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Caroline Wozniacki: Maria Sharapova's agent is 'scared to see me' after 'journeyman' player comment

Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki
Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki

Vicki Hodges

Caroline Wozniacki claims that Maria Sharapova's agent Max Eisenbud is "scared" to see her following his "journeyman" player earlier this season.

Eisenbud is the vice-president of tennis at IMG, and the long-time agent of Sharapova, and spoke in defence of his high-profile client this summer. Irked by comments from former world No 1 Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska that Sharapova was being handed a free-ride back to the sport following her 15-months drugs ban, Eisenbud took a swipe at the duo.

Despite Radwanska also being on the books at IMG, Eisenbud launched a withering attack on the former world No 2 and Wozniacki, who is this week competing in the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore.

In a statement directed at American tennis journalist, Ben Rothenberg, Eisenbud wrote: “All those ‘journeyman’ players like Radwanska and Wozniacki who have never won a slam and the next generation passing them, they are smart to try to keep Maria out of Paris [the French Open].

“NO Serena [Williams], NO Maria, NO Vika [Azarenka], NO Petra [Kvitova], it’s their last chance to win a slam.”

While Eisenbud was reprimanded by the WTA tour, he has never publicly withdrawn the statement and a private apology to Wozniacki via email was not warmly recieved.

It is no wonder then, that Sharapova's agent has been eager to avoid an uncomfortable head-to-head encounter since.

"He is scared to even see me," Wozniacki says in an interview with The Times. “I walk in the player lounge and he will literally walk the other way. I think that is embarrassing for him since he is one of the head people of IMG.”

Wozniacki claims the situation has proven more "embarrassing" for Eisenbud than herself. The Dane spent 67 weeks at the top of the rankings in 2010, has reached two grand slam finals and won 26-titles on the WTA Tour.

“I think it’s a completely ridiculous comment and obviously it shows more about him than about me,” Wozniacki said. “And he said that about me and Radwanska, who is in IMG. That’s even more embarrassing for him.

“All I wanted from him was an apology to my face and he never stepped up and said ‘sorry’. I don’t have any hard feelings so, if he came up to me and said, ‘I’m sorry, I made a mistake’, I would say, ‘No problem, no big deal’. But it’s been a long time and I’m still waiting.”

Wozniacki claims her disapproval with tennis tournaments handing Sharapova wildcards and the scheduling at the US Open, which allowed Sharapova to play all of her matches on the show courts, is not sour grapes or in fact a dislike for one individual.

“I’m not dissing one particular player,” Wozniacki said. “All I’m saying is that I strongly believe in a clean sport, not only for this generation that is playing now but for the future generation that is coming up. I really believe that it’s important that we set a strict standard and show the juniors that it’s not OK to do performance-enhancing drugs and that the consequences are harsh."

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