Caroline Wozniacki and Simona Halep exchange words in separate press conferences

Halep's first day back on the WTA Tour as a wildcard at the Miami Open did not make Wozniacki happy

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Caroline Wozniacki did not hold back when asked how she felt about Simona Halep's return to professional tennis at the Miami Open. Halep was awarded a wildcard by tournament director James Blake and lost to Paula Badosa on Tuesday in her first match in 18 months.

Wozniacki cushioned her opinion by saying that it was not aimed at Halep directly whom she has always liked, but the gist of it was that if someone is suspended for doping, she should not be awarded a wildcard for entry into tournaments.

She believes persons reentering the tour after serving a doping suspension should have to work their way up the ranking without the benefit of a wildcard. Though she did not say it, she implied that Halep and people in her situation should have to go through qualifying rounds to make tournament main draws.

Halep responds to Wozniacki's comments

Halep was asked about Wozniacki's comments and seemed unaware what she said. Halep reiterated that she did not intentionally dope but unknowingly took a contaminated substance. She said she is not a cheater. Halep also expressed her happiness to be back and said one person being negative is not important in the scheme of things when so many have shown her love and support.

It is worth mentioning that tournament wildcards are given by tournament directors in order to boost interest (and sell more tickets) to the event. There is no universal system for granting them; it is based purely on the tournament director's discretion. In the case of Halep, Miami Open director James Blake's biggest concern was if she was prepared. Once he heard from Darren Cahill that she was practicing and fit, he gave her the wildcard without hesitation. Ironically, Wozniacki has also been the beneficiary of wildcards when she made her return to tennis last summer after coming out of retirement and earlier this year at the Australian Open.

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