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Sharapova vs Bouchard

MADRID (AFP) – Maria Sharapova set up a mouth-watering second-round clash with Eugenie Bouchard at the Madrid Open after battling back from a set down to beat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 on Sunday.

Bouchard called the Russian “a cheater’’ last week and suggested she should have been banned for life – rather than 15 months – after testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

And the Canadian said she would have “a bit more motivation’’ against her former idol Sharapova after registering a first win on the WTA Tour since January against Alize Cornet on Saturday to set up the grudge match.

“My tennis speaks for itself, and that’s what I focus on,’’ said Sharapova, 30, whose immediate return after her ban has gone down badly with some of her fellow players.

“I love being quiet about it and letting everyone around speak or have the noise.’’

Despite the controversy surrounding the decision to hand her a wildcard, Sharapova was given a warm reception by the sparse crowd.

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