Andrey Rublev Dubai Saga: 5 Infamous Disqualifications that Rocked the Tennis World

Published 03/01/2024, 12:25 PM EST

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Tennis tournaments are very likely to experience heated situations as players sometimes lose their cool during a tense match. The crowd in Dubai recently witnessed a similar situation as the authorities disqualified Andrey Rublev for using foul language during his match against Alexander Bulbik.

Turning pages of tennis history, the sport has marked several moments when famous players had to step out of the tournament because of being disqualified. Here is a list of the top five moments when players crossed the line and faced consequences.

1. Andre Agassi in 1996


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Back in the 90s, tennis legend Andre Agassi was a lot more than just a regular player. With his tremendous potential and skillset, the American ATP star dominated his opponents swiftly, but sometimes, was also seen stepping out of line.


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A similar incident was noted back in 1996 when the tennis star played against Daniel Nester at the Atlanta Open. While Agassi played an irrelevant shot because of which the umpire raised a call for ball abuse, he added another infraction by using curse words at the officials. This led to his disqualification from the tournament.

2. John McEnroe in 1990

Tennis legend John McEnroe was known for his amazing presence on the courts. While the tennis star also marked several moments where he lost his cool on the courts, his match against Mikael Pernfors at the Australian Open went down in history for all the wrong reasons.

The American tennis star faced a disappointing disqualification as he performed three code violations. Not stopping at that, McEnroe also indulged in an argument with the chair umpire, throwing verbal abuse at him.

3. Novak Djokovic in 2020

The 2020 season started off really great for Novak Djokovic. While the tennis star secured two massive victories at the Australian Open followed by the Dubai Open, little did he know that he was about to step into a depressing moment.

The Serb was in a match against the Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta during which he lost his cool and was hitting a ball out of the court in anger. Unlucky for him, the ball found its way to a line judge’s throat, leading to a disqualification for the Serbinator.

4. Alexander Zverev in 2022

The ATP Mexican Open caught the attention of media and fans worldwide as Alexander Zverev was imposed with a huge fine of $40,000. As the ATP star lost his cool during a match, he released his frustration by smashing his racket into the umpire’s chair.

Making the situation even worse for himself, he also used offensive language on the court, which added a sum of $20,000 to the charged amount against him. This moment had a huge impact on Zverev’s image, as he invited hate towards himself from the members of the tennis community as well as the fans.


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5. Daniil Medvedev in 2016

Daniil Medvedev has always been known for the fairness that he implies in his on-court performance. However, there was a moment when he stepped out of line and had to face a disqualification for dropping a racist comment at the chair umpire.


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During his match against Donald Young at the Savannah Challenger in 2016, the Russian tennis star questioned the decision-making of the chair umpire, blaming her for being impartial because of her race. This led to a direct dismissal of his participation in the tournament.

With these and several other moments marked in the history of tennis, it is clear that the sport can sometimes get on the nerves of the players. While it surely becomes hard to keep calm during these situations, the consequences lead to the addition of a negative filter along with a disqualification and several other implications depending on the magnitude of the action.


Written by:

Akshay Kapoor


One take at a time

Akshay Kapoor, a tennis writer at EssentiallySports, excels in crafting pieces that set new trends. His analytical skills riding on the back of certification in Digital Marketing help inject in-depth research as he covers the business undertakings of Tennis stars. Akshay’s articles touch the entire tennis spectrum, from iconic figures like Djokovic and emerging talents such as Holger Rune and Coco Gauff.
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Edited by:

Arunima Bhanot