Zhang Shuai and (inset) Amarissa Toth (Twitter)
Zhang Shuai suffred a panic attack and retired in tears after Amarissa Toth erased a ball mark on the clay court.
China’s Zhang Shuai retired from her Hungarian Grand Prix match in tears on Tuesday after her local opponent Amarissa Toth erased a ball mark on the clay court following a disputed line call.
Second seed Zhang hit a crosscourt forehand that appeared to land on the line but was called out by the line judge. The chair umpire then stepped down to take a look at the mark and confirmed the ball had landed outside the line.
Zhang was incensed by the call and asked to speak with the tournament supervisor.
The match continued for one more point but the disagreement over the disputed call continued, before Toth walked up to the mark and used her shoes to erase it.
I went to check the controversial point between Shuai Zhang and Kiara Toth and I really don’t have words for how bad the umpire was for this mark. @WTA it’s really time you do something and investigate these, they can’t make such big mistakes at this level. This is pure robbery pic.twitter.com/2jr6MY3tDU— LorenaPopa 🕵️♀️🎾 (@popalorena) July 18, 2023
And I want to know what happened anyways, as the line umpire seems to call it IN at first and then changed it??? pic.twitter.com/t9J7dyPVEt— LorenaPopa 🕵️♀️🎾 (@popalorena) July 18, 2023
This whole situation was so bad, I feel so sorry for her, she was right and she was mocked by the crowd + her opponent started giggling… pic.twitter.com/UQ41eZlcxt— LorenaPopa 🕵️♀️🎾 (@popalorena) July 18, 2023
Wow I can’t believe this, Toth went to wipe the mark despite Zhang keep shouting ”wait wait, keep the mark” pic.twitter.com/qtKC7KGyAO— LorenaPopa 🕵️♀️🎾 (@popalorena) July 18, 2023
“Wait, wait, wait! Keep the mark,” Zhang yelled. “What are you doing? Why would you do that?”
Zhang looked visibly distressed during the changeover and a physio was called to check on her before the world number 28 opted to retire while trailing 6-5 in the opening set of their round of 32 match in Budapest.
The home crowd jeered Zhang’s retirement, while Toth shook hands with her before putting her arms up in celebration.
Zhang later took to Instagram to complain about the call and thanked those who supported her.
The Hungarian’s behaviour was swiftly condemned by fellow players on social media.
“Absolutely disgusting behaviour,” Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic wrote on Twitter. “Shuai is a better person than a lot of us for shaking the ref and that girl’s hand.”
All efforts on practice was wrong , because when you wanted hitting closer to the line , even touched the line still OUT …..I love you guys and all girls who supporting me and standing my side pic.twitter.com/ZZt28KdbRE
— Shuai Zhang (@zhangshuai121) July 18, 2023
Australian doubles player Ellen Perez said Toth had lost the respect of her peers.
“I’m actually shook by the level of disrespect from this girl… If I see this girl tomorrow I will tell her how disgusted I am.”
Ajla Tomljanovic also took to social media to post: “Absolutely disgusting behavior. Shuai is a better person than a lot of us for shaking the ref and that girls hand. But then again it’s Shuai we are talking about , ofc she did.”
“Zero respect for this Toth girl. ZERO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so so so mad. I feel so bad for Shuai,” Daria Saville postedon Twitter.
(With inputs from Agencies)