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'Players I don't normally speak to were rooting for me' - Bouchard

The Canadian says she has the support of the locker room.

EUGENIE BOUCHARD SAYS her stunning victory over Maria Sharapova at the Madrid Open was partly inspired by the support she received from her peers.

The Canadian last month labelled Sharapova, who recently returned from a 15-month suspension for testing positive for the banned substance meldonium, a “cheater” and claimed the Russian should have been given a lifetime ban.

Bouchard did her talking on the court last night, defeating Sharapova 7-5 2-6 6-4 in a near three-hour epic on the Madrid clay. And the 2014 Wimbledon finalist says she received plenty of support in the locker room ahead of the match.

“I was inspired because I had a lot of players coming up to me privately, wishing me good luck,” she said.

“They were players I don’t normally speak to and I got a lot of texts from people in the tennis world that were just rooting for me. I wanted to do it for myself, but also for all these people.

mariasharapova-cropped_1qw9a0zvj3s4013junejlbyzkc Maria Sharapova and Eugenie Bouchard shake hands

“Some girls in the locker room were coming up to me and really wishing me good luck which doesn’t normally happen.

It showed me that most people have my opinion and they were just maybe scared to speak out.”

Bouchard and Sharapova had a brief handshake at the end of the match. On the exchange with her opponent, Bouchard added: “She said ‘well played’.

“And I think she’s been playing really well in her so-called comeback, if you want to call it that.”

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