Hungarian tournament organisers in tennis’ ‘new low for sportsmanship’ row accuse China of ‘manipulating the world’ against their homegrown star

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Hungarian tournament organisers in tennis’ ‘new low for sportsmanship’ row accuse China of ‘manipulating the world’ against their homegrown star

  • Hungary’s Amarissa Toth rubbed out a ball mark for a contentious line call
  • Her opponent Zhang Shuai complained and later retired after a panic attack
  • Toth has been criticised, but the tournament organisers have now defended her 

The organisers of the Budapest Open have accused China of ‘manipulating the world’ after a row over sportsmanship erupted at the tournament earlier this week.

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China’s Zhang Shuai was facing home favourite Amarissa Toth, 20, and with the score level at 5-5 in the opening set there was a contentious line call that went against Zhang.

As Shuai walked up to the net to check the mark on the clay surface, Toth rubbed it out with her foot and the call stood. 

Shuai remonstrated with the umpire but to no avail, and she would go on to retire a few games later after suffering a panic attack.

Toth’s conduct was slammed by her fellow professionals with Australian Ajla Tomljanovic labelling her actions as ‘disgusting behaviour’, while one fan called it a ‘new low for sportsmanship’.

Hungarian tennis player Amarissa Toth (above) rubbed out a mark for a tight line call

Hungarian tennis player Amarissa Toth (above) rubbed out a mark for a tight line call

Her opponent disputed the call and later retired in tears after suffering a panic attack

Her opponent disputed the call and later retired in tears after suffering a panic attack

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The Hungarian tournament organisers have defended Toth, accusing China of 'manipulation'

The Hungarian tournament organisers have defended Toth, accusing China of ‘manipulation’

Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur was also critical of Toth, stating her behaviour was ‘not acceptable’.

But the tournament organisers have leapt to Toth’s defence, and feel the video that has been circulating on social media has been manipulated by China to make Toth look bad.

‘Amarissa did not decide if the ball was good or not,’ they stated in a Facebook post.

‘It was the decision of the linesman and then the chair umpire. The Hungarian tennis player in the first WTA main draw match of her life may not have behaved in every situation, but she did nothing that could be described as a lack of integrity.

‘And there is no deflection, no misunderstanding. The Chinese are manipulating the world with a manipulative video.’

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Toth was remorseless after the incident, blaming Shuai for how it unfolded.

When Shuai questioned why she had removed the mark, Toth responded: ‘because you’re making problems, that’s why.’

Shuai was later in floods of tears as she retired from the contest, but Toth showed little concern for her opponent, immediately turning to the home crowd to celebrate.

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She later doubled down on her stance when speaking on Radio Kossuth.

‘I don’t understand why she made such a fuss out of it, that she wanted to overrule the judge’s decision,’ she said.

‘I don’t understand why she didn’t accept it, but she made trouble for herself.’

Toth is set to play her first match since the controversial incident when she takes on Ukraine’s Kateryna Kozlova this afternoon. 

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