Returning from a 15-month doping ban, Maria Sharapova faced some harsh critics, but none harsher than fellow WTA player Eugenie Bouchard, who suggested that she never should have been allowed back at all:
She is a cheater and so to me, 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 and are true...
I think from the WTA it sends the wrong message to young kids: ‘Cheat and we will welcome you back with open arms.’ I don’t think that’s right and definitely she is not someone I can say I look up to anymore.
That’s a little strong, Genie. In any case, the world No. 60 summoned her best tennis of the season to beat Sharapova 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 in the second round of the Madrid Open. Their exchange at the net tells you everything you need to know.