Losing 2014 Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova has slammed former rival Maria Sharapova in an interview with a Slovakian magazine.
In March, the former world No.1 told a news conference in Los Angeles that she failed a drug test at the 2016 Australian Open. Sharapova admitted she had been taking Mildronate [Meldonium] for the past 10 years. Meldonium is used to treat diabetes and low magnesium and improve blood flow, among other things. Sharapova was provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation, pending determination of the case.
Meldonium was added to the list of banned substances on January 1, 2016. Since then, many high-profile Russian athletes, including Olympic swimmer Yulia Efimova, tennis star Maria Sharapova, speedskaters Semyon Yelistratov and Pavel Kulizhnikov have all admitted to testing positive for it.
Dominika, the current world number 54, did not mince her words when discussing the fallen star. Known for her quick and aggressive style of play, the professional Slovak tennis player said she was surprised that most of the reactions were so diplomatic because the opinion of everyone is actually totally different. Dominika said she did not made any statement as she did not wanted to be the only person to openly say what they think about this Meldonium doping scandal. The Slovakian said she will only say that she does not feel sorry at all for Maria Sharapova and does not miss her on the tour.
The losing 2014 Australian Open finalist said Maria is arrogant, cold, and conceited and did not even bother to greet her when she sat beside her in the locker room. The comments of Dominika backs up recent comments from 18-time Grand Slam champion and ESPN analyst Chris Evert who remarked Maria Sharapova has always isolated herself from the rest of the tennis world, from the players. Evert had remarked she doesn’t have a lot of close friendships on the tour. A former coach of a top 10 player also recently anonymously told the New York Post that the Russian tennis player definitely doesn’t seem to have any friends on tour. The strength coach said her camp (coaches, trainers, assistants) and even (now-ex-boyfriend tennis pro) Grigor Dimitrov would be chatting with everyone, and when Maria Sharapova would walk in, Grigor and her coach would make eye contact and know to stop socializing and it became a joke among everyone in professional tennis.
Sharapova was hardly ever popular in the locker room. In 2013, Maria herself even declared that she is not really close to many players and she thinks just because you are in the same sport does not mean that you have to be friends with everyone.
A United States resident since 1994, Maria Sharapova earned silver for Russia in women's singles at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. In March 2012, she was named one of the "100 Greatest of All Time" by Tennis Channel. Maria Sharapova has been named by Forbes as the highest paid female athlete in the world for 11 consecutive years.