Emotions are expected to fly, as a motivated Bouchard is expecting to meet Sharapova on court at Madrid. As luck would have it, Maria Sharapova’s first round win yesterday at the Madrid Open sets her up against Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard, one of the most outspoken players who was averse to the Russian’s ‘easy return’ after a 15-month doping ban.
The battle of the two outspoken players is slated to be one of the most-awaited round-two clashes in recent history of women’s tennis.
Bouchard, world no. 60, won her first match in the main draw of a tournament since January. She had previously called her round-two opponent a ‘cheat’ and even suggested that Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam winner, should be banned for life.
However, Sharapova is unperturbed by Bouchard’s off-court comments. The 30-year-old Russian refrained from taking any pre-match potshots at the critical Bouchard and is going about her business as usual.
Interestingly, Bouchard is up against someone who she looked up to as a role model in tennis and that has certainly changed for the Canadian athlete.
The 4-0 head-to-head record is in favor of the six feet tall Russian but Bouchard could not have asked for a better timing to open her account against Sharapova.