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Dubai default: Has Rublo been spending too much time with The Rebel?

Dramatic scenes unfolded in Dubai on Friday afternoon between two UTS players, with Andrey “Rublo” Rublev and Alexander “The Bublik Enemy” Bublik clashing in the first of two semi-finals at the ATP 500 event.

The pair played over two hours of brilliant tennis, with both opening sets going to tiebreaks as The Bublik Enemy showed why he’s recently made his top 20 debut on the ATP Tour.

However, it was deep in the third set, with action sitting at 6-5 after the 11th game, where tensions boiled over. Rublo, typically known for being emotional on court, took things to another level after he believed a linesman had missed a crucial call on the baseline.

Rublo embraces his inner Rebel, gets defaulted in Dubai

The Russian got right in the face of the adjudicator, berating the man for what he felt was an incorrect call. It was a performance fitting of UTS’s Benoit “The Rebel” Paire, with Rublo well and truly melting down. 

Following the incident, another linesman – who could understand Russian – reported to the chair umpire that Rublo had said offensive words in his mother tongue. The chair umpire called the supervisor, and Rublo was defaulted.

Rublev insisted that he had been speaking in English and hadn’t crossed any lines, and even after Bublik declared he was willing to continue with the match, the default stood with the final score reading 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-5. 

“This is what we need to understand, that we cannot take players away, but we can easily take away the umpires, and that would solve many issues,” said The Bublik Enemy after the match, clearly unhappy with the way the match ended despite now moving through to an ATP 500 final for the second time in his career.