Maria Sharapova to face an opponent who has called her "a cheat"

Karolina Pliskova- Madrid

Karolina Pliskova- Madrid

It was Sharapova's fifth match since a 15-month ban for testing positive for meldonium at last year's Australian Open.

Sharapova said playing as many matches as possible is the most important thing for her at the moment.

She also said that she is not affected by the off-the-court controversy involving her return to tennis.

In the men's tournament, ninth-seeded David Goffin of Belgium defeated Karen Khachanov of Russian Federation 6-2, 7-6 (8), and Fabio Fognini of Italy beat Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-4, 6-4 to set up a second-round match against Rafael Nadal. I've heard a lot of things.

No matter how good of a match that Russian Maria Sharapova and Canadian Eugenie Bouchard play on Monday in the WTA Madrid Open, it might not live up to the post-match handshake between the two as there is likely to be no love lost between them.

Maria Sharapova is not yet anxious about whether she will be awarded a wild card for Wimbledon following her doping ban.

Sharapova held three break points to lead 2-1 in the third game, before Bouchard came back from 0-40 in the fourth to produce a backhand victor to level it at 2-2.

GERMANY'S ZVEREV TAKES MUNICH TITLE: Germany's rising star Alexander Zverev earned his third ATP title, his first on home soil, with a straight-sets win in the final of the Munich tournament on Sunday.

Up next for the former World No.1 is 2014 Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard, who won her first WTA main draw match since January on Saturday, dispatching Alizé Cornet in three sets. "If everything affects you on and off the court, I think that would be a really challenging position to be in", Sport24 quoted Sharapova as saying.

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But most will be able to breathe a sigh of relief at the close of play on Monday night if results go their way. It's a totally different to the Italian or Spanish leagues. "We are working very hard to reach this target".

"I don't think that's right", Bouchard said in reference to Sharapova getting wild card into Stuttgart and other tournaments.

"My goal is to play as many matches as I can right now", Sharapova explained. "It's very meaningful to me", she added.

The 60th-ranked Bouchard joined several players, including world No. 1 Andy Murray, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Agnieszka Radwanska and Kristina Mladenovic, voicing opposition to Sharapova-or any player-receiving wild cards following doping bands.

Maria Sharapova celebrates after winning a point during her first-round victory over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni at the 2017 Mutua Madrid Open. She's a cheater and so, to me, I mean I don't think a cheater in any sport should be able to play that sport again.

Stosur imposed her will on the 20-year-old to break her six times in the match. Bouchard has won only one set in the four matches.

"Sad that I didn't win today but I played against a great player, a great champion", Pella said.

It was Kerber's first WTA clay-court win of the season.

"She also has a game to bother me". Defending champion Simona Halep cruised past Kristyna Pliskova 6-1, 6-2.

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