Maria Sharapova reached the finals of the Bausch & Lomb Championships for the first time, after her semifinal opponent Lindsay Davenport withdrew because of illness. In the final world No.5 and top seed Sharapova will meet one of my favorite rising stars, Slovakia’s Domika Cibulkova, ranked 34th.
Former world No.1 Davenport wasn’t feeling good after beating Agnes Szavay in the quarterfinals, and the day after, her health hasn’t improved.
“I returned to my hotel where the doctor came to see me,” said Davenport.
“Unfortunately, I was running a fever, had aches and pains and a headache. Those symptoms have worsened today.”
The 18-year-old Cibulkova beat France’s Alize Cornet 6-2 2-6 6-4 in the semifinals. Cibulkova was 0-9 against Top 20 players going into the Qatar Total Open in Doha in February. But then she beat No.12 Patty Schnyder and No.7 Venus Williams back-to-back, and so far at the Bausch & Lomb Championships she defeated three seeded players, one of them a Top 20 player: No. 14 seed Victoria Azarenka, No.2 Anna Chakvetadze and No.11 Amelie Mauresmo.