Cincinnati :Reigning US Open champion Kim Clijsters advanced to the WTA Cincinnati Open final after Serbia's Ana Ivanovic injured her left foot only 12 minutes into their match and retired in tears.
Belgian fourth seed Clijsters led 2-1 after breaking Ivanovic in the third game, but the showdown of former world numnber ones would end after only 25 points being played and with the Serbian's US Open hopes in great jeopardy.
Clijsters will play in her third final of the year against the winner of a later semi-final between Russians Maria Sharapova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Ivanovic hurt her left foot making a forehand return from the baseline and after one more shot dropped her racket and doubled over in pain.
"I was very scared," Ivanovic said. "All of a sudden on that one shot, I felt something crack a little bit.
"Just on that one forehand when I went to step around it, I just felt like pain all of a sudden, so much pain in my foot and I couldn't step on it anymore."
Ivanovic limped to her chair and called for the trainer who taped the injured foot.
But after the next point, a serve Ivanovic never challenged, she halted the match and hobbled to the net where Clijsters embraced her.
"I tried bit of tape, but I could not put any weight on it and there was no point in me continuing," Ivanovic said.
Ivanovic, ranked 62nd, struggled with a right shoulder injury earlier this year and was in only her third semi-final of the year, having yet to reach a final.
"I played some really great tennis and I was very excited about this match," Ivanovic said.
Clijsters made her return to tennis last year at Cincinnati after a two-year layoff to have a family and went on to lift the US Open trophy.
This year she missed nearly two months after a left foot injury that kept her out of the French Open.