was 200 ranking points and $157,755 in tournament prize money. But after appealing to the ATP, Rublev received good news earlier this week and learned that he would keep his Dubai ranking points and prize money.

When it comes to the $36,400 fine Rublev received for his unsportsmanlike conduct, that's something that stood in place.

“The appeal process took into consideration testimonies from the player, officials, as well as a review of all available video and audio materials," the ATP said in a statement on Monday. 

“The appeals committee concluded that, beyond forfeiting the match, customary penalties associated with a default – namely loss of rankings points and prize money for the entire tournament – would be disproportionate in this case.

"As such, Rublev retains semi-final points and prize money for the tournament. A fine of $36,400 for the code violation remains.”

Andrey Rublev
Andrey Rublev© Getty Images Sport - Christopher Pike

Meanwhile, Rublev is the fifth-seeded player in Dubai this week and he is scheduled to start his campaign on Friday by taking on former world No. 1 Andy Murray, who defeated David Goffin in the first round. For Rublev and Murray, this will be their third meeting as their current head-to-head stands at 1-1. 

Going into the match, Rublev is the absolute favorite considering that he is 14-4 this year while Murray is just 3-6.

Andrey Rublev