The opening round of WTA 250 Hungarian Grand Prix got overshadowed by the scandal, which happened during the match between second seed Shuai Zhang and the local wild-card receiver - Amarissa Toth. The Chinese was trying to break through after 12 consecutive losses in singles competitions and was a pre-match favorite ahead of the meeting with the current's world's number 548.
Zhang started the match well by moving into 2-0 lead, but the match occured to be an intense battle with the first set running. The players approached 11th game with a score 5-5. Zhang clipped the line with her strike during one of the rallies, but the umpire called out despite the mark, which clearly indicated the correct shot performed by the Chinese. Zhang tried to discuss with an umpire, calling for the supervisor as well. The long conversation did not bring any sufficient result for Zhang, while her opponent showed a horrible attitude by wiping the mark from the line. The situation escalated during the course of a game, as the local crowd was booing the Chinese. All the circumstances resulted with a panic attack suffered by Zhang, who called the medical time-out and withdrew from the match after end of the game. It was definitely a nightmare for Zhang to be in this place at this time, as her opponent showed a massive rudeness by celebrating her "victory", garnering the applause from boorish audience.
The Chinese met with words of support and encouragement from whole the tennis environment. Many fans and even players, commented the situation in social media, as the videos from those horrific moments were quickly shared between the Twitter's users. Same goes about a strong disapproval for the behavior of Toth, who got massively criticized for her lack of sportsmanship after all.
Title defence denied after first match
It was not a good opening for the top seeds, as Bernarda Pera, approached Budapest with a challenge of defending the title and points gained last year in Hungary, got eliminated by Diana Shnaider in straight sets to end up her run in first match. Shnaider started the match really well by moving up into 5-1 lead. Pera has started to play quite better and made up the gap by coming back level after a series of 3 games won in a row, but got broken again in 10th again to finally lose the set by 4-6. The top seed started second set from a front foot by leading 3-1, but her younger opponent leveled the score later on and decided the course of this set by gaining a crucial break in last game again to win the whole thing by 6-4 7-5.
Putintseva avoids an upset
Yulia Putintseva was a biggest banker ahead of all the first round's matches, as the 4th seed was rated with an odd 1.08 ahead of the match against Kateryna Volodko - the Ukrainian ranked 295th in WTA list. Surprisingly, the qualifier has beaten the favorite by 6-1 in the opening set. Putintseva denied a huge upset though, as she regrouped herself well after a horrible start and gave away just 3 games to her opponent, winning by 1-6 6-2 6-1. The Kazakh sets up an interesting match against Claire Liu, who took the successful revenge on her fellowcountry Louisa Chirico. Liu has lost against the current world's number 202 just 4 days ago in Bastad, where Chirico performed a sensational run into semifinals of the WTA 125 Nordea Open. This time, the higher ranked from Americans managed to win 6-4 6-4 and advanced into second round.
Three Hungarian go through
It was generally a good opening for the local players. Despite the infamous "victory" of Toth against Zhang, two other Hungarians prevailed to move into second round. The wild card receiver - Fanny Stolar, defeated the qualifier Irene Burillo Escorihuela by 7-5 6-4. Anna Bondar won the most interesting match from the home crowd's perspective, as she defeated another Hungarian - Timea Babos. Both players were fighting by almost 3 hours, with the final outcome for the favour of Bondar who won 7-5 5-7 6-3.