Maria Sharapova set up a mouth- watering second-round clash with Eugenie Bouchard at the Madrid Open after battling back from a set down to beat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 on Sunday.

Bouchard called the Russian "a cheater" last week and suggested she should have been banned for life -- rather than 15 months -- after testing positive for meldonium at the 2015 Australian Open.

And the Canadian said she would have "a bit more motivation" against her former idol Sharapova after registering a first win on the WTA Tour since January against Alize Cornet on Saturday to set up the grudge match.

Sharapova and Bouchard. AFP

 

"My tennis speaks for itself, and that's what I focus on," said Sharapova, 30, whose immediate return after her ban has gone down badly with some of her fellow players.

"I love being quiet about it and letting everyone around speak or have the noise."

After reaching the semi-finals on her return from her doping ban last week in Stuttgart, Sharapova showed impressive levels of fitness to dig deep after a tough couple of opening sets against 20 Lucic-Baroni. 

And there was no stopping the five-time Grand Slam champion in the decider as she dismissed the dispirited World No 20 for the loss of just 11 points.

Sharapova's conqueror in Stuttgart, Kristina Mladenovic -- another fierce critic of the Russian -- is also safely through when Ana Konjuh retired after Mladenovic levelled at one set all.

Eighth seed and 2015 finalist in Madrid, Svetlana Kuznetsova, cruised past Yaroslava Shvedova 6-4, 6-3.

Feature image source: AFP