Now Hungarian tennis tournament organisers accuse China of ‘manipulating’ video: How an on court spat between Chinese star and a homegrown favourite descended into a bitter sportsmanship row that has shamed the sport

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Now that Hungarian tennis tournament organisers have accused China of ‘manipulating’ footage, here is how an on court spat between a Chinese star and homegrown favourite descended into a bitter sportsmanship row.

Hungary’s Amarissa Toth, 20, faced China’s Zhang Shuai during the Budapest Open on Tuesday.

With the first set delicately poised at 5-5, a contentious line call went against Shuai, but as she made her way to the net to check whether it was in or not, her opponent Toth rubbed out the mark with her foot and the umpire upheld the initial call.

Screenshots of the ball mark indicate it was clearly in, and that the call should have been overturned, and Toth’s conduct was slammed on social media .

But the Hungarian tournament organisers leapt to Toth’s defence in a controversial Facebook post, instead blaming China for the media attention the incident has received.

Hungary's Amarissa Toth (pictured), 20, faced China 's Zhang Shuai during the Budapest Open on Tuesday

Hungary’s Amarissa Toth (pictured), 20, faced China ‘s Zhang Shuai during the Budapest Open on Tuesday

As Shuai made her way to the net to check whether it was in or not, her opponent Toth rubbed out the mark with her foot and the umpire upheld the initial call

As Shuai made her way to the net to check whether it was in or not, her opponent Toth rubbed out the mark with her foot and the umpire upheld the initial call

Shuai had hit a shot that appeared to land on the line but was called out by the line judge, leaving her incensed by the decision and demanding to speak to the tournament supervisor

Shuai had hit a shot that appeared to land on the line but was called out by the line judge, leaving her incensed by the decision and demanding to speak to the tournament supervisor

In Tuesday’s round of 32 match, 34-year-old Shuai, a former world No.22, retired from the event in floods of tears after Toth erased the ball mark on the clay court. 

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The Chinese player had hit a shot 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.

Shuai argued with the umpire about the controversial line call for several minutes while she was mocked and jeered at by the crowd. Toth appeared to be laughing at the player as she became more frustrated.

The match continued for another point before the disagreement over the disputed call – which commentators also believed was wrong – continued and the tournament supervisor was brought onto the court.

But Toth walked up to the mark left by the ball that was called out and used her shoe to erase it. Shuai 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.’ 

Shuai went on to win the game, but she looked visibly stressed during the changeover. 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 Shuai was crying a ‘flood of tears’, with one calling the episode a ‘panic attack’. 

Toth immediately celebrated her highly controversial victory in the round of 32, throwing both hands into the air to the applause of her fans.

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

As video clips of the highly controversial match circulated on social media, a number of tennis stars rallied around the veteran player, with many calling for swift punishment for Toth. 

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

TV commentators explained that Shuai (pictured) was crying a 'flood of tears', with one calling the episode a 'panic attack'

TV commentators explained that Shuai (pictured) was crying a ‘flood of tears’, with one calling the episode a ‘panic attack’

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The umpire involved in Amarissa Toth (not pictured) and Zhang Shuai (left) has come under fire

The umpire involved in Amarissa Toth (not pictured) and Zhang Shuai (left) has come under fire

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World No 9 Maria Sakkari claimed that Toth ‘should be banned from the Tour’, whereas Daria Kasatkina highlighted ‘very bad refereeings and very bad sportsmanship’. 

Ajla Tomljanovic posted: ‘Absolutely disgusting behaviour. Shuai is a better person than a lot of us for shaking the ref and that girl’s hand. But then again, it’s Shuai we are talking about, of course she did.’

But Toth was unapologetic about her actions and showed no remorse when queried about the match on Radio Kossuth yesterday

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

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

Then today, tennis legend Martina Navratilova slammed the umpire at the centre of the row, claiming she is ‘not fit to call clay court matches’. 

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Navraitlova took to Twitter to voice her disapproval of the call made by the umpire, with the replays appearing to show that the ball had bounced on the line before being incorrectly called out.

She tweeted: ‘Pathetic from any angle – umpire is not fit to call clay court matches and Toth is a bad sport.’

In a further twist, the organisers of the Budapest Open accused China of ‘manipulating the world’ after the footage of Toth caused outrage.

The sportsmanship spat has now has now turned into a racism row, with many professionals taking the side of China's Shuai (pictured)

The sportsmanship spat has now has now turned into a racism row, with many professionals taking the side of China’s Shuai (pictured)

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova slammed the umpire, claiming she's 'not fit to call matches'

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova slammed the umpire, claiming she’s ‘not fit to call matches’

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

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

Leaping to Toth’s defence, the Hungarian organisers claimed the video of Toth has been manipulated by China to make her look bad. 

In a Facebook post, Hungarian Grand Prix wrote: ‘Amarissa did not decide if the ball was good or not.’

‘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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