“Try to be a better player and a better person,” “Disappointed” Andrey Rublev finally breaks silence after controversial default in Dubai on allegations of swearing against line judge

The Russian shockingly won his appeal against the ATP and will continue to remain a Top-5 player in the ATP singles rankings.


“Try to be a better player and a better person,” “Disappointed” Andrey Rublev finally breaks silence after controversial default in Dubai on allegations of swearing against line judge

Andrey Rublev defaulted from the 2024 Dubai Championships (Images via IMAGO)

It has been a tough few days for Russian No. 2 Andrey Rublev. Looking to reach the finals at the Acapulco Open for the second consecutive season, it was a rather weird exit for him in the 2024 edition.

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Rublev was up against Kazakh No. 1 Alexander Bublik in the semi-finals. The two split the first two sets and both went into the tiebreaker. With Bublik serving in the 11th game with the score at 5-5, the final point of the game eventually became the final point of the match.

Rublev had a big meltdown against a line judge. He was eventually accused of swearing in Russian after one of the officials approached the chair umpire who then called the tournament supervisor. As a result, Rublev was defaulted from the match immediately sending Bublik into the finals.

As per the official ATP rulebook, if a player is defaulted, he loses all of his prize money and ranking points from the particular week. The same happened with the 15-time Tour title winner. But he refused to accept it and instead challenged the decision.

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To his fortune, the decision was overturned and the prize money and ranking points were returned. This ensured Rublev remained ranked fifth in the world. He was however fined $36,000 as a fine for his actions.

Taking to his Instagram stories, the Russian posted a long message giving his unfiltered take on the whole situation. He admitted to being grateful for the support he received and pledged to improve his behavior in the future.

I want to thank the appeal committee for approving my appeal and changing course on the ATPs initial decision of disqualifying me from the Dubai semifinal and taking away the rankings points and prize money I earned last week. I hope that in the future, the ATP will take a closer look at this rule and make changes to it. 
Wrote Rublev.
So that an official can't force a match outcome without having clear evidence and not letting the player have a video review. While I am disappointed that I wasn't able to finish my semifinal in Dubai, I am grateful for all the support I had from you the last two days, I received a lot of messages. 
Added the Russian.
Thank you to everyone supporting me, I promise I will learn from this and will try to be a better player and better person.
Concluded the Russian.

Alexander Zverev comes in touching distance of Andrey Rublev in the rankings

Despite retaining his ranking points, Rublev still lost 100 points. This was a result of his semi-final exit while he was a runner-up in 2023. He remains at the fifth spot in the ATP rankings with a total of 5010 points to his name.

Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev
Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev (Image via Open Source)

Getting closer to him is now World No. 6 Alexander Zverev. The German also played in Acapulco but lost in the first round itself despite being the number-one seed. As a result, he lost 135 ranking points taking his tally to 4950. Had he made a better run, he could have replaced Rublev but now has to wait longer.

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