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.
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
“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.
Tremenda polémica que se vivió en el WTA de Hungría, cuando una bola de Shuai Zhang🇨🇳 fue claramente buenapic.twitter.com/NeoF20NL5t
— Match Tenis (@MatchTenis) July 18, 2023
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.”
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.”
/ 3 years ago
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