A raft of Australian tennis players have condemned the 'disgusting' behaviour of Amarissa Toth in a match that saw popular veteran Zhang Shuai retire in tears. Toth and Shuai were battling it out at the Hungarian Open on Tuesday when drama erupted at 5-5 in the first set.
One of Shuai's balls was called out by the line judge, but the Chinese player was convinced it was in and should've been a winner. Shuai remonstrated with the chair umpire and called for the match supervisor to come to court.
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However before the official could get there, Toth casually walked over and blatantly rubbed out the ball mark with her foot. There is no line technology used on clay courts, with umpires often using the mark left by the ball to determine their calls.
Shuai was left incredulous at Toth's actions, asking her opponent why she would do that. “Because you’re making problems, that’s why," the Hungarian player responded.
A spectator then yelled 'time violation' during Shuai's protests, which Toth could be seen laughing at. Shuai went on to win the game but was relentlessly booed by spectators and ended up retiring from the match as the situation proved too much. Toth was then seen celebrating her opponent's retirement, a move widely despised in the tennis world, before suggesting she would have won anyway.
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
Tennis world reacts to 'absolutely disgusting' scenes
Aussie doubles player Ellen Perez wrote on Twitter: “Well that’s a quick way to lose respect from your 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.
“I can’t stand bad umpiring. So the call is atrocious and how Shuai handled it is how every player would have handled it. The ball is clearly in and at such a tight moment there is zero per cent chance you don’t fight this until the death. Then you have the crowd yelling at you.
“Then you have the girl laughing at the situation, then you have her yelling the biggest come on, then you have her erase the mark after being asked not to and with attitude saying you’re making it a problem, then her celebrating the win, then her implying she would have won anyway.
“There’s only so much one can handle before the blood is boiling and emotions get the better of you. I am not even on the court and legit fuming at this whole situation. I can’t even imagine how Shuai was feeling in the moment. Tough to see cause Shuai is the nicest girl.”
Fellow Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic posted: “Absolutely disgusting behaviour. Shuai is a better person than a lot of us for shaking the ref and that girl’s hand. But then again it’s Shuai we are talking about, of course she did”.
Daria Saville added: “Zero respect for this Toth girl. ZERO! I am so so so mad. I feel so bad for Shuai. Toth ‘won’ this point and ‘won’ this match but her reputation is ruined.”
Australian doubles great Rennae Stubbs wrote: “And that umpire needs to find another job ASAP! She also should be getting hammered for this."
Shuai has previously spoken about her mental health issues and broke down in a press conference at the French Open in May. “All efforts on practice was wrong, because when you wanted hitting closer to the line, even touched the line still OUT,” she later wrote on social media. “I love you guys and all girls who supporting me and standing (by) my side.”
you forget to mention the post match celebration which is a terrible look and how in the post match interview she implies she was on her way to winning anyway. Toth does plenty to provoke Shuai and does plenty to show she's not willing to do the sportsmanlike thing when she could
— Ellen Perez (@EllenPerez95) July 18, 2023
erasing the ball mark and celebrating when your opponent retires from the match is a new low for sportsmanship in tennispic.twitter.com/lU3ORaGL7T
— Ryan (@Some1NamedRyan) July 18, 2023
Shocking scenes in Budapest:
Facing a local player, Zhang Shuai got robbed in a mark at 5-5, complained about the situation, was ignored and then booed. Retired minutes later with a panick attack — she admitted some mental health concerns recently. pic.twitter.com/JksMUzOHsI
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) July 18, 2023
A glaring display of bad sportsmanship.
Shuai Zhang’s opponent, Kiara Toth, erased a ball mark as Zhang was pleading to speak with a supervisor about a bad call
“Wait, wait, keep the mark”
Zhang was booed & retired from the match
Awful. Just awful 💔
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