Eugenie Bouchard has criticised the Women's Tennis Association WTA) for allowing Maria Sharapova to return to the sport, branding the 30-year-old a "cheater".
Sharapova made a triumphant return to the sport on Wednesday evening (26 April) when she defeated Roberta Vinci in straight sets at the Stuttgart Open, but Bouchard does not think the former Wimbledon champion should be involved in tennis after serving a 15-month ban for failing a drugs test.
The Canadian, a former Wimbledon finalist herself, believes the WTA have sent the "wrong message" in allowing Sharapova to compete again and says their decision has gone some way to ruining tennis for her.
"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," Bouchard was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. "It's so unfair to all the other players who do it the right way and are true. So I just think the WTA sends the wrong message to young kids: you know, cheat and we'll welcome you back with open arms.
"So I don't think that's right. She's not someone I can say I look up to anymore because it's definitely ruined it for me a little bit."