Tomas Berdych ended Andy Murray's hopes at the Madrid Open with a 7-6, 6-4 win in tonight's quarter-final.
Murray led by a break in the opening set but lost it on a tie-break and was unable to replicate his comeback against Gilles Simon in the previous round.
Berdych will face the winner of the last quarter-final, between Stanislas Wawrinka and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while the beaten Murray at least has the consolation of supplanting Roger Federer as world No 2.
Murray had a break point in the opening game but could not take advantage, as the opening stages went with serve.
He took his second break point of the set to lead 4-3 but was immediately broken back as a feeble lob gave Berdych an easy drop-volley at the net.
The set proceeded to a tie-break, in which Berdych won an early point against the serve to lead 2-0. He extended that lead to 6-2 with some powerful strokes and though Murray pulled a point back, he then sent a backhand wide as Berdych wrapped up the set.
Murray had come back from a set down against Simon but on this occasion it quickly went from bad to worse, Berdych breaking in the first game of the second set.
But this time it was the Scot's turn to immediately break back, taking the set to 1-1 in unconventional fashion.
Berdych broke to love in the fifth game of the set, part of a run of 11 straight points before Murray went 15-0 up in his next service game.
It was to no avail, though, and as the clock ticked over the two-hour mark Berdych was in the process of serving for the match.
Two match points duly arrived, with Murray looking aggrieved and weary, and only one was required as the Scot sent a forehand into the tramline.