Samantha Stosur advanced to her first final of the year when her French rival Marion Bartoli retired with a foot problem in the second set of their semi-final clash at the Qatar Open.
After losing the first set 6-3, Bartoli was serving in the first game of the second when she pulled out with Stosur on break point at 40-30.
Stosur will take on top seed Victoria Azarenka in the final.
"You always want to win a match playing the full match out and winning match point," Stosur said.
"So any player will always take it if you play a set or two sets, but of course in the nature of the sport, you want to be able to finish it."
Azarenka overcame a second set injury scare to thrash Aginezska Radwanska 6-2, 6-4.
Azarenka won despite having court side treatment on her left foot immediately after Radwanska broke back in the second game of the second set.
The world number one was in apparent pain as she had her foot strapped, and for a few minutes it looked like she too would call it quits like Bartoli did an hour earlier.
But after a near eight-minute delay Azarenka came back with renewed determination that left Radwanska completely at her mercy.
After the scores were tied at 2-2, Azarenka won three games in a row to lead 5-2 and although Radwanska herself had a break and retained her serve to close in at 4-5, the Australian Open champ was not letting the opportunity slip by, winning the tenth game 40-0 with a forehand down the line to reach her third final of the season.
"Honestly, I don't know how I managed to pull it off," she said.
"I had to concentrate very hard on every point, but I am happy that I made it," added Azarenka, who took her winning streak this year to 16 to equal the now retired Justine Henin's record set in 2004.
Earlier Bartoli decided to call off her bid for a first title in Doha after losing the first set 6-3 to Stosur.
"Well, actually it started yesterday during the match against Lucie (Safarova)," Bartoli said.
"In the third set I really felt like my right calf was starting to cramp, and I really had to make sure I finished that third set very quickly, because I was really feeling the cramp coming in on the calf.
"I had a lot of treatment yesterday after the match. Today when I started to warm up, I still felt it. So I knew I was not 100% going to the match. That was for sure."
AFPTags: tennis, sport, qatar, australia First posted February 19, 2012 07:24:41