NEW YORK—It was hardly anything new when Caroline Wozniacki criticized Maria Sharapova's standing in the first week of the US Open.
"A schedule where the No. 5 [seed] is playing on Court 5, fifth match on ... I think that's unacceptable," said Wozniacki, who was eventually moved to larger Court 17 and fell to Ekaterina Makarova on a packed third day at Flushing Meadows.
Sharapova, who received a wild card into the tournament and is ranked No. 103—she was No. 146 during the US Open—as she continues her return from an anti-doping suspension, was scheduled to play third on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
"I understand completely the business side of things,” Wozniacki said in a Danish television interview. “But someone who comes back from a drugs sentence, performance-enhancing drugs, and all of a sudden gets to play every single match on center court, I think that's a questionable thing to do.”
While Wozniacki has previously said she is not against players getting a "second chance," she has also argued that the rules have been bent to get one of the world's most famous athletes back on court as smoothly as possible.
Plenty of players have gone further. Kristina Mladenovic and Eugenie Bouchard have both accused Sharapova of “cheating,” saying their opinions are widely shared in the locker room.
Andy Murray also chimed in.
"I think taking a prescription drug that you don’t necessarily need, but just because it’s legal, I don’t think that that’s right,” the world No. 3 said.
Several others have criticized wild cards given to Sharapova upon her return, with the French Open refusing to give one to the five-time Grand Slam champion.