Maria Sharapova walked into the BNP Paribas Open final, where she will face Victoria Azarenka, after seminfinal opponent Ana Ivanovic retired with a hip injury mid match.
The Serb was trailing the Russian 6-4, 0-1 when she was forced to withdraw, telling the umpire she could no longer bear the pain.
“It was unfortunate that it had to end this way,” said Sharapova, the 2006 Indian Wells champion, was quoted as saying by the tournament website.
“I didn't notice anything was wrong until she called for that medical timeout. Obviously I would have loved to have finished the match the right way, but I am happy after a long match yesterday that I got a little shorter one today.”
The final pits world No. 1 against world No. 2 as Sharapova looks to avenge an Australian Open final thrashing at the hands of the Belarusian.
“I'd love to get my revenge from Australia and play much better, as well," Sharapova said. "In our previous meetings we have had really tough matches, and I hope that the quality of tennis will be good and hopefully change a few things around."
Azarenka has a 4-3 head-to-head edge over Sharapova and made the final with a 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Germany's Angelique Kerber.