Bouchard: 'Cheater' Sharapova should be banned for life

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

The former No. 1 entered the Stuttgart event on a wild card after losing her ranking because of the ban.

It was Sharapova's first match 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. We all work too hard not to come out here and give it everything you have until the last point.

Eugenie Bouchard called Maria Sharapova is "a cheater" and said she should never be allowed to play professional tennis again after the Russian tennis star returned from a 15-month doping suspension this week.

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam victor who is making her comeback in Stuttgart after a 15-month doping ban, backed the new measures announced by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

"I can't control what people say, all I can is what I do out there, they are my words and I prefer to walk the walk and I have done it by winning five Grand Slam titles", she told a packed press conference.

"I don't. I'm way above that. Haven't played because every match", said Sharapova after the match.

"Being in the quarterfinals here again is quite special", said Sharapova, who won the indoor clay event three times from 2012-14.

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Playing in just her second match since returning from a 15-month doping ban, Sharapova looked far more assured than in her victory over Tour veteran Roberta Vinci on Wednesday evening.

Both women held serve comfortably throughout most of the first set, with the first sign of alarm coming when Sharapova trailed 0-30 at 4-4.

The turning point arrived when Sharapova broke with a fierce cross-court backhand, forcing Kontaveit to net her return attempt.

Having also been given wild cards to play at the Madrid and Rome tournaments, Sharapova must wait until May 16 to learnt if she will get a wild card for the French Open. I stepped up, I didn't back down when she was serving to stay in the match. "But I love the game and I love great rivalries".

Elsewhere, France's Kristina Mladenovic caused the biggest upset of the tournament to date when she beat top seed Angelique Kerber 6-2 7-5.

She added: "I felt pretty good, the adrenaline and the challenge of each opponent is exciting".

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