Maria Sharapova more disappointed to lose early than to detractor Genie Bouchard

Posted May 10, 2017

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

Sharapova, who was deemed by the Court of Arbitration not to have intentionally cheated, recently returned to action after serving a 15-month doping ban.

The two split the first six games of the third set until Bouchard finally broke Sharapova to love to take a 4-3 lead. She is provisionally up to 210 in the rankings and has 250 rankings points since taking to the courts a couple of Wednesdays ago. I know that I can come back and win matches like that when I'm down, so that was actually what was going on in my mind in the third set.

This may be the spark needed to reignite her career, however and she will be hoping to build on this success when she faces Angelique Kerber, who is about to replace Serena Williams as world number one, in the next round.

"She's a cheater and so to me, I don't think a cheater in any sport should be allowed to play that sport again", the world number 60 said. "That's what's going to win me more tournaments and more Grand Slams", she concluded.

"I'm just one of the two players out on the court", Sharapova said.

Eugenie Bouchard and Maria Sharapova met in Round 2 of the Madrid Masters in what was dubbed as a grudge match.

On the other hand, Bouchard, whose form had dipped after quite a few first-round exits in the new season, said she was motivated to give her best against Sharapova. While Stuttgart had a quality field as always, it is a small draw of 28 players and this time the draw fell kindly for her. "I received a lot of support from them and that is why I was so inspired". But she found her first serve-five of them in a row, in fact-just in time to save a break point and hold for the set with a forehand victor.

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Bouchard jumped up and down after converting her second match point in an exciting battle that lasted slightly less than three hours on clay.

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

Sharapova said she has tried to block out things that have been said about her and concentrate on her tennis game, noted The Telegraph.

Sharapova, a five-times grand slam victor, was initially banned by the International Tennis Federation for two years after testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

The athlete branded Sharapova a "cheater" before the match and said she shouldn't be allowed back to the sport.

The two exchanged a brief handshake after the match. "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". It was reported Sharapova had been taking meldonium for many years, but had overlooked the fact the World Anti-Doping Agency added the heart drug to its banned list on January 1, 2016.

Second seed Karolina Pliskova suffered a surprise defeat, with the Czech player losing 6-3, 6-3 to Anastasija Sevastova of Lativa.