Maria Sharapova makes winning return after doping ban

It ruined it for me a little bit.

Andy Roddick, interviewed by ESPN, was much more diplomatic: 'It seems a little a naive to me.

"I felt I had to grow as a person and I felt I had to step up and do it".

Her return has not been welcomed by all, but Sharapova received a warm reception as she took to the court earlier.

Vinci lost all four sets and scored only four games in total during her two previous matches against Sharapova, but those were played on hard-court, 10 and five years ago, respectively.

In the second set, Sharapova jumped out to a 2-0 lead and Vinci was unable to mount a comeback, as Sharapova went on to win the set 6-3 to claim the match.

After receiving her punishment and waiting out her 15-month suspension, Maria Sharapova has returned to competitive tennis at the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

There is sure to be some awkwardness in the women's locker room at the Stuttgart Open this week when Maria Sharapova makes a controversial return to tennis.

"This is the best feeling in the world", Sharapova said while holding back tears after the match.

The player appeared to be nervous at the beginning of the match, sending three forehands long in the first game.

Sharapova says she would "play in the juniors" if it meant competing in this year's French Open and Wimbledon.

"I think everyone in this room knows what a competitor I am and I don't take anything for granted, and if I get the opportunity to be in a draw then I will take it", she added. "That's it. She played good and probably she deserved to win".

Even more critical of the ban was Canada's Eugenie Bouchard, who said Sharapova deserved to be banned for life.

"It does bug me, it's not just me I think there are a lot of players out there who don't think its right" Erakovic told NZME.

"I think from the [Women's Tennis Association] it sends the wrong message to young kids: 'Cheat and we'll welcome you back with open arms, '" added Bouchard, who's now the No. 59-ranked women's player in the world.

Andy Murray, the current men's number one and a noted hard-liner on anti-doping, said in the Times last month: "I think you should really have to work your way back".

"They come right back to the team and start playing".

  • Julie Sanders