ROTTERDAM – Grigor Dimitrov moved into the final of the Rotterdam Open on Saturday as David Goffin was forced to retire after he was hit in the eye by a ball which bounced off his own racquet.
After dropping the first set 6-3, the Belgian fourth seed had the worst of luck in the opening game of the second set against Bulgarian Dimitrov, with the ball taking a fluke bounce off his frame and striking him in the left eye.
After a pause of more than five minutes as Goffin went off court for treatment, the chair umpire informed Dimitrov that the match was over by retirement.
The pair were facing off three months after Dimitrov won their title match in the ATP Finals in London.
It is not the first time Goffin has suffered to a freak injury, with the world number seven hurting his ankle at last year's French Open after tangling with a rolled-up cover at the back of the court.
He was forced to skip Wimbledon in July as he continued his recovery from that accident.
Dimitrov will now await an opponent from the night session in Rotterdam, with Roger Federer hoping to carry on after achieving a return to the top ATP ranking on Friday.
The 36-year-old Swiss plays Italy's Andreas Seppi in the second semi-final.