Zhang Shuai of China left her Hungarian Grand Prix match on Tuesday in anger and tears after her local rival Amarissa Toth removed a ball mark on the clay court as a result of a contentious line decision.
second plant The line judge called out Zhang’s crosscourt forehand even though it appeared to land on the line. The chair umpire then descended to inspect the mark and determined that the ball had indeed crossed the boundary.
The call infuriated Zhang, and he requested a conversation with the tournament director.
The debate over the disputed call persisted during the next point of play until Toth came up to the mark and used her shoes to remove it.
“Stop, stop, stop! Keep the mark, said Zhang. Why are you doing that? Why would you carry that out?
Zhang Shuai, the world number 28, decided to retire when behind 6-5 in the first set of their round of 32 match in Budapest because she became obviously upset during the changeover. A physio was sent to check on her before that.
The organisers of the competition defended the umpire’s judgement.
“This is just one of thousands of similar situations that occur worldwide. Erik Siklos, the tournament’s director of communications, told the state news agency MTI that in this case, the chair umpire is the one who counts and has given the point.
Toth shook hands with Zhang and then raised her arms in excitement as the home crowd jeered at her retirement.
Later, Zhang Shuai complained about the call on Instagram and thanked her supporters.
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On social media, other players promptly denounced the Hungarian’s actions.
Ajla Tomljanovic, a Twitter user from Australia, called the behaviour “absolutely disgusting.” Shuai shown better character than many of us by shaking the girl’s and the referee’s hands.
Ellen Perez, an Australian doubles player, claimed Toth had lost the respect of her contemporaries.
“I’m truly shocked at the degree of rudeness from this female… I’ll tell this girl how horrified I am if I see her tomorrow.
Toth argued in favour of her choice to remove the mark.
Toth told state radio Kossuth, “I didn’t understand why she made such a fuss about it, that she wanted to overrule the umpire’s decision.”
I don’t know why she didn’t accept it because, in the end, she was the one looking for trouble.
Reporting from Bengaluru by Rohith Nair, additional reporting from Gdansk and Boldizsar Gyori by Tommy Lund, and editing by Peter Rutherford and Toby Davis
About Zhang Shuai
Zhang Shuai is a Chinese professional tennis player. She was born on January 21, 1989, in Tianjin, China. Zhang Shuai is primarily known for her singles career, where she achieved considerable success on the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) tour.
Throughout her career, Zhang Shuai has reached several milestones and had some remarkable achievements. She notably reached the quarterfinals of the 2016 Australian Open, which was a breakthrough moment for her in Grand Slam tournaments. She also reached the same stage at the 2020 Australian Open.
Zhang Shuai has represented China in various international competitions and has been a consistent presence in the top 50 of the WTA singles rankings.
Zhang, a Tianjin native, began playing tennis when she was six years old after her parents introduced her to a nearby tennis club.
Zhang Shuai became a professional in 2003, and in August of that same year, she competed in her maiden singles match at Mollerusa. She won over Matilde Munoz-Gonzalves in the opening round of qualifying before falling to Laura Figuerola-Foix. After spending a complete year competing on the ITF Women’s Circuit, Zhang ended 2004 in 901st place.
Between 2006 and 2009, she competed in singles ITF tournaments and won one $50,000 event, eight $25k events, and three $10k events. She had only won two WTA Tour main-draw events as of October 2009 though. But as a wildcard participant in the 2013 Guangzhou Open, she captured her first singles championship.