Former world number one, Caroline Wozniacki has said that Maria Sharapova’s return to the court ahead of the expiration of her ban is disrespectful to the players and the game of tennis.
Wozniacki was speaking after it emerged Sharapova will play at the Stuttgart Porsche Grand Prix on 24 April ahead of her 26 April return date.
Sharapova had been banned for 15 months after results showed she had taken a banned substance, meldonium.
Wozniacki is happy to see the five-time grand slam winner returning to the Tour, but does not believe it should be in Stuttgart.
”First of all I think she’s a good draw for tennis, women’s tennis in general. But two, I think it’s questionable allowing – no matter who it is – a player that is still banned to play a tournament that week.
”From the tournament side I think it’s disrespectful to the other players and the WTA. But it is what it is. Obviously rules are twisted and turned in favour of who wants to do what.
”I think everyone deserves a second chance and I think she’s going to come back and fight her way back. I’m sure she’s going to play well. But at the same time, I feel when a player is banned for drugs, I think someone should start from the bottom and fight their way back,” she said.