Shuai Zhang withdrew from her match with Amarissa Kiara Toth on Wednesday after her opponent erased a mark on the clay that suggested shocking officiating.
A forehand from Zhang appeared to land on the inner tram line during his Hungarian Grand Prix match with Toth, but the deflected shot was disallowed by the referee. As the camera zoomed in on the mark Zhang’s shot had left, it seemed even more clear that the shot had landed comfortably on the line.
However, the ‘out’ call was upheld, prompting Zhang to protest extensively with the referee. Meanwhile, Hungarian Toth appeared to laugh at the episode, before finally walking up to the mark and wiping it away with her foot, as Zhang yelled, “Wait, wait, leave the mark!”
The moment occurred with the score 5-5 (15-15) in the first set, and a tearful Zhang soon called the physio, before retiring from the match trailing 6-5. Toth, 20, raised his arms high in celebration of his victory in Budapest.
During the controversial scenes, the crowd seemed to fret over Zhang.
Reacting to stills from the episode (which you can see at the top of this article), one Twitter user wrote, “The nasty part is when Toth celebrates when Zhang retires. […] Shame on Toth.
Another said: “Toth rubbed off his mark because he knew he was in it and then he laughed about it. Zhang had to withdraw because he was not in shape. [space] continue. The WTA needs to suspend the referee and fine Toth.”
Meanwhile, the user who shared the images wrote: “I really have no words for how badly the referee behaved with this mark. @WTA it’s time you do something and look into this, they can’t make such big mistakes at this level. This is pure robbery.”
Click here to subscribe to The Independent’s sports channel on YouTube to see the latest sports videos.