Tennis legend Martina Navratilova had some words for Kiara Toth and the official that seemingly allowed Tuesday’s Hungarian Grand Prix match to descend into chaos.
The often outspoken Navratilova called the incident pathetic and deemed the chair umpire not worthy of working matches on clay.
“Pathetic from any angle-umpire is not fit to call clay court matches and Toth is a bad sport,” Navratilova replied to former tennis player and current ESPN analyst Brad Gilbert’s tweet asking for the WTA to look into the incident.
Kiara Toth, 20, became tennis’ villain after she erased the mark left by then world No. 45 Zhang Shuai’s cross-court forehand that appeared to land on the line but was called out by the chair umpire.
At first Shuai, the tournament’s second seed, argued the ruling with the umpire, even at one point pleading for the tournament’s supervisor to show up.
The umpire seemed to side with Toth as Shuai questioned her opponent’s motives for erasing the mark on the court, and never got out of her chair to examine where the ball she ruled out had landed, as is the case for most clay court matches when a player questions the umpires call.
Toth, playing in front of her home crowd was reportedly grinning while Shuai, 34, argued the ruling, and celebrated with her arms in the air with the crowd following Shuai’s retirement.
The match was tied 5-5 at the time of the incident.
The Chinese native Shuai has reportedly been dealing with mental health issues recently according to tennis journalist José Morgado.
Toth’s tournament run didn’t last long as she was blown out by Ukrainian, Kateryna Baindl, in straight sets on Thursday, losing 6-3, 6-1 in the Round of 16.
After her defeat, Toth released a statement through the tournament’s Facebook page saying she didn’t expect her first WTA main drawn win to cause problems.
“I am extremely sorry for what happened, I respect Zhang Shuai as a player and as a person. It was never my intention to disrespect, hurt or upset anybody, let alone Zhang Shuai.
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