Friday's doubles quarterfinal at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global ended prematurely when top-seeded Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci retired trailing 2-1 in the first set against Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik due to a right rib injury suffered by Errani.
Errani sat on the player bench during the changeover and requested a trainer. She lifted her shirt and revealed an abdominal support brace. After talking with the trainer and shaking her head "no" a few times, she unstrapped the support and called it a day.
Prior to the event, Errani had contracted a cough that ultimately led her to pull abdominal muscles, causing a double-band of pain and misery. She worked with trainers and doctors in an attempt to recover in time for the tournament, but ultimately, the placement of the injury made it too painful to play.
"For us it is a very special tournament and I tried to do everything to be here. A minimum percent to compete but I couldn’t do it," Errani said. "It was not improving much and I’m sorry for [Roberta] but I tried and sometimes things happen."
It was an unfortunate ending for one of the WTA's elite doubles teams, as they finished their year 46-13 and dominated the Road To Singapore doubles standings with 9,315 points. Their closest competitors, Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai, trailed by almost 4,000 points.
The loss was especially painful for the Italians, in that they were seeking to become the third team after Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver and Gigi Fernández and Natasha Zvereva to win all four Grand Slam titles and the WTA Finals during their partnership.
In Saturday's semifinals, Peschke and Srebotnik, who are two-time runners-up at the season finale, will take on third-seeded Cara Black and Sania Mirza. Black and Mirza won their one previous encounter in straight sets in the Miami quarterfinals earlier this year.
The other semifinal will see No.2 seeds and defending champions Hsieh and Peng take on Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova for the first time. Hsieh and Peng are playing their last tournament together.