On-court dispute engulfing tennis: Chinese player’s panic attack after opponent’s ‘disgusting’ behavior sparks bitter blame game… and now it’s a RACISM dispute over ‘manipulated’ video
- Hungarian Amarissa Toth was at the center of a sports dispute on Tuesday.
- Cleared the mark for a tight line call against his Chinese opponent
- Hungarian tournament organizers have blamed China for ‘manipulation’
A dispute over sportsmanship at the Hungarian Grand Prix has escalated into a row of racism after tournament organizers accused China of ‘manipulating’ footage to make young local Amarissa Toth look bad.
The 20-year-old Toth faced China’s Zhang Shuai in the round of 32 and with the first set delicately balanced at 5-5, a contentious line went against Shuai.
As Shuai went to the net to check whether he was in or not, his opponent rubbed the mark with his foot, and the referee upheld the initial decision.
Screenshots of the ball marking clearly indicate that it was inside, and that the call should have been overturned, and Toth’s conduct was described as “disgusting” by fellow pro Ajla Tomljanovic on social media.
Shuai withdrew in tears the next game after suffering a panic attack, and Toth received further criticism online with Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur calling her behavior “not acceptable”.
Amarissa Toth deleted a contentious hotline call before Zhang Shuai could verify it
A screenshot indicated that the ball was on the line and that the call should have gone to Shuai.
The organizers of the Hungarian tournament have defended Toth after his behavior was described as “disgusting”.
But Hungarian tournament organizers jumped to Toth’s defense in a controversial Facebook post, blaming China for the media attention the incident received instead.
The statement read: ‘Amarissa did not decide if the ball was good or not.
It was the linesman’s decision and then the chair umpire. The Hungarian tennis player in the first WTA main draw match of her life may not have behaved in all situations, but she did nothing that could be described as lacking in integrity.
And there is no deviation, there are no misunderstandings. The Chinese are manipulating the world with a manipulative video.’
Former world number 19 Magda Linette criticized the response from the organizers, stating that it was “the worst response from a tournament I’ve ever seen”.
The WTA has now issued its own response to the statement, insisting that they are committed to eradicating discrimination from the sport.
“The WTA has zero tolerance for racism in any form or context,” the governing body wrote.
The dispute over sportsmanship has now turned into a dispute over racism, with many professionals siding with China’s Shuai (pictured)
Toth, 20, (above) has become unpopular after the incident, but has refused to apologize for his actions.
“The unfortunate incident that took place yesterday (Tuesday) at the Hungarian Grand Prix and subsequent postings are being reviewed and will be addressed.”
Toth and the Hungarian tournament organizers appear to be public enemy number one in the women’s locker room right now, and they’re not the only ones who have come under fire for their handling of the incident.
Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has also stated that the referee is “not in a position to declare matches” after showing very little interest in Shuai’s complaints.
Shuai argued with the official for several minutes after the controversial decision, but the referee stayed in her chair and gave Toth the point. Meanwhile, she was booed and booed by the home crowd.
Toth also showed little remorse for his actions, explaining to Shuai that the mark had been erased because his opponent was “causing trouble”.
Martina Navratilova has criticized the referee for his handling of the situation.
When Shuai announced his withdrawal from the match, Toth immediately turned to the fans and celebrated.
He doubled down on his stance in a post-match interview, telling Radio Kossuth: “I don’t understand why he made such a fuss, that he wanted to overturn the judge’s decision.”
‘I don’t understand why she didn’t accept it, but she created problems for herself.’
Toth returned to action on Thursday afternoon in the round of 16 against Ukraine’s Kateryna Kozlova, who suffered a 6-3, 6-1 loss.