Dubai | Bublik and Humbert reach final after Rublev disqualification and Medvedev dethroned.

As the top two seeds, the Russians were on course to repeat their run of last year and reach the final of the Dubai Duty Free Championships but at the semi-final stage, the wheels came off!

I played the perfect match today. One of my best matches. It is never easy to play against Daniil but I was ready to play some rallies Ugo Humbert

First Andrey Rublev, seeded two, was dramatically disqualified from the ATP 500 level event in his semi-final with Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik with the match critically poised at one-set all with the Kazak 6-5 up in the third leaving the Russian to serve to force a final deciding tiebreak.

But something snapped in Rublev’s frustrated mind as he turned towards a male line-judge – no Hawk-Eye in Dubai – and, having taken exception to a call during the game, ranted in Russian as he walked towards him ending up gesticulating furiously in front of his face.


Andrey Rublev berates the line judge

(Photo by Christopher Pike/Getty Images)

Unfortunately for the 26-year-old Rublev, the line judge understood Russian and reported him leaving the match officials no alternative but to disqualify him for ‘unsportsmanlike conduct’.

While there was no explanation as to what was said, the matter was explained to Rublev while he sat in his chair, no doubt expecting the worst when he was told that the man he had verbally assaulted was familiar with his native tongue.

The umpire duly announced the decision to the stunned crowd and, while Bublik said he would be happy to continue, the decision was not reversed and they were left bemused as they had been watching a very tight contest over the two-hours, 26-minutes of action they did witness.

The final result in Bublik’s favour was 6-7(4) 7-6(5) 6-5 and a place in the final and a chance for the world No.21 to collect the fifth title of his career.

Meanwhile Rublev will forfeit all his points (200) and prize money ($157,755) for the week. He is also expected to drop out of the top five when the new rankings are announced on Monday.

Rublev’s compatriot, the defending champion and top seed Daniil Medvedev did complete his match without any undue off court distractions, but he was equally frustrated by his opponent, the 25-year-old Frenchman Ugo Humbert who stuck to his game plan to successfully dethrone him in straight sets after one-hour, 50-minutes.


Ugo Humbert enjoys his moment of success

(Photo by Christopher Pike/Getty Images)

Deploying an aggressive game, he kept the world No.4 on the back foot and by using his lefty swinging serve to great effect, posted a very satisfying 7-5 6-3 victory.

“I played the perfect match today,” a delighted Humbert said. “One of my best matches. It is never easy to play against Daniil but I was ready to play some rallies. With my title (Marseille) at the beginning of the year, I had a lot of confidence and tried to bring everything to court.”

Humbert saved seven of the eight break points he faced and hit 31 winners in what was their fourth encounter which he now leads 3-1.

In the final he will be chasing his sixth career title and second of the season. So far, he has never lost a final!


Daniil Medvedev couldn't find an answer

(Photo by Christopher Pike/Getty Images)


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