Eugenie Bouchard blasts 'cheater' Sharapova
Russian star returning from doping ban
Canada's Eugenie Bouchard had some harsh words for Maria Sharapova, calling the Russian tennis star a "cheater" who shouldn't be allowed back in the sport after failing a doping test.
"She's a cheater," Bouchard said in an interview with TRT World. "I don't think a cheater in any sport should be allowed to play that sport again... It's so unfair to all the other players who do it the right way."
Sharapova is returning from a 15-month ban for testing positive for the banned drug meldonium.
On Wednesday, the five-time Grand Slam champion and former world No. 1 won the first match of her comeback, defeating Roberta Vinci in straight sets at the Porsche Grand Prix in Germany.
"It was the best feeling in the world," Sharapova said about stepping on court again for a professional match. "I have been waiting for this a long time."
Sharapova had earlier been given a lukewarm welcome by the 4,500 spectators, receiving a polite applause and some whistling when she entered the sold-out arena.
Rather than being forced to go through qualifying, Sharapova received a wild-card entry into the clay-court event, and she hopes to get another one for next month's French Open.
"I don't think that's right," Bouchard said. "I think from the [Women's Tennis Association] it sends the wrong message to young kids — cheat and we'll welcome you back with open arms.
"[Sharapova] is not someone I can say I look up to anymore."
With files from The Associated Press