Bouchard beats Sharapova at Madrid Open

Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard, who earlier called Maria Sharapova "a cheater", reiterated her stance that the Russian star should not have been allowed to play after she was found guilty of using a performance enhancer.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Eugenie Bouchard (L) shakes hands with Maria Sharapova after the match in Madrid, Spain. May 8, 2017.

Eugenie Bouchard beat Maria Sharapova for the first time with a 7-5 2-6 6-4 triumph in the Madrid Open second round on Monday in a thrilling match full of significance after the Canadian had called the Russian a cheater following her doping ban

Bouchard in April called the Russian multimillionaire a "cheater" and said she should not have been allowed to compete again following her doping ban.

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've been part of this game for many years. I know what the drill is," she said. 

"But at the end of the day, it's just two athletes competing against each other, and I'm one of them. That's how I treat this game," Sharapova said.

"What you work for so many hours every single day is to be on the winning end of matches. Today was just not that day."

Bouchard said at her news conference that she received a lot of support in private from tennis players who shared her opinion.

She later said she still believes Sharapova should not have been allowed to play again.

Eugenie Bouchard celebrates her victory. May 8, 2017. (Reuters)

"I definitely had some extra motivation going into today, Obviously I had never beaten her before and then there were other circumstances," she told a news conference.

"I was actually quite inspired before the match because I had a lot of players coming up to me privately wishing me good luck, players I don't normally speak to, getting a lot of texts from people in the tennis world who were just rooting for me.

So I wanted to do it for myself, but also all these people. I really felt the support."

Bouchard saw the five-time grand slam winner as her idol when she was growing up but her admiration vanished when Sharapova tested positive for the banned substance Meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

Sharapova was suspended from tennis for 15 months. While admitting her mistake, Sharapova has hardly been full of contrition and has criticised the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for failing to notify her that Meldonium, a medication she said she had used for a number of years to treat health issues, had indeed been flagged up as "performance enhancing".

Bouchard sets up a third round clash with top seed Angelique Kerber.