Rafael Nadal has had his return to tennis halted in the quarter-finals at the China Open by Slovakia's Martin Klizan, while world number one Novak Djokovic set up a mouth watering semi-final against Andy Murray in Beijing.
Nadal was playing his first tournament after a wrist injury since losing at Wimbledon, but the Spanish great ran out of steam against the aggressive Klizan who won 6-7 6-4 6-3 to claim the biggest scalp of his career.
Czech Tomas Berdych beat American eighth seed John Isner 6-1 6-4 and will face Klizan.
Earlier, Djokovic continued his march through the draw to set up a mouth watering semi-final against Murray.
The Serb, who's looking for a fifth Chinese title, dismantled Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-2 6-4 while the Scot Murray maintained his quest to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals when he stormed past US Open champion Marin Cilic 6-1 6-4.
In the women's draw, top seed Serena Williams was forced to pull out through injury, the American world number one handing Australian Sam Stosur a walkover, while Maria Sharapova destroyed Svetlana Kuznetsova in an all-Russian women's quarter-final.
It was the second tournament in a row Williams, who won her 18th grand slam singles title at the US Open last month, had been forced to withdraw after the 33-year-old quit her opening match at the Wuhan Open last week because of illness.
Stosur now takes on Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the semis after the Czech beat Italian Roberta Vinci 7-6 6-4.
French Open champion Sharapova crushed Kuznetsova 6-0 6-4 in an hour and 24 minutes to set up a semi-final clash with former world number one Ana Ivanovic.