Kyle Edmund is out of the Shanghai Masters but was far from disgraced in his quarter-finals defeat to fourth seed Alexander Zverev.
Edmund, the British number one, was playing in just his second tournament since the US Open due to illness and had looked good en route to the last eight.
A clash with the world number five was always going to prove tricky, however, and he succumbed 6-4 6-4 in one hour 12 minutes.
Zverev showed his intent by breaking Edmund’s serve in the opening game of the match and that was all he needed to open up a one-set advantage.
A single break of serve during the second was enough to take that one as he served out for the match to set up a last-four encounter with either Novak Djokovic or Kevin Anderson.
The difference in class when facing a player tipped as a future Grand Slam champion was evident from the statistics of the match, with Zverev committing just 12 unforced errors compared to 25 from Edmund.
Nevertheless, it has been another good week for the South African-born ace, who reached the semi-finals of last week’s China Open before falling to Nikoloz Basilashvili and much will be expected of the 23-year-old in next year’s Slams.
With Andy Murray seemingly struggling to get back to his previous levels following hip surgery, Edmund is now carrying the can for British tennis in the men’s game and he can be backed at 67.00 to win the 2019 Australian Open having reached the last four earlier this year.