Tennis news
into your inbox

Thousands have already subscribed


Sanctioned for coaching, Bublik calls on ATP for more clarity on rules

Bublik was sanctioned for coaching during his victory over Grigor Dimitrov in Marseille – even though it is allowed on the ATP circuit

Alexander Bublik Alexander Bublik in Marseille (Proshots/Panoramic)

Since the middle of 2022, coaching has been allowed on the ATP circuit. But it seems that the rule is still not very clear for the umpires – or for the players.

Ons Friday, during his quarter-final match against Grigor Dimitrov at the Open 13 in Marseille, Alexander Bublik was sanctioned for coaching, to his great surprise.

The Kazakh had stood up a few seconds earlier during a change of ends 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 the discussion, which he considered not permissible.

“He told me that [coaching] cannot be a conversation,” explained Bublik in a press conference after his win. “But what if I ask a question and the coach tells me to do this and I say, I don’t feel it?

“That’s what happened. I told him I don’t feel the serve, and he told me go on, throw the ball differently, and I said I don’t feel it, and I got a coaching [violation].”

Bublik: They don’t know their own rules

This rebuke from the umpire did not disturb Bublik for the rest of the match as the player ranked 50th in the world finally won the third-set tiebreak, 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 just clarify their rules and if they allow coaching, allow it! It is not interrupting the play because that’s why I stood up 40 seconds before the changeover. I’m not the kind of guy to talk to someone to try to interrupt the game…

“Nobody gets coached by yelling and saying ‘Bend your legs’ or something. Maybe someone does, but not with me.”

He added: “They don’t even know their own [rules]. I knew I was going to get coaching [violation]. It sounds ridiculous because you’re allowing coaching, but you give a code violation for coaching. That’s how ATP rules are in certain ways. Nobody knows why they’re there and why something is happening: like with the time violation, sometimes somebody gives it, sometimes not, so nobody knows. But we’ll see. But we’re going to have a conversation with ATP afterwards, because I want to have a clear vision on how it’s going to be in the future, because they need to change things.”

People in this post

Your comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *