Star charged with ‘new tennis sportsmanship minimum’ after ‘disgusting’ acts led his opponent to have a panic attack
- Hungarian player left his rival crying
- Amarissa Toth removes ball mark with her foot
- Australian stars outraged by Toth’s behavior
Amarissa Toth has shocked the tennis world with a series of “disgusting” acts at the Budapest Open on clay that left her veteran opponent Zhang Shuai in tears.
Shuai, a former world number 22, withdrew from the event in a visibly distraught state after a protracted argument over a line call against her 20-year-old Hungarian opponent.
The drama unfolded in the first set when a ball was called that the popular Chinese player was convinced had landed.
‘Oh Lord. I need a referee. No way,” Shuai said, with commentators agreeing that it looked like the ball had reached the line and landed.
Shuai argued with the referee for several minutes before the tournament supervisor was brought onto the court to deal with the incident.
This is so heartbreaking, he called the physio and I think he just couldn’t handle the pressure and feelings when he started crying so he pulled out of the match, the reaction of the crowd and especially Toth, speechless. She didn’t deserve to be treated like this? pic.twitter.com/QVzqgPO7yy
— LorenaPopa ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ (@popalorena) July 18, 2023
Zhang Shuai was left in tears and unable to continue after a series of shocking acts by Hungarian player Amarissa Toth.
Toth could then be seen walking towards the mark of the disputed ball and scraping it with his foot.
Shuai shouted from his side of the net: ‘Wait, wait, wait, keep the mark! What are you doing? Why would you do that?’
Toth responded by saying, ‘Because you’re creating trouble, that’s why.’
Shuai won the game, but later became upset and called a doctor to the court.
Television commentators explained that Shuai was crying a “sea of tears,” with one calling the episode a “panic attack.”
The 34-year-old then withdrew from the match and quickly shook hands with the referee and Toth before pointing to sections of the crowd that had booed her.
Toth immediately celebrated the controversial win, throwing both hands in the air to cheers from her fans.
Toth (pictured) could be seen walking up to the disputed ball mark and scraping it with his foot before officials could take a closer look.
Zhang Shuai received an outpouring of support from his fellow tennis players after a controversial finish to his tournament.
“All the efforts in practice were wrong, because when you wanted to hit closer to the line, you even touched the line still OUT,” Shuai wrote later on social media.
“I love you guys and all the girls who support me and are (to) my side.”
Toth’s conduct during the match was criticized by fans and players as “disgraceful” and a “new low for sportsmanship”.
Australian star Ellen Perez took to social media to declare her disgust at the ordeal.
‘Well, that’s a quick way to lose respect from your peers. I am actually shocked at the level of disrespect from this girl,” Perez wrote.
‘If I see this girl tomorrow, I’ll tell her how upset I am.’
Ajla Tomljanovic also joined Shuai, posting on Twitter: ‘Absolutely disgusting behaviour. Shuai is a better person than many of us for shaking hands with the referee and that girl. But then again, it’s Shuai we’re talking about, of course he did it.’
Australian Daria Saville didn’t hold back either, posting: ‘Zero respect for this Toth girl. ZERO! I am so, so, so angry. I feel so bad for Shuai. Toth ‘won’ this point and ‘won’ this match, but his reputation is ruined.’
Australian doubles star Rennae Stubbs also weighed in to criticize Toth.
‘And that referee needs to find another job ASAP! She should be beaten for this too,” Stubbs wrote.
Shuai, one of the game’s most beloved and respected players, has previously spoken out about her mental health issues and recently broke down in tears after a loss at the French Open in May.