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Injured Davenport pulls out of Sanex Championships final

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MUNICH, GERMANY (TICKER) -- Lindsay Davenport withdrew from Sunday's final of the $3 million Sanex Championships with a knee injury, thus handing fellow American Serena Williams the title.

Davenport sustained a right tibial contusion while up 5-2 in the third-set tiebreaker of Saturday's semifinal victory over Kim Clijsters.

"I absolutely can't put any weight on my right knee," said Davenport, who had a 15-match winning streak come to an end. "I really cannot say how terrible I feel. Obviously, this is one of the toughest days of my career.

"Yesterday, third set tiebreaker at 5-2, Kim hit a dropshot which I ran to and got, I think she missed the next shot. But right there I definitely jammed my knee and did something to where I knew I hurt my knee."

On Saturday, Davenport outlasted Clijsters, 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) to overtake Jennifer Capriati for the world No. 1 ranking in women's tennis. She was seeking her fourth straight title on Sunday.

"I did not do an MRI last night," Davenport added. "They (doctors) are confident that they think I hit the two bones together again in my knee, like I did in March. It is much more painful now than it was in March. This morning I couldn't hit let alone really walk."

Davenport was out of action for nearly 12 weeks with an injury to the same knee suffered in March in Miami. She did not return until just before Wimbledon.

This is the first time this season a final did not take place due to an injury. The last time a championship match was cancelled was the State Farm Tennis Classic at Scottsdale, Arizona on March 5, 2000 when the final between Davenport and Martina Hingis was scratched due to persistant rain.

It also marks the 10th time in the WTA Tour's 31-year history a singles final was cancelled due to injury.

Williams claimed her third tournament victory of the year and 11th of her career. She earned $750,000.

"I completely understand the position that Lindsay is in," Williams said. "I talked to her about it. She's feeling pretty rough. I think she had this injury before. You can see in her match yesterday at the end, she was holding her leg. I just hope she gets better soon. I never had a win like this before."

Seeded third, Williams arrived in Munich having not played since losing the U.S. Open final to her older sister Venus due the events of September 11.

Williams will play Germany's Anke Huber, who retired from tennis earlier in the week, in an exhibition match on Sunday. That will follow the doubles final between the top-seeded team of Australian Rennae Stubbs and American Lisa Raymond, and the third-seeded duo of Russian Elena Likhovtseva and Zimbabwe's Cara Black.
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