Women's Sport: Australian Open wildcard Maria Sharapova slams Brisbane International court allocation

2020 Brisbane International Previews

Maria Sharapova feels the women’s Brisbane International event is being left “second-hand” to the men's ATP event at the same location.

The men’s ATP event is happening simultaneously at the Queensland Tennis Centre and, as a result, the women’s matches occurring in the Brisbane International have been push to outside courts.

"There's a lot of girls that are deserving of that centre-court spot," the 147th ranked five-time Grand Slam champion said after her own match was moved.

"You definitely recognise it and notice it. It feels like a little bit of a second-hand event."

The USA’s Sloane Stephens echoed the Russian’s sentiments and lamented the omission of female players from organisers’ plans.

"We just weren't in the conversation to even be considered," the American, 26, said.

"It was what the ATP wanted - they got what they wanted, girls to the side, that's kind of how it always is."

Sharapova’s journey in the tournament in Brisbane was short-lived after she lost her first-round match against the USA’s Jennifer Brady.

Sharapova a wildcard for Melbourne

However, the Russian will now be looking forward to the Australian Open after she was handed a wildcard entry into the first Grand Slam competition of the season this week.

The former world number one’s current ranking of 147 means she would have alternatively had to go through the competition’s qualifiers to be in the main draw.

The 32-year-old who previously won the Australian Open in 2008 spoke of her excitement at the news.

"To be in the draw of the Australian Open is incredible, I've had wonderful experiences there, from holding the championship trophy to losing some very tough finals as well - there have been a lot of ups and downs in Australia.

"So to have another chance, another opportunity, to compete on all those courts is very special."

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