Wozniacki slams Sharapova 'favouritism'

Dane upset that the Russian gets to play back-to-back matches on centre court

Caroline Wozniacki slammed as "unacceptable and questionable" the US Open decision to give Maria Sharapova back-to-back matches on the showpiece Arthur Ashe Stadium in the Russian's first Grand Slam appearance since serving a doping ban.

Wozniacki was furious that she was sent to play her second-round match on an outside court, while five-time Major winner Sharapova was scheduled twice on the tournament's biggest arena.

Sharapova will play her third straight match on centre court when she faces American wild card Sofia Kenin in the third round this morning (Singapore time).

"I think putting out a schedule where the fifth seed is playing on Court 5, fifth match on after 11 pm - I think that's unacceptable," said 27-year-old Wozniacki, a former world No. 1 like Sharapova.

"When you look on centre court, I understand completely the business side of things, but someone who comes back from a drugs sentence - performance-enhancing drugs - and all of a sudden gets to play every single match on centre court, I think that's a questionable thing to do.

"I think it doesn't set a good example and I think someone who has fought her way back from injury and is fifth in the world deserves to play on a bigger court than Court 5.

"Finally, they moved us to Court 17, which is a really nice court actually... but I think they should probably look into what they need to do in the future."

Wozniacki's quest to win her first Major continues after losing 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1 to Russia's Ekaterina Makarova on Thursday morning. The 2009 and 2014 US Open runner-up became the fourth top-10 woman to exit the tournament.

Sharapova, the US Open champion in 2006, had earlier seen off Hungary's Timea Babos at the 24,000-capacity Ashe, two days after she had knocked out world No. 2 Simona Halep on the same court.

She had served a 15-month suspension for failing a drugs test at last year's Australian Open and returned to the tour only in April.

The 30-year-old was refused a wild card to play at the French Open because of her suspension while injury ruled her out of Wimbledon. The US Open, however, awarded her a wild card into the season's final Grand Slam.

Scheduling on the Ashe court has raised eyebrows.

Evgeniya Rodina, ranked 89th, played both her matches there. She lost to fourth seed Elina Svitolina on Thursday while in Wednesday's first round, she defeated Eugenie Bouchard, one of the sport's top poster girls and media-savvy players. - AFP




  • Rafael Nadal (x1) bt Taro Daniel 4-6,
    6-3, 6-2, 6-2
  • Roger Federer (x3) bt Mikhail
    Youzhny 6-1, 6-7(3), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
  • Dominic Thiem (x6) bt Taylor Fritz
    6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
  • David Goffin (x9) bt Guido Pella 3-6,
    7-6(5), 6-7(2), 7-6(4), 6-3


  • Karolina Pliskova (x1) bt Nicole Gibbs
    2-6, 6-3, 6-4
  • Agnieszka Radwanska (x10) bt Yulia
    Putintseva 7-5, 6-2
  • Elina Svitolina (x4) bt Evgeniya
    Rodina 6-4, 6-4
  • Jelena Ostapenko (x12) bt Sorana
    Cirstea 6-4, 6-4


Maria SharapovaUS OPEN