Gutsy former world No.5 Anna Chakvetadze was forced to retire from her quarterfinal against sixth seed Shahar Peer at the Moorilla Hobart International.
Chakvetadze called it quits early in the third set after suffering from what officials said was severe cramping.
The Russian had looked impressive in winning the first set 6-4, suffering the injury late in that set, but succumbed 6-4 to Israel’s Peer in the second.
She lost her opening service game in the third set and signalled she couldn’t continue after bravely playing for more than an hour and a half.
The 24-year-old had struggled through the match, barely able to run and stretching between points.
She received a time violation warning after stalling in an attempt to be able to complete her serve.
The 2007 champion called on the trainer three times and left the court after the second set for treatment.
Currently ranked No.234 in the world, Chakvetadze was playing her first tournament since Wimbledon in June last year after illness and injury setbacks.
Chakvetadze was hopeful the cramping in her left leg would not jeopardise her Melbourne Park campaign.
“Hopefully not,” she said.
“I will see the physio tomorrow in Melbourne.
“I think it will be fine.”
But she was regretting playing the second set.
“With me, I always want to try until the end but it was not necessary to stay there,” she said.
“I didn’t really want to play through the pain anymore, that’s why I decided to stop the match.”
Her comeback had appeared on track as she heads into next week’s Australian Open, the last Grand Slam tournament she made the quarters at back in 2007.
Peer will play top seed Yanina Wickmayer in Friday night’s semifinal.
Fourth seed Angelique Kerber meets German compatriot Mona Barthel in the daytime semi.