A raft of Australians tennis Players have condemned Amarissa Toth’s ‘disgusting’ behavior in a match in which popular veteran Zhang Shuai left in tears. Toth and Shuai were battling at the Hungarian Open on Tuesday when drama erupted at 5-5 in the first set.
The linesman called one of Shuai’s balls, but the Chinese player was convinced he was in and should have been a winner. Shuai reprimanded the chair umpire and asked the match supervisor to come to court.
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However, before the referee could get there, Toth casually walked over and cheekily obliterated the mark on the ball with his foot. No line technology is used on clay courts, and referees often use the mark left by the ball to determine their decisions.
Shuai was left in disbelief at Toth’s actions and asked her opponent why he would do that. “Because you are creating problems, that’s why,” replied the Hungarian player.
A bystander then yelled “time violation” during Shuai’s protests, which Toth could be seen laughing at. Shuai won the game, but the spectators booed him relentlessly and he ended up withdrawing from the match as the situation turned out to be too much. Toth was then seen celebrating his opponent’s retirement, a move widely despised in the tennis world, before suggesting that he would have won anyway.
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Australian doubles player Ellen Perez wrote on Twitter: “Well that’s a quick way to lose respect from your teammates. I’m actually shocked at the level of disrespect from this girl. If I see this girl tomorrow, I’ll tell her how upset I am.
“I can’t stand bad refereeing. So the call is egregious and the way Shuai handled it is the way every player would have handled it. The ball is clearly in and at such a tight time there is zero percent chance you won’t fight this to the death. So 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 make her erase the mark after being told not to and with an attitude saying you’re making it a problem, then she celebrate victory. , then her hinting that she would have won anyway.
“There is so much one can handle before blood boils and emotions get the best of you. I’m not even on the court and I’m furious about this whole situation. I can’t even imagine how Shuai felt at that moment. Hard to see because Shuai is the nicest girl.”
Fellow Australian Ajla Tomljanovic posted: “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 she did it.
Daria Saville added: “Zero respect for this Toth girl. ZERO! I am so, so, so angry. I feel so bad for Shuai. Toth ‘won’ this point and he ‘won’ this match, but his reputation is ruined”.
Australian stunt great Rennae Stubbs wrote: “And that referee needs to find another job ASAP! She should be beaten for this too.”
Shuai has previously spoken about his mental health issues, collapsing at a press conference at the French Open in May. “All the efforts in practice were wrong, because when you wanted to hit closer to the line, it even touched the line still OUT,” he later wrote on social media. “I love you guys and all the girls who support me and are (to) my side.”
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