US Open 2017: Caroline Wozniacki rips 'unacceptable' favoritism of Sharapova
Wozniacki, knocked out Wednesday by Ekaterina Makarova, was frustrated with her playing slot
Maria Sharapova's controversial return to Grand Slam play at the US Open as a wild card following her 15-month suspension from a failed drug test is the talk of the tennis world. And Caroline Wozniacki, for one, isn't a fan of the treatment US Open officials have given Sharapova thus far.
"Putting out a schedule where the No. 5 in the world is playing Court Five -- fifth match on after 11 [p.m.] I think that's unacceptable," Wozniacki said. "And when you look on Center Court I understand completely the business side of things and everything but someone who comes back from a drug sentence and, you know performance enhancing drugs, and then you know all of a sudden gets to play every single match on Center Court, I think that's a questionable thing to do."
Sharapova, who has been one of the biggest stars in tennis for over a decade and a half, has won her first two US Open matches, including a.
Sharapova's first two matches were played in primetime on Center Court, and Wozniacki's displeasure likely isn't contained within a void. Many tennis players have spoken out against Sharapova from the time of her suspension until now. Garbine Muguruza said earlier in the week that Sharapova "shouldn't be helped so much" in reference to Sharapova's wild card draw, although she too conceded the business side of things favoring Sharapova.
"Well, I guess the fans want her back," Muguruza had said. "She will improve the tournament. What do I think about the wild card? I guess when someone has been banned, you have to work for it, a little bit to go and play your tournaments and not help that much sometimes. You've got to work hard and deserve it again. I think that's the way."
Sharapova won over many fans with a tough performance against Halep, breaking down in tears after the match. After defeating Timea Babos in the Round of 64, there were no tears, but Sharapova had the crowd's approval just the same. It's tough to watch for these stars, especially stars like Wozniacki that have battled back from tough injuries to compete, but it's the lay of the land in tennis. Sharapova is a comeback story, no matter how self-inflicted the necessity of the comeback may be. Sharapova had undoubtedly played well, but it's rare that the divide between fans and players is so apparent.
Wozniacki has every reason to be upset. She continued, saying that "someone who is five in the world deserves to play on bigger court than Court No. 5 and, you know, finally they moved us to Court 17 which is a really nice court actually... we had great atmosphere out there but -- yeah -- I think we probably should sometimes look into... what things to do for sure."
Sharapova's next match will be Friday at 11 a.m. ET against 18-year-old American Sofia Kenin.
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