After Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard knocked Maria Sharapova out of the Madrid Masters in a three set marathon, the 23-year-old explained the importance of her win against a player she had accused of cheating.
The victory on Monday night saw Sharapova crash out of the second round as she continues her return to the WTA circuit following her suspension after being detected for using meldonium during the 2016 Australian Open, reports Xinhua news agency.
Bouchard had been critical of the Russian in the past, even going as far as calling her a “cheat”, and admits she viewed the win as justification for her words. “I was extra motivated, I had never beaten her before and there were other circumstances,” said the Canadian in a press conference. “A lot of players had come up to me in private to wish me luck, players who I usually don’t speak to. And I also received a lot of messages from people in the world of tennis,” she said.
The Canadian believes that these shows of support make it clear that Sharapova’s return is not popular with many of her peers. “It shows that the majority of the people have the same opinion that I have and although they are worried about speaking out in public, they will speak in private. I received a lot of support from them and that is why I was so inspired,” she commented after her 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 victory.