Genie Bouchard says many players are rooting against Maria Sharapova

Posted May 10, 2017

"I wanted to do it for myself, but also for all these people".

Canadian Bouchard had called Sharapova "a cheater" prior to the Russian's return to competitive action in April after a 15-month doping ban.

Bouchard said her 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, in two hours, 51 minutes-Sharapova won more points, 112 to 107-would be popular in the locker room.

Sharapova said after Monday's match she was disappointed with the loss, adding that she doesn't pay too much attention to the drama surrounding certain match-ups. "I know what the drill is".

Sharapova - the world's highest-paid female athlete for more than a decade until past year, according to Forbes - won her first match on Wednesday in the German city on her comeback after testing positive formeldonium at the 2016 Australian Open. "That's what's going to win me more tournaments and more Grand Slams". "And like this one, it was extremely tough, not many rallies, she forced me to come out with some of my good tennis and I really had to dig deep".

Eugenie Bouchard stretches to hit a defensive forehand during her second-round match against Maria Sharapova at the 2017 Mutua Madrid Open.

The Lawn Tennis Association says it is still deciding to whom it will offer wild cards for the grass court season after reports Maria Sharapova would be awarded a place at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham.

"I definitely had some extra motivation", Bouchard revealed after the win.

That would mitigate her reliability on wild cards that a lot of her fellow tour players have opposed. I really felt support.

While so many people - including Sharapova's sponsor Nike - are willing to forgive and forget her drug offence, it was refreshing to hear Bouchard speak out.

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Bouchard, from Westmount, Que., will play Angelique Kerber in the third round.

However, Bouchard held her nerve when serving for the match at 5-4 as she saw off two break points and an unfortunate let cord on her first match point.

At the time it seemed like it might be pivotal, but Sharapova broke back immediately for 4-all.

The Canadian believes that these shows of support make it clear that Sharapova's return is not popular with many of her peers.

Sharapova, victor of five Grand Slams, tested positive for the banned heart medication meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

She's a cheater and so to me ...

Against Mladenovic in Stuttgart, Sharapova had three break points to earn a shot at closing the match in straight sets.

The two shook hands at the net after Bouchard made a big on-court statement so soon after aiming verbal volleys at Sharapova. "So I want to at least take advantage of that, just go for it, play good tennis, build on this, and enjoy it, kind of just show what I can do".

Second-seeded Karolina Pliskova, ranked third in the world, lost to Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 6-3, 6-3, ending her hopes of reaching No. 1 this week.

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