Players wished me good luck 'privately' before Sharapova encounter: Bouchard

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Johannesburg [South Africa], May 9 (ANI): Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard believes that plenty of other players on the WTA Tour have similar opinion regarding Maria Sharapova's return from an 15-month doping ban like her, but are too `scared` to speak about the same. Bouchard's strong assertion comes after her thumping 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 win against the former World No. 1 for the first time in five meetings in the second round of the Madrid Open. Labelling Sharapova as a `cheater`, Bouchard had last week suggested that the Russian player should have been kicked out of the sport for life, instead of welcoming her with a series of wildcards for high-profile tournaments. Following the triumph, the Canadian player said that she definitely had a lot of motivation going into the clash as many other players had come to her privately to wish her good luck. "I definitely had some extra motivation going into today (Monday).I was actually quite inspired before the match because I had a lot of players coming up to me privately wishing me good luck," Sport24 quoted Bouchard as saying. "Players I don't normally speak to, getting a lot of texts from people in the tennis world that were just rooting for me. I wanted to do it for myself, but also all these people. It showed me that most people have my opinion, and they were just maybe scared to speak out, but privately I've gotten a lot of support, so I was inspired and motivated to play," she added. Bouchard further taunted, "I think she's been playing really well in her so-called comeback, if you want to call it that." Meanwhile, Sharapova insisted there was no extra disappointment on her part for having lost to Bouchard despite earlier vowing to let her tennis do the talking ahead of the match. Despite the defeat, the Russian tennis star also expressed confident that she would once again rise to the top of the tennis world to add to her five Grand Slam titles. "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," she added. Describing herself as a `big competitor`, Sharapova said although she is disappointed, these defeats would only help her to become a better player in the coming future. "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," she concluded. Earlier, Sharapova was handed a wildcard entry at Stuttgart Open as she made it to the semifinals of her first tournament since testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open. The five-time Grand Slam champion had previously also received wild cards for Madrid (May 7-13) and Rome (May 15-21) tournaments.(ANI)