Justice for Shuai Zhang! Ukrainian tennis player Kateryna Baindl, who knocked ‘unsporting’ Amarissa Toth out in next round in Budapest, tells her ‘stay fair’ and hails ‘respectful’ Chinese star who suffered a panic attack

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Justice for Shuai Zhang! Ukrainian tennis player Kateryna Baindl, who knocked ‘unsporting’ Amarissa Toth out in next round in Budapest, tells her ‘stay fair’ and hails ‘respectful’ Chinese star who suffered a panic attack

  • Kateryna Baindl beat Amarissa Toth in straight sets at the Budapest Open
  • The Ukrainian used her on court interview to send support to Shuai Zhang
  • Zhang was knocked out in the previous round after controversial acts by Toth 

Kateryna Baindl has sent a message of support to Shuai Zhang after knocking Amarissa Toth out of the Budapest Open, days after the Hungarian player shocked the tennis world with a series of ‘disgusting’ acts.

Baindl earned a straight sets 6-3, 6-1 win over Toth in the round of 16 stage of the women’s singles event on Thursday.

The Ukrainian used her on court interview to address Toth’s controversial win over Zhang in the previous round.

‘I just want to say I hope they can stay fair and Shuai Zhang feels better and hopefully she it getting better and we will soon see her back,’ Baindl said.

‘She is an unbelievable player, very respectful and a great person.

Kateryna Baindl sent a message of support to 'respectful' Chinese player Shuai Zhang

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Kateryna Baindl sent a message of support to ‘respectful’ Chinese player Shuai Zhang

Baindl beat Hungary's Amarissa Toth, pictured, at the Budapest Open days after the local player's 'disgusting' acts contributed to her opponent suffering from a panic attack

Baindl beat Hungary’s Amarissa Toth, pictured, at the Budapest Open days after the local player’s ‘disgusting’ acts contributed to her opponent suffering from a panic attack

‘There is a lot to learn from her.

‘I guess we should all stay respectful to each other, it does not matter what.’

Baindl’s comments followed Zhang leaving the court in tears following Toth’s actions in their match, which led to the local player being accused of ‘a new low for sportsmanship’.

The veteran Chinese player had hit a crosscourt forehand that appeared to land on the line but was called out by the line judge, leaving Shuai incensed by the decision and demanding to speak to the tournament supervisor. 

Zhang argued with the umpire about the controversial call for several minutes while she was mocked and jeered while Toth appeared to be laughing. The Hungarian then walked up to the mark left by the ball that was called out and used her shoe to erase it.

Zhang yelled from her side of the net, ‘Wait, wait, wait, keep the mark! What are you doing? Why would you do that?’

Toth responded by saying: ‘Because you’re making problems, that’s why.’

Zhang went on to win the game, but she looked visibly stressed during the changeover.

Shuai Zhang (pictured) was left in tears and unable to continue at the Budapest Open after a series of shocking acts from Hungarian opponent Amarissa Toth

Shuai Zhang (pictured) was left in tears and unable to continue at the Budapest Open after a series of shocking acts from Hungarian opponent Amarissa Toth

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Toth (pictured) could be seen walking towards the contested ball marking and scuffing it out with her foot before officials could take a closer look

Toth (pictured) could be seen walking towards the contested ball marking and scuffing it out with her foot before officials could take a closer look

Shuai received an outpouring of support from ex-players after a controversial end to the match

Shuai received an outpouring of support from ex-players after a controversial end to the match

Toth denied that she had behaved badly in her match with Zhang Shuai in the prior round

Toth denied that she had behaved badly in her match with Zhang Shuai in the prior round

A physio was called to check on her before the world number 28 opted to retire while trailing 6-5 in the opening set of their match in Budapest.

TV commentators explained that Zhang was crying a ‘flood of tears’, with one calling the episode a ‘panic attack’.

The 34-year-old then retired from the match, quickly shaking hands with the umpire and Toth before pointing at sections of the crowd who had booed her.

Zhang later took to social media to complain about the call and thanked those who supported her.

‘All efforts on practice was wrong, because when you wanted hitting closer to the line, even touched the line still OUT,’ Zhang wrote.

Toth’s conduct during the match was slammed by fans and players as ‘shameful’ and a ‘new low for sportsmanship’.

The Hungarian though denied that her behaviour was inappropriate. 

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

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

The dispute has developed into a racism row after tournament organisers accused China of ‘manipulating’ footage to make homegrown youngster Toth look bad.

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Who were the players involved? 

Zhang Shuai

Shuai, 34, who has spent over a decade in the sport, is a two-time major champion in women’s doubles after claiming victory at the Australian Open in 2019 and the US Open two years later. Both of those double triumphs came alongside Australian partner Samantha Stosur.

The Chinese star also reached the Wimbledon final in 2022 with Belgium’s Elise Mertens, only to suffer defeat against Alexa Guarachi and Andreja Klepac.

She has a career-high doubles ranking of world No 2 and has picked up 12 titles on the WTA tour.

As a single, Shuai has reached two major quarter-finals at the Australian Open in 2016 and Wimbledon three years later. She is one of only five Chinese tennis players in history to make it to this stage of a Grand Slam and has also been ranked as high as No 22 in the world.

Amarissa Toth 

Toth, 20, is only a few years into her professional career after making her WTA Tour main-draw debut at the Budapest Grand Prix in 2021.

She has a career-high ranking of 534 in singles and 264 in doubles, and has claimed 12 ITF Circuit finals titles – 11 of them coming in doubles.

The Hungarian youngster’s highest rank win so far came in the 2022 Slovak Open, where she got the better of Germany’s Eva Lys in the first round.



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