Tennis player slammed for ‘disgusting’ behaviour after rubbing out ball mark

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Amarissa Toth - Tennis player slammed for 'disgusting' behaviour after rubbing out ball mark

Hungarian player Amarissa Toth walked up to the mark on court and rubbed it away with her foot

Hungarian tennis player Amarissa Toth has been slammed by stars across the sport for her “disgusting” behaviour at the Budapest Open, which seemed to be partly responsible for a panic attack suffered by her opponent.

Zhang Shuai, a former world No 22, broke down in tears after her Toth erased a ball mark on the clay court following a disputed line call.

With the match evenly poised at 5-5 in the first set, second-seed Shuai hit a crosscourt forehand that landed on the line but was ruled out by the line judge. Frustrated by the call, Shuai argued with the umpire for several minutes and demanded to speak to the tournament referee.

As Shuai became more enraged, Toth appeared to snigger at her opponent, who was also mocked and jeered at by the partisan crowd.

The match briefly resumed before the debated about the disputed call spilled over again and the tournament supervisor was called to the court.

While play was paused, Toth marched up to the mark left by the ball on the clay and scuffed it out with her shoe before officials could take a closer look. 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.”

The Chinese player went on to win that particular game, but looked shaken during the changeover before summoning a physio to the court. She later appeared to suffer a panic attack and opted to retire while trailing 6-5 in the set. Toth therefore received a walkover to the next round.

Toth’s actions were widely condemned on social media, with the incident prompting an outpouring of sympathy for Shuai from across the tennis world.

Ons Jabeur, who lost in straight sets in last week’s Wimbledon final to Marketa Vondrousova, wrote on social media: “All the support to Shuai. This is not acceptable,” accompanied by a love heart emoji.

Australian tennis player Ajla Tomljanovic slammed Toth’s behaviour as “absolutely disgusting.” “Shuai is a better person than a lot of us for shaking the ref and that girls [sic] hand,” the world No 63 wrote.

Her compatriot Ellen Perez, the world doubles No 9, said: “Well that’s a quick way to lose respect from your peers. I’m actually shook by the level of disrespect from this girl. If I see this girl tomorrow I will tell her how disgusted I am.”

A video showing Shuai’s forehand shot has been viewed more than 1.2 million times on social media. Screenshots of the ball mark suggest the umpire made the wrong call.

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