Caroline Wozniacki took shots at both Maria Sharapova and the USTA on her way out of the 2017 U.S. Open.
The fifth-seeded Wozniacki was upset Wednesday night by unseeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova in a match played far from the bright lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The two-time U.S. Open finalist and former world No. 1 called her schedule “unacceptable” after the 6-2, 6-7, 6-1 loss, especially compared to the favorable schedule given to Maria Sharapova.
“I think, you know, putting out a schedule where the No. 5 in the world is playing on court five, fifth match on, after 11, I think that’s unacceptable,” Wozniacki said after her early exit from the final Grand Slam event of the season.
That’s when Wozniacki brought up Sharapova, who has played both her matches in Ashe Stadium despite being a wild-card entry following a 15-month drug ban.
“And when you look on center court,” Wozniacki continued, “I completely undertstand the business side of things and everything – but someone who comes back from a drug sentence, performance enhancing drugs, and then all of the sudden gets to play every single match on center court, I think that a questionable thing to do.
“It doesn’t set a good example.”
Maria Sharapova soaks in the love from the fans at Arthur Ashe Stadium after Monday’s Open return.
She then made a case for why she should be getting the Sharapova treatment from the U.S. Open schedule makers.
“And I think someone who has fought their way back from injury and is No. 5 in the world deserves to play on a bigger court than Court 5,” she said.
Her match – although originally scheduled for Court 5 – was eventually moved to Court 17 (“which is a really nice court actually”) as the USTA struggled to get 87 singles matches played Wednesday due to Tuesday’s rain.
Sharapova made her Grand Slam return on Monday night when she upset No. 2 Simona Halep on Ashe. The 2006 U.S. Open champ had missed the previous six Grand Slam events after testing positive for the banned substance meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open. Sharapova then rallied to beat Hungary’s Timea Babos Wednesday night in three sets back inside Ashe.
“With the way I played Monday night, I don’t think there are any more questions,” Sharapova said after Wednesday’s win of the drug talk. “I’ve had an amazing reaction from fans since I’ve been back, and that’s been very special. I mean, I felt it while I was away. I felt it in a real presence since I’ve been back.”
Sharapova’s next match is scheduled for Friday. The USTA has yet to announce where her third-round match against American Sofia Kenin will be played.
Source: Ny Daily News