Alexander Bublik was sanctioned for coaching during his victory against Grigor Dimitrov in Marseille. A rule however authorized on the ATP Tour.
Since the middle of the year 2022, coaching is allowed on the ATP circuit. But obviously, the rule is still not very clear for the referees… or for the players! This Friday, during his quarter-final match against Grigor Dimitrov at the Open 13 in Marseille, Alexander Bublik was indeed sanctioned for coaching, to his great surprise.
The Kazakh had stood up a few seconds earlier during a change of side to be able to talk with his coach, Artem Suprunov, about his service. The two men exchanged a few sentences before the chair umpire, Arnaud Gabas, came to interrupt this discussion, which he considered not in order.
“He told me that coaching can’t be a conversation,” explained Alexander Bublik in a press conference after his win; “But what if I ask a question and the coach tells me to do something and I say, I don’t feel it? That’s what happened on my serve but I got punished…”
BUBLIK: “THEY DON’T KNOW THEIR OWN RULES”
This rebuke from the match referee did not disturb Alexander Bublik for the rest of the match as the 50th player in the world finally won the third set tie-break after saving two match points in the process. But the Kazakh spoke for almost two minutes about this incident and explained in the press conference that he would ask for explanations from the ATP so that the rules are clearer for everyone.
“I think the ATP needs to clarify their rules and if they allow coaching, it should be allowed all the way! It wasn’t to interrupt the game because that’s why I got up 40 seconds before the changeover. And of course, I had that conversation without breaking the rhythm of the game. No one becomes a coach by yelling a single sentence and saying “Bend your legs” or whatever. Maybe someone does, but it doesn’t work with me.”
“They don’t even know their own rules. It sounds ridiculous because you’re allowing coaching, but there are rules in that very concept of coaching. But that’s how the ATP rules are in there. Nobody knows why they’re there and why something happens the way it does.”
“Like with the time violation between serves, sometimes someone gives someone a warning and someone doesn’t, so no one knows why. But we’ll see. But we’re going to have a conversation with the ATP afterwards, because I want to have a clear vision of what’s going to happen in the future, because they need to change things.”
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