Tennis

Caroline Wozniacki calls out Sharapova's agent after "journeyman" jibe

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It's fair to say it has been a tough campaign for Caroline Wozniacki.

The Dane has made seven WTA tour finals, losing six of them, all in straight sets.

She did finally get her name on a trophy at the Pan Pacific Open in Japan, successfully defending her crown from 2016, meaning this has been her 10th consecutive season winning a tour title.

She struggled to make an impact at the Grand Slams though, with her best effort being the quarter-finals at Roland Garros.

And it was at one of tennis' premier events that Wozniacki reignited a feud with one of her old rivals.

The former world number one claimed the US Open gave 'unacceptable' favouritism to Maria Sharapova, after she was awarded a wildcard to play at Flushing Meadows following her 15-month drug ban.

Sharapova's agent, Max Eisenbud, caused a stir earlier this year with his comments about Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska, as he tried to secure his client a wildcard for the French Open.

Eisenbud, who is also vice-president of tennis at IMG, claimed it was their best opportunity to win a major tournament, which he alleged was the reason they didn't want the Russian to be granted entry.

"All those "journeyman" players like Radwanska and Wozniacki who have never won a Slam and the next generation passing them, they are smart to try to keep Maria out of Paris," he claimed in April.

"NO Serena [Williams], NO Maria, NO Vika [Azarenka], NO Petra [Kvitova], it’s their last chance to win a Slam."

Eisenbud's comments were in response to Radwanksa and Wozniacki's disapproval of tournaments handing Sharapova a wildcard having contravened tennis' drug laws.

And now, Wozniacki has brought the argument back to the surface, claiming that Eisenbud has avoided coming face-to-face with her at all costs, something she believes is 'embarrassing'.

"He is scared to even see me," she said, as per The Times.

"I walk in the player lounge and he will literally walk the other way.

"I think that is embarrassing for him since he is one of the head people of IMG."

Eisenbud was forced to apologise after the incident, though Wozniacki said this was 'useless' as he did so by email, and he also received a reprimand from the WTA.

He failed to gain Sharapova a wildcard for Roland Garros, as the French Tennis Federation rejected the application, and his attack on Radwanska backfired too as she is in fact an IMG client.

Wozniacki has now criticised the agent for failing to make his apology public, and was equally bemused by his comments on her fellow WTA star.

"I think it’s a completely ridiculous comment and obviously it shows more about him than about me," she stated.

"And he said that about me and Radwanska, who is in IMG. That’s even more embarrassing for him."

Despite their fall-outs over the years, the Dane has said that she has no personal problem with Sharapova, and that she is merely standing by her principles.

The 27-year-old believes tennis must clamp down more on those with drug offences, as she wants the sport to be clean.

"I’m not dissing one particular player," she insisted. "All I’m saying is that I strongly believe in a clean sport, not only for this generation that is playing now but for the future generation that is
coming up.

"I really believe that it’s important that we set a strict standard and show the juniors that it’s not OK to do performance-enhancing drugs and that the consequences are harsh.

"The thing I love about tennis is that we are known as the clean sport, we are known to be fair play, to have all our traditions and I would really love to see that continue for years to come, even when I’m done playing.

"I would love to be able to sit at home, watch on TV and know that everyone here is a great athlete, a great competitor and playing fair."

Topics:
Maria Sharapova
Venus Williams
Serena Williams
US Open Tennis
Tennis
Agnieszka Radwanska

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