Published: Wed, May 10, 2017
Sport | By Cecil Buchanan

Players wished me good luck 'privately' before Sharapova encounter: Bouchard

Players wished me good luck 'privately' before Sharapova encounter: Bouchard

"The match play that I have, getting myself in these situations, getting out of them, will ultimately help me for those big events whether I'm in there or not".

It was world No 60 Bouchard's first ever victory over five-time Grand Slam victor Sharapova, whom she believes should be banned from tennis for life. She tested positive for "meldonium", a legal drug in Eastern Europe, but it was added to the list of the WTA's banned substances the prior fall.

"I feel like I'm like a broken-record player, but these tournaments are really important, " Sharapova said. "I know what the drill is".

Although Sharapova's comeback after serving her ban had split opinion among both male and female players, including second-ranked Angelique Kerber and top-ranked Andy Murray criticizing tournaments for giving her a wild card, Bouchard has been the most vocal.

Sharapova said she didn't need extra motivation to play against anybody.

Sharapova's next match was against Bouchard, who was most critical about the Russian's comeback. That is what is going to make me a better player.

Westmount's Eugenie Bouchard beat a cheater Monday to advance to the third round of the Madrid Open tennis tournament. This time Sharapova took command, moved inside the court, and ran away with it 6-2.

Bouchard, who tasted her first win against Sharapova, has clearly stated that she believes the Russian should be banned from tennis for life.

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"Then she started playing better, putting a lot of balls back". I really felt support.

Bouchard has been more outspoken than most about Sharapova, recently labeling her former idol a "cheater".

Sharapova led 4-2 in an opening set which was a sign of things to come, swinging one way and the other before Bouchard broke for a third time to edge in front. What you work for for so many hours every single day is to be on the winning end of matches. In a pattern that would repeat itself for much of the evening, Sharapova found her groove in one game only to lose it completely in the next.

According to the Daily Telegraph, there were "no major signs of animosity" during the match, although it notes the Canadian "jumped up and down" in celebration after converting her second match point.

But Bouchard broke once more in the next game and this time didn't waver as she served out the first set with a huge serve followed by a blistering forehand victor.

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

The air was thick with anticipation as the match came in the wake of the verbal volleys exchanged between the players. "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".

Women's number two seed Karolina Pliskova was the victim of an early surprise as she lost 6-3, 6-3 to unseeded Latvian, Ansatasjia Sevastova.

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