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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Where is Wozniacki? Sharapova hits back at rival after reaching US Open fourth round

Russian former world No 1 is through to the fourth round in New York after a straight sets win over the American.

Maria Sharapova wavws to the crowd after her US Open third round victory over Sofia Kenin. Kathy Willens / AP Photo
Maria Sharapova wavws to the crowd after her US Open third round victory over Sofia Kenin. Kathy Willens / AP Photo

Maria Sharapova has shrugged off Caroline Wozniacki's criticism of US Open organisers for giving the Russian centre court billing in her return to grand slam tennis after a doping ban.

Defeated by Ekaterina Makarova on an outside court in the second round, former world No 1 Wozniacki lashed organisers for scheduling Sharapova at Arthur Ashe Stadium in her opening matches.

Sharapova, who returned from a 15-month ban in April, was handed a wildcard for the year's final grand slam and made her third consecutive appearance in the main stadium on Friday, beating American teenager Sofia Kenin 7-5, 6-2 to reach the fourth round.

"With regards to scheduling, as you know, I don't make the schedule," Sharapova said. "I'm a pretty big competitor. If you put me out in the parking lot of Queens in New York City, I'm happy to play there.

"That's not what matters to me. All that matters to me is I'm in the fourth round. Yeah, I'm not sure where she is."

The 2006 US Open champion has been warmly embraced at Flushing Meadows, playing to standing ovations and raucous cheers from sellout crowds.

She will play Latvian 16th seed Anastasija Sevastova for a place in the quarter-finals.

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