Bouchard strikes another blow to Sharapova with Madrid win
Eugenie Bouchard came out on top in a high quality battle with Maria Sharapova in the Spanish capital.
A fired-up Eugenie Bouchard let her tennis do the talking by beating Maria Sharapova in a thrilling second-round battle at the Madrid Open on Monday.
Bouchard last month stated her belief that "cheater" Sharapova should have banned for life after failing a drugs test at the 2016 Australian Open.
Less than two weeks later the pair served up a classic under the lights on Estadio Manolo Santana and Bouchard dealt another blow to the five-time grand slam champion, who went down 7-5 2-6 6-4.
Sharapova reached the semi-finals of the Stuttgart Open in her first tournament back since serving her ban but made an early exit here after losing a fiercely contested encounter with the brilliant Bouchard, who defeated the Russian for the first time in five attempts.
Bouchard showed the sort of class and fighting qualities which enabled the Canadian to reach the final of Wimbledon three years ago and she will take on top seed Angelique Kerber in round three.
Sharapova led 4-2 in an opening set which was a sign of things to come, swinging one way and the other before Bouchard broke for a third time to edge in front.
The Russian won four games in a row in the second to level the match as the two rivals served up a treat for an appreciative crowd on the clay in the Spanish capital.
Bouchard let out a roar after stopping the rot to level at 1-1 in the decider in a brilliant match which was there for the taking for both players and it was the 23-year-old who came out on top, breaking twice and taking her second match point with a sublime cross-court forehand.
The two shook hands at the net after Bouchard made a big on-court statement so soon after aiming verbal volleys at Sharapova.