Zhang Shuai discussing with the referee of the chair.Photo: www.imago-images.de
There was a scandal at the Hungarian Women’s Open in Budapest. Zhang Shuai abandoned Tuesday’s round of 16 match against Amarisa Toth after committing an unsportsmanlike behaviour.
07/19/2023, 13:0507/19/2023 at 2:53 PM
The story that shocked the tennis world had its origins in a controversial decision. Zhang’s forehand appears to land on the outside line of the service field and is evaluated as “out” by the linesman. Zhang disagrees with this ruling and argues with the ruling of the president, who is in favor of the decision.
So far nothing unusual. Another point was played until at 30:30, Zhang—still unhappy with the decision—called a tournament official. Toth then uses his boot to erase the mark left by the disputed ball on the sand.
This unsportsmanlike behavior is too much for Zhang, who sits on the bench and lets her tears flow. She finally managed to shake hands with the referee and her opponent before leaving the court and retiring, trailing 5-6 in the first set.
Hungary’s Toth cheered in front of the home crowd, and China’s Zhang was booed by the spectators. However, Toth’s behavior has been sharply criticized online. Ajla Tomljanovic, world number 62, wrote: “Absolutely disgusting behaviour. Shuai is a better person than many of us because she shook hands with the referee and this woman.”
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