Andy Murray secured his first final place of the new season when Kei Nishikori pulled out midway through their match at the Brisbane International.
Top seed Murray was leading his Japanese opponent 6-4 2-0 when the 23-year-old succumbed to a knee injury.
The Scot had been a break down in the first set but won five games in a row seal it against the fifth seed.
Nishikori took a medical timeout at the end of the set, but took the court for the start of the second.
Murray broke in the first game, however, and backed it up by holding his service game, at which point Nishikori decided enough was enough.
"I didn't know he was injured until late in the set," Murray said. "He was trying to play aggressively and keep the points short. When I made him play the ball more I had him in trouble."
Murray said he was relatively pleased at how he was playing just over a week from the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne.
"I'm playing okay, a bit up and down," he said. "I served pretty well for the majority of the tournament.
"I've moved better every single match. Returning could have been better and my groundstrokes, I think with more matches, I'll start to hit them cleaner.
"When I've come up to the net I've volleyed relatively well...there is stuff for me to work on."
In the final Murray will face Grigor Dimitrov, who beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7/5).
Whereas Murray was off court in 45 minutes, the Bulgarian, ranked 48th in the world, was pushed to the limit in a little under two and a half hours of tennis against Baghdatis.