Kyle Edmund once again came up short against Alexander Zverev after losing in straight sets to the world number five in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters.
Edmund had been beaten in all of his previous three matches against Zverev, who maintained his 100 per cent record against the British number one with a clinical 6-4 6-4 victory in 71 minutes
Zverev needed only one opportunity to break his opponent in either set as he became the fifth player to book his place at the season-ending ATP Finals in London.
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro had already secured their spots, but Edmund’s hopes of joining them and Zverev suffered a setback with this defeat.
The 23-year-old sits 12th in a race to finish in the top eight and is more than 1,500 points adrift of French Open finalist Dominic Thiem, who occupies the final qualifying place.
Edmund was bidding to reach his first Masters semi-final but a couple of forehand errors gifted Zverev a break in the opening game.
Zverev had a slight wobble while serving for the set but saved the only break point he faced in the match en route to clinching the first set in 34 minutes.
A sublime backhand pass followed by a forehand winner sealed a break to love for Zverev in the fifth game of the second set, and he duly wrapped up victory with minimal fuss.
The 21-year-old, who had 23 winners and 12 unforced errors, will face either Novak Djokovic or Kevin Anderson next for a place in the final.