“She is a cheater and so, to me, I don’t think a cheater in any sport should be allowed to play that sport again,” Bouchard told Turkish broadcaster TRT World at the Istanbul Cup. “It’s so unfair to all the other players who do it the right way.”
Good for Bouchard for calling out Sharapova and even better that she followed it up by beating the five-time Grand Slam champion on the court.
Bouchard, one of the most outspoken players against Sharapova’s return to tennis following a doping ban, jumped up and down after converting her second match point in just under three hours.
“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.”
“It definitely helps when you can back it up,” Bouchard said. “Obviously, there was a lot going on besides tennis in this match. As soon as I stepped on the court, I really just wanted to make it about tennis. We both did that. We just battled our hearts out.”
Sharapova said she didn’t need extra motivation to play against anybody.
“Everything that surrounds matches like this doesn’t affect me at all,” she said. “I didn’t expect anything different (with Bouchard’s performance).
“I think I would be worried about myself if I sat here and said I’m pretty happy with losing a tennis match, no matter who I face, no matter what round it is, whether it’s the first round or final of a grand slam.
“I’m a big competitor. 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. Of course, I’m disappointed. That’s what’s going to make me a better player. That’s what’s going to win me more tournaments and more grand slams.”