Tennis player Amarissa Toth apologized to Zhang Shuai following Tuesday’s challenging match at the Hungarian Grand Prix. In the aftermath of the incident, in which Toth cleaned up a spot on the court during a tight point, she was brutally attacked by tennis players and spectators. The Hungarian then shouted as a weeping Zhang left the arena.
In a video posted on Thursday by the Hungarian Grand Prix Instagram account, Toth expressed his profound apologies for what had happened. I have respect for Zhang Shuai on both a personal and professional level. I never intended to offend, harm, or disrespect anyone, least of all Zhang Shuai. Both a line judge and tennis umpire judged Zhang’s crosscourt forehand from the opening set, which seemed to land on the line, to be out. Though the game was still in progress, Zhang kept asking for the results to be changed.
As it was being captured on camera, Toth then approached the mark on the court and removed it with her foot. Toth was audibly incensed when Zhang questioned him, “Why did you do that?” You’re creating issues, Toth retorted. After opting to leave the game with a 6-5 deficit and tears in her eyes, Zhang, Toth exulted.
Tennis player from Australia Ajla Tomljanovi called the incident “simply disgusting behavior,” and Victoria Azarenka tweeted that Toth’s antics were “another level of unsportsmanlike conduct… In a word, wow. Zhang thanked her fans in a later social media post that included a video of the incident.
Toth said, “I’m sorry, and I do realize that I shouldn’t have celebrated the way I did after the game,” but he acknowledged that his feelings, the tension of the game, and the spirit of the occasion had overcome him. I only care about tennis, therefore I didn’t want to win that way.I hope to meet Zhang Shuai in the future so that I can express to him how dissatisfied I am with the outcome of our match. The next round of the competition saw Kateryna Baindl of Ukraine overcome Toth.