Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer notched up contrasting victories to reach the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals while David Ferrer fought back from a set down to knock out Andy Murray.
Ferrer overcame Murray 2-6 6-1 6-2 and the Spaniard will now replace the Briton in ninth spot in the race for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Murray had little trouble in the first set and looked poised for a quarter-finals berth, but Ferrer staged a brilliant comeback, breaking the Briton twice to take the second and level the match.
Murray joined world number two Rafa Nadal, Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka and U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori in exiting the tournament before the quarter-final stage.
Meanwhile, world number one Djokovic laboured to a 6-3 4-6 6-4 victory over plucky Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin who matched the Serb shot for shot for most of the match before being overpowered in the third set.
Federer had little problem taming Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 6-2 to set up a clash with Frenchman Julien Benneteau.
Czech Tomas Berdych boosted his hopes of securing one of the five remaining places in London with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Ivo Karlovic, who hit 19 aces in the third-round clash.
Berdych will replace U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic, beaten by Karlovic in the opening round in Shanghai, in sixth place in the race to London if he beats Gilles Simon in the quarter-finals on Friday.