April 27 (UPI) -- Fellow tennis player Eugenie Bouchard says it's "unfair" that Maria Sharapova is back on the tennis court.
It was her first match following a 15-month suspension after testing positive for a banned substance.
While the Russian was elated to return to her favorite pastime, Bouchard was cringing at the thought of the "cheater" being allowed to return serve.
"She's a cheater and so to me," Bouchard told TRT World. "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. So, I think from the WTA it sends the wrong message to young kids -- cheat and we'll welcome you back with open arms.
"I don't think that's right and [she's] definitely not someone I can say I look up to anymore because that's definitely ruined it for me a little bit."
Sharapova battled fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova in the Round of 16 Thursday at Center Court.
"It's the best feeling in the world," Sharapova said in her on-court interview after Wednesday's win, the New York Times reported. "Those first few seconds before you enter the arena — it's been a stage of mine since I was a young girl and to know that I'd be walking back on it was really special. I've been waiting for this moment for a long time."
Bouchard is taking part in the Istanbul Open. The Canadian teamed up with Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens to win a doubles match Wednesday at the Koza World of Sports complex.
While pregnant Serena Williams holds the No. 1 spot in the WTA rankings, Bouchard ranks No. 59. Sharapova is not listed.
Bouchard, 23, has $5.3 million in career prize money and is 219-144 in singles matches. She won her first WTA singles title at the 2014 Nürnberger Versicherungscup. Bouchard was also a 2014 Wimbledon finalist.
Sharapova, 29, has $36.4 million in career prize money. She has 35 career WTA singles titles and is 601-145 in singles matches. According to Forbes, Sharapova earned $285 million from 2001 to 2016. She earned $29.7 million from June 2014 to June 2015, according to the report.
Sharapova is releasing a memoir in September called Unstoppable: My Life So Far.
The five-time Grand Slam champion was initially banned for two years, before having her suspension reduced to 15 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
She maintains that she took meldonium for years for medical reasons and didn't know it was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list of substances.
"Maria is a star," WTA CEO Steve Simon recently told reporters. "There's going to be a big impact. You can see the excitement about Wednesday. There are people on all sides of the fence, but it's a great story. We wish her success. She served her penalty and we look forward to having her back."
Sharapova is 4-0 in her career against Bouchard, last winning at the 2015 Australian Open.