Britain's Andy Murray eased into the final of the Brisbane International after Kei Nishikori retired from their semi-final with a left knee injury.
He was 2-0 up in the second when Japan's Nishikori, 23, pulled out.
Murray, 25, will meet Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7-5) in the other semi-final, in Sunday's final.
"I have no idea whether he'll be nervous or he'll enjoy the occasion - we'll find out tomorrow," said Olympic and US Open champion Murray, who beat Dimitrov in their only previous meeting, in the Thailand Open in 2011.
"Grigor plays with a lot of variety and he can play a lot of shots. He's one of the few guys coming through with a single-handed backhand, so he uses a lot more slice."
However, the world number 19 remains hopeful he can compete in the Australian Open, which starts on 14 January. He reached the quarter-finals last year.
"I felt it against Dolgopolov and this morning it was worse, but I decided to play," said Nishikori. "I didn't want to risk too much and so I decided to retire."
Murray spent just 45 minutes on court, while Dimitrov needed almost two and a half hours to see off former Australian Open finalist Baghdatis.
"I'm very happy, especially to start the first tournament of the year. It's definitely a great feeling," said 21-year-old Dimitrov.