Zhang Shui (China), ranked 45th in the world in singles on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour, has withdrawn from a match after an opponent’s unsportsmanlike conduct.
ESPN reported on Tuesday that the incident occurred during a match between Zhang and Amarisa Tóth (548th-ranked Hungary).
The pair faced off in the first round of the singles main draw at the WTA Tour Hungarian Grand Prix (€225,480 in prize money) in Budapest, Hungary, on Sept. 19.
In the first set, with the game tied at 5-5, Zhang Shuai’s forehand shot landed near the line and was ruled out.
Zhang Shuai, who believed the ball crossed the line, protested the call, but it was not upheld.
The British newspaper Daily Mail also reported on the situation, saying that “the ball appeared to have touched the line” and weighed in on the possibility of a mistake.
The tournament is a clay-court event, so instead of using electronic readers, the umpires come down to the court and look at the marks made by the ball as it hits the dirt court floor to determine if it is out.
Trouble started when the tosser walked up to where the ball had landed and erased the mark with his foot while Zhang Shuai protested.
Zhang Shui noticed and loudly said, “No, no, no. Leave the mark,” but Toth had already erased it.
Angrily, Zhang Shuai protested to Toth, “What are you doing?” but Toth replied, “I’m doing it because you keep trying to make trouble.”
The Hungarian home fans cheered for their home player and booed Zhang Shuai.
There was no way to regulate Toth’s behavior, as there is nothing in the tennis rules that states that ball marks should not be erased.
Unable to accept the ruling, Zhang Shuai subsequently withdrew from the match, shook hands with the umpire and her opponent, and made a protesting gesture toward the crowd before leaving the court.
Following the news, this year’s Wimbledon runner-up Ons Jaber (No. 6-Tunisia), Maria Sakkari (No. 9-Greece), Daria Kasatkina (No. 11-Russia), and Ayla Tomlianovich (No. 63-Australia), among others, condemned Toth’s behavior and sent messages of support to Zhang Shuai.
In particular, Toth’s celebration after Zhang Shuai’s disqualification by raising her arms in the air was met with disbelief from her fellow players and fans.
Sakari criticized Tosu, saying, “She should be banned from the tour,” while Kasatkina said, “The umpiring was unfortunate and the sportsmanship of her opponent was also problematic.”
Zhang Shuai reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 2019 and is a top-ranked women’s doubles player, having won the 2019 Australian Open and 2021 US Open.
Born in 1989, Zhang Shuai said after this year’s Wimbledon, “After my grandfather passed away, I rethink the meaning of life,” adding, “It’s mentally difficult, and I miss my hometown Chinese food.” 안전카지노사이트