WATCH: Angry Andrey Rublev thrown out of Dubai tournament amid amazing scenes

Kevin Palmer
Supervisor Roland Herfel, left, disqualifies Andrey Rublev during his semi final match with Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
Supervisor Roland Herfel, left, disqualifies Andrey Rublev during his semi final match with Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

Andrey Rublev’s infamous anger management issues finally caught up with him as he was defaulted amid extraordinary scenes at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Rublev was embroiled in an epic and angry battle with Alexander Bublik in the semi-finals of the tournament in Dubai, with racket smashes and explosions of anger a constant theme throughout the match from two notoriously hot-headed players.

Russian star Rublev took the first set on a tie-break before Bublik struck back in the second set tie-break.

Rublev appeared to have the upper hand in the deciding set and was close to securing a double break that would have finished off his increasingly disheartened opponent.

Yet with the at 6-5 to Bublik, one of the linespeople approached the chair umpire to report what he heard Rublev mutter in his direction.

Rublev screamed into the race of the official as he insisted a ball on the baseline should have been called out, with the level of anger he displayed inspired an instant default.

There was a suggestion that Rublev was speaking in Russian, with the linesperson claiming he had used expletives in his direction.

Supervisor Roland Herfel confronted Rublev with the accusations and the Russia star was quick to deny making the comments.

There were several minutes of arguments on court and Bublik offered to continue the match, but the decision was made to throw Rublev out of the tournament.

“I didn’t say that,” protested Rublev. “I was not speaking Russian. Look at the video. I didn’t say that.”

Rublev continued to protest his innocence, insisting he was speaking in English, while Bublik also backed his opponent.

“I didn’t say ‘f******’. I swear to God. This is huge. I swear to God.”

The offence would usually merit a warning in the first instance, but the 26-year-old was defaulted by umpire Miriam Bley amid jeers from the crowd in Dubai.

This is far from the first time Rublev has allowed his anger to get the better of him, with his outburst at last year’s ATP Finals sparking concerns over his mental health on court.

Rublev appeared to be emotional as he left the court, with the fans in Dubai stunned by the scenes that had unfolded before them.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” declared commentator Nick Lester on Sky Sports.

“Rublev is clearly saying he didn’t say what he is being accused of saying, but this is done now. The match is over.”

Lester’s co-commentator Arvind Parmer also gave his views as he added: “It just shows you how heavily the umpire relies on those lines people to catch what the players are saying. They might not be there next year with electronic line calls coming in.”

Tennis365 spoke to the Russian star at the UTS Finals in London in December and he offered up these comments to explain his frustrations.

“You work on it every day,” Rublev told Tennis365. “There are many things in life that are stressing us out and make us very angry.

“You can practise how to be calm when you want to explode everything. Then my coach has the psychology lessons.

“I have lost some matches because of myself. That is the reality and that makes it harder.

READ MORE: Andrey Rublev reveals anger management treatment and reacts to offer of help from Nick Kyrgios

“To play your best you need a clear mind, but my emotions don’t always let me do that. I know I need to work on it, but it is not easy.

“I want to improve mentally and be ready for those big moments of majors to take my chances when I face the same opponent again.

“At this level, it’s not about tennis, it’s about little details like who is more mentally ready in that moment and who’s feeling better on that day.”

The fall-out from this incident is likely to have big ramifications for Rublev, as he may lose his prize money from this event and face sanctions from the ATP.

He may well appeal any punishment and insist on video evidence being used to clear his name if he continues to insist he did not say use the words the lines person suggested he muttered on court.