Maria Sharapova's critics are going to make her sweat

  • Maria Sharapova's critics are going to make her sweat

Maria Sharapova's critics are going to make her sweat

Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard is holding nothing back, slamming Maria Sharapova like she would an overhead smash on the court.

Wednesday's match was Sharapova's first since her quarter-final defeat to World number one Serena Williams at the 2016 Australian Open, where she was tested positive for banned substance Meldonium.

Bouchard, the World No. 59, further said the Women's Tennis Association was sending the wrong message in allowing Sharapova to come back from her 15-month suspension. Her disqualification came to an end of April 26, and the organizers of the Premier series tournament in Stuttgart issued a special invitation known as the wild card to her.

This was another impressive display from the 30-year-old Russian, who hit four aces, 28 winners and just two double faults, while she converted five of her six break points.

"I feel good. I feel happy", Halep said.

"We had longer rallies, which was great for me because it gave me the chance to slide, then get back in position and do all the things you don't do when you don't compete".

Sharapova revealed she took only minimal interest in watching the exploits of her fellow professionals during her enforced absence.

Racing against time to earn an automatic qualifying berth for 2017 French Open, the Russian superstar will be well served if she manages to reach the final here and standing in her way is Kontaveit, who has impressed with her showing in the new season.

Sharapova dismantled Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets in her first tournament since finishing a 15-month doping ban.

As it turns out, Pietersen has now joined the chorus and insisted that an athlete should be banned for life if they're caught doping.

If Sharapova can build on the form she has already shown, it is certainly not impossible she could win a third French Open title. But Sharapova's persistence-and power-erased that lead, and she went on to take the second set, 6-4.

Sharapova would not return fire on Thursday (NZT Friday) when asked if she had a reaction to the Bouchard comment.

Sharapova received a wild card for the tournament after having lost all her ranking points in the wake of her suspension.