Frenchman Ugo Humbert stunned defending champion Daniil Medvedev of Russia to reach the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Friday.

In his first appearance at the Dubai tournament, Humbert set up a final clash with Alexander Bublik, the Russia-born player who represents Kazakhstan, with a 7-5 6-3 win over world number four Medvedev.

Earlier, Bublik was awarded the win when 2022 champion Andrey Rublev of Russia was defaulted from the tournament for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The dramatic match was tantalisingly poised in the third set at 6-5 when Rublev shouted at a line official.

The ill-tampered match, which eventually ended in favour of Bublik 6-7 (4/7) 7-6 (7-5) 6-5, saw several fiery moments with both players having a go at the German chair umpire Miriam Bley.

In between some astounding tennis, the two players often looked frustrated by some of the calls made by the German official.

But those moments failed to deter the players as they kept hitting some amazing shots to punish each other.

In the end, Rublev was punished in the most dramatic of fashions for losing the plot after he screamed at a line official over a call.

The world number five was bidding to reach his third straight final in Dubai, having won the tournament in 2022 and finished runner-up to Medvedev last year.

Meanwhile, Medvedev's bid to become only the third player after Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to defend the Dubai title ended in disappointment as he lost in straight sets to Humbert in the second semifinal.

This was Medvedev's third defeat against the left-handed Frenchman in four career meetings.

Medvedev, who was hoping to bounce back from the heartbreaking five-set Australian Open final loss to Jannik Sinner in January, never found his rhythm against the crafty Humbert on Friday night.

The 25-year-old French player came up with the tactic of playing long rallies and it worked against his Russian opponent.

"I played the perfect match today, it was one of my best matches. It's never easy to play against Daniil. It was really an amazing win," Humbert said at the post-match on-court interview.

Remarkably, Humbert has never faced Bublik, his opponent in Saturday's final, in the past.

"It's going to be interesting, he plays beautiful tennis. It's going to be a good final and I am super happy and hopefully I will play a good match tomorrow," he said.

Humbert will go into Saturday's final on the Dubai Centre Court with the perfect record, having won all five of his title-deciders in his career.

"Yes, it's a good statistic, I will try to win tomorrow. It's going to be an interesting match, I will try to keep the good statistic," he said.

The singles final will start at 7 pm on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Austin Krajicek of the US will take on Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany and Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands in the doubles final which starts at 4:30 pm on Saturday.

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