"Extra motivated" Eugenie Bouchard dispatches Maria Sharapova in Madrid

By The Sports Xchange  |  May 8, 2017 at 7:31 PM
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Eugenie Bouchard was highly critical of Maria Sharapova's return to tennis after a 15-month doping ban and she was animated Monday after knocking off the Russian 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 in a second-round match at the Madrid Open.

Bouchard jumped up and down after converting her second match point in an exciting battle that lasted slightly less than three hours on clay. It was just the second win in a main draw match in Madrid for the Canadian.

There appeared to be no outward signs of animosity between the two during the match and as they met to shake hands at the net afterward. Bouchard had called Sharapova a cheater and said she should have received a lifetime ban from the sport.

Sharapova was playing her second tournament since the ban was lifted after she tested positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

"I definitely had some extra motivation going into today," Bouchard said. "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 that were just rooting for me. So I wanted to do it for myself, but also all these people. I really felt support.

"It showed me that most people have my opinion, and they were just maybe scared to speak out."

Bouchard's victory was her first over Sharapova, the 2014 Madrid Open champion, and her first in the tournament after losing in the first round in the previous three years.

Bouchard, ranked 60th in the world, was able to capitalize on the five-time Grand Slam champion's 49 unforced errors and nine double faults.

"I'm just one of the two players out on the court," Sharapova said. "Everything that surrounds myself, I don't pay attention to much of it. I've been part of this game for many years. I know what the drill is."

In an earlier match, top-seeded German Angelique Kerber overcame a 5-3 deficit in the third set to get past Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 1-6, 7-5.

Kerber had seven double faults but won the final four games to move into the third round to face Bouchard, who will take over the No. 1 ranking from Serena Williams after this week.

"I think she played one of the best matches in this year," Kerber said. "I was trying at the end coming back. 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."

Second-seeded Karolina Pliskova was upset in the second round, falling to Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 6-3, 6-3. Pliskova, ranked No. 3 in the world, was hoping to rise to No. 1 this week.

In other matches, 10th-seeded Dane Caroline Wozniacki lost to Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-4, 2-6, 6-2; eighth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia rallied to beat American Alison Riske 2-6, 7-6 (9), 6-2; 14th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France got past American Lauren Davis 6-3, 1-6, 7-6; and 15th-seeded Barbara Strycova of the Czech Republic was ousted 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 by Lara Arruabarrena of Spain.

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