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'Cheater' Sharapova should not be allowed to play again: Bouchard

27 April 2017, 03:52 | Erica Roy

After receiving her punishment and waiting out her 15-month suspension, Maria Sharapova has returned to competitive tennis at the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

Sharapova was banned previous year when it was learned that she had taken meldonium, the substance, which was added to the banned list in 2016.

Maria Sharapova says she would "play in the juniors if I have to" in order to compete at the French Open and Wimbledon, but has no interest in building bridges with her rivals after making her comeback from a doping ban.

New Zealand tennis number one Marina Erakovic has joined the chorus of players opposed to Maria Sharapova's free passage back into top level tennis. I don't think a cheater in any sport should be allowed to play that sport again.

She broke instantly in the second set, Vinci affording her opponent too much room to bring her powerful forehand into play. The message that she said it sends is that if you cheat, you will be welcomed back with open arms.

It is probably for the best that Sharapova has no interest in being best buds with her competitors, because there are more than a few players who may want little or nothing to do with her after her break. She's a cheater and so to me, I don't think a cheater in any sport should be allowed to play that sport again.

"I went to school for a little bit, I worked and little bit and I was growing my business", she said.

Defending champion Cagla Buyukakcay is also through to the second round after snapping a nine-match losing streak with a 6-2 6-1 win over Maryna Zanevska.

A quick tour of the venue is enough to see the influence of the five-time Grand Slam champion on the promotion of the tournament.

The "journeyman" labels for two-time major finalist Wozniacki and 2012 Wimbledon runner-up Radwanska - now ranked eighth in the world - seemed particularly harsh, but Sharapova said she was just focusing on playing her game. "At the end of the day, all that matters is what's on the court, and that's why I'm here".

"I didn't know when I'd be back and I did other things in my life. I let things go pretty quickly". Having been handed a wild card into the main draw, the 30-year-old won 7-5 6-3.

"Sharapova now has at least one more chance in Stuttgart to knock her game further into shape, and has also been granted wildcard entries for Rome and Madrid".

She added: "When I am on the court, because I have been doing it for so long, even though you are rusty and trying to get a rhythm, you try to block everything out".

"I don't control my manager's words", she said.

Whether Sharapova will receive a wildcard for French Open will be known on May 15, just a week before qualifying begins for the second major of the season, which is slated to be held from May 28 to June 11.

In fact, it looks like she has now banned Sharapova from her childhood idol list completely.

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