Multiple tennis players came in support of Zhang Shuai after the Chinese player got emotional and retired from her first-round match at a WTA event in Budapest in response to a controversial line call and Amarissa Toth, her opponent, erasing the ball mark on the clay court shortly afterwards.
Here are some of the reactions:
World No. 6 Ons Jabeur
World No. 5 Caroline Garcia
World No. 9 Maria Sakkari
Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens
World No. 63 Ajla Tomljanovic
World No. 23 Denis Shapovalov
Doubles World No. 9 Ellen Perez
World No. 204 Kristina Mladenovic
2016 Olympic women’s singles gold medallist Monica Puig
World No. 68 Alize Cornet
World No. 176 Daria Saville
Daria Abramowicz, psychologist of World No. 1 Iga Swiatek
World No. 11 Daria Kasatkina
World No. 109 Ysaline Bonaventure
World No. 45 Zhang, in her first-round match at the Hungarian Grand Prix, hit a crosscourt forehand shot which was ruled ‘out’ by the line judge despite appearing to have caught the line. The chair umpire inspected the mark and decided to let the original decision stand. Second seed Zhang, not happy with the call, asked for the tournament supervisor.
A point later, 20-year-old Toth, walked up to the mark and used her shoes to erase it. “Wait, wait, wait! Keep the mark,” Zhang yelled. “What are you doing? Why would you do that?”
Trailing 5-6 at the change of ends, the 34-year-old Zhang, visibly emotional, called for the physio before deciding to retire from the tie. She shook hands with the chair umpire and Toth but Zhang was jeered by the spectators as the local player lifted her arms in celebration.
In her post-match press conference after the first-round defeat to Magdalena Frech at French Open, Zhang had metioned that she has been struggling to cope following the death of her grandparents this year.
Who is Amarissa Toth?
Amarisaa Toth is a 20-year-old Hungarian tennis player. After losing in the first round of qualifiers at the same event for the last two years, she made her main draw Tour-level wildcard on Tuesday as a wildcard. She is currently ranked 548 in singles and 349 in doubles.
Toth next faces Ukraine’s Kateryna Baindl.
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