Maria Sharapova is not allowing comments by critics get to her as she says she is “way above” responding to them after booking a quarter-final slot in her first WTA event following a 15-month doping ban.
Called a ”cheat” by Eugenie Bouchard, Sharapova defeated Ekaterina Makarova 7-5 6-1 at the Stuttgart Open. She made a wildcard entry into the tournament.
And when asked about Bouchard’s comments, she said: “I’m looking forward.”
Meanwhile Britain’s Johanna Konta lost 6-3 7-5 to Anastasija Sevastova.
In October, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said Sharapova was not an “intentional doper”.
The five-time Grand Slam winner dominated Makarova, ranked 43 in the world, wrapping up the victory in just one hour, 20 minutes.
The Russian was powerful on serve, as she had been in Wednesday’s win over Italy’s Roberta Vinci, but struggled at times with her return.
Once she had claimed the first set with a late break of serve, she powered through the second. She later broke twice before wrapping up the match with an ace.
In the last eight, the 30-year-old faces Estonian qualifier Anett Kontaveit.
Kontaveit defeated Spanish fifth seed Garbine Muguruza 2-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-1 to reach the next round.