Sharapova gets walkover to final as Davenport withdraws

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- Lindsay Davenport withdrew from the Bausch & Lomb Championships because of fever and aches before her semifinal Saturday against Maria Sharapova.

This is the first time in her 16 years on the WTA Tour the three-time Grand Slam champion pulled out of an event because of sickness. Davenport's withdrawal means Sharapova gets a walkover into Sunday's title match, her first final on clay.

Davenport's illness may stem from the cold her 10-month-old son had this week. She said she began feeling sick after her quarterfinal victory.

"I returned to my hotel where the tournament doctor came to see me," she said. "Unfortunately, I was running a fever, had aches and pains and a headache. Those symptoms have worsened today."

Davenport already had decided to skip next week's Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C.

The top-seeded Sharapova will play for the title against the winner of Saturday's other semifinal, Alize Cornet or Dominika Cibulkova.

"It's obviously very strange coming onto the site and not being able to play the semifinal," Sharapova said. "Obviously, Lindsay woke up sick today, and you're always ready to go out and play on court and compete. This was a little strange. This was actually the first time that I did get a walkover like that so late in the tournament."

Davenport won the Bausch & Lomb in 1997, 2004 and 2005 and has a 14-match win streak at Amelia Island Plantation. She missed the tournament the last two years because of a back injury and the birth of her son, Jagger.

Sharapova said she has no preference for her opponent in the final.

"I'm looking forward to playing whoever I am going to play," she said. "I'm sure they're going to go out into the final not having much to lose, a new opportunity ahead of them. So it will definitely be a tough match."