By Steve Keating
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Caroline Wozniacki advanced to the U.S. Open final in dramatic fashion on Friday when China's Peng Shuai was forced to retire due to injury, putting the Dane one win away from winning an elusive grand slam title.
Wozniacki was leading 7-6 (1) 4-3 and closing in on victory when Peng suddenly grabbed her thighs and stumbled to the back wall of Arthur Ashe Stadium court with what appeared to be severe cramping.
In obvious distress, the 28-year-old doubles specialists was eventually helped off the court. She returned 11 minutes later but after six points was left curled up in agony on the baseline before officials called the match.
A tearful Peng, who was consoled by her opponent, was then helped into a wheelchair and taken from the court to a standing ovation.
With 22 career titles and a stint as world number one, the single glaring hole in Wozniacki's resume has been a grand slam crown. The 10th-seeded Dane will have a chance to correct that on Sunday when she plays the winner of the second semi-final between world number one Serena Williams and Russian 17th seed Ekaterina Makarova.
(Editing by Frank Pingue)