Andrey Rublev seethes over line calls as he drags Rafael Nadal into row after another ‘drama match’

Shahida Jacobs
Andrey Rublev in action
Andrey Rublev gestures during his tennis match

Another match, another Andrey Rublev argument with a chair umpire with the world No 8 insisting he was on the receiving end of some wrong calls during the clash against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Rublev booked his place in the fourth round of the Madrid Open with a 7-6 (12-10), 6-4 victory on Sunday, but his match was once again filled with “drama” as there were a couple of controversial calls.

The first contentious point came midway during the opening set on the Davidovich Fokina serve as the Spaniard hit a shot that was called long by the line official, but the call came before Rublev had a chance to play the ball.

The Spaniard challenged the call and the ball was found to be in and the point was awarded to Davidovich Fokina, much to the frustration of his opponent.

Rublev’s argument was not that the ball was in or out, it was the fact that the call was made before he attempted to play the ball as he got into a heated debate with chair umpire Adel Nour.

“I swear I know I bring the ball out, I’m not saying anything. He called it before I [played the] shot,” he argued.

He added: “The same thing with Rafa happened yesterday, exactly the same. Now I start to think that we need only machines on court instead of referees. I respect, I know that I bring the ball out. I won’t say anything. But he called it before I played the shot.”

There was also drama during the Nadal-Alex de Minaur match on Saturday as Nadal failed to officially challenge a call that replays showed went out.

As for Rublev and Nour, the official told the Russian: “This is what I’m trying to tell you. For me, the call came after you hit the ball. That’s why it did not affect you, I have to judge.”

There was a second disputed call later in the match as a Rublev shot was initially called out, but the electronic line technology showed it was in.

Nour ordered that the point be replayed as he felt the Spaniard didn’t have a fair crack at the shot before the call was made.

After the match, Rublev admitted there always seems to be drama when he takes on Davidovich Fokina.

“I mean I understand Alejandro and I feel sorry because all the matches that we played was this drama,” he joked.

“I was saving set points or I was break down or set down and we had always these drama matches. And he knows this as well and was yeah, understandable moment.”

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