Hungarian tennis player Amarissa Toth has caused a stir in the tennis community with a series of controversial actions during the clay-court Budapest Open, which left her opponent, Zhang Shuai, in tears.
Shuai, a former world No.22, retired from the event in tears after a disputed line call. The Chinese player’s crosscourt forehand appeared to land on the line, but the line judge called it out, sparking anger and frustration from Shuai.
Amid heated arguments with the umpire and facing mockery from the crowd, Shuai’s stress escalated. Toth, her 20-year-old opponent, appeared to laugh at the situation and even erased the ball mark left on the clay court where the disputed call occurred. When questioned by Shuai, Toth justified her actions, saying it was due to the problems caused by her opponent.
Despite winning the game, Shuai seemed visibly distressed during the changeover. A physio was called to check on her, and after trailing 6-5 in the opening set, she decided to retire from the match, with TV commentators describing her emotional state as a ‘panic attack.’
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 💔
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) July 18, 2023
Zhang Shuai, a veteran player with two major titles in women’s doubles, has enjoyed a successful career, reaching the Wimbledon final in 2022. She has been ranked as high as No. 22 in the world and is one of five Chinese players to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam.
On the other hand, Amarissa Toth, a rising talent at 20 years old, made her WTA Tour main-draw debut in 2021. She has achieved a career-high ranking of 534 in singles and 264 in doubles, with notable victories in the ITF Circuit.
The incident has caused a significant controversy in the tennis world, with Shuai’s retirement overshadowed by Toth’s highly questionable actions. The aftermath of the match has sparked discussions about sportsmanship and respect on and off the court.