Andy Murray's hopes of reaching the Masters Cup ended as he lost 6-3 0-6 6-4 to Richard Gasquet in the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters.
Murray's season is over after defeat to Gasquet
A win would have made Murray a strong favourite to claim the final place for the season-ending showpiece but Gasquet now looks likely to take that spot.
Gasquet totally lost his form in the second set but a single break in the first and third was enough for victory.
The Masters Cup features the top eight players in the regular season.
"It was a one-set match to get to the year-end championships," Murray said after the match.
"What I've done this year has been unbelievable, considering my wrist injury.
"To have a match to get to the championships after what I've been through is amazing.
"It came down to three bad games for me. When you win more games and more points and still lose the match, it's tough."
Murray and Gasquet began the match knowing that whoever won would be a hot favourite to claim the final qualifying place for Shanghai.
Mikhail Youzhny's earlier defeat by Rafael Nadal confirmed Fernando Gonzalez's qualification, leaving Murray, Gasquet and Marcos Baghdatis fighting for the one remaining spot.
And Gasquet drew first blood when he broke Murray at 3-4 in the first set and then held serve, sealing the set with a cute drop shot.
It was the first set Murray had dropped all tournament, but he responded in perfect fashion as Gasquet's game went to pieces.
Murray ripped through the set 6-0 as the Frenchman produced error after error.
But Gasquet regained his composure at the start of the decider and broke Murray's serve at 2-2 to edge back in front.
And despite the British number one's best efforts Gasquet held his nerve to serve out and bring the curtain down on Murray's season.
Murray had targeted the Masters Cup at the start of the year and will count himself unlucky to fall just short after missing three months of the season with injury.
Gasquet goes on to face David Nalbandian in the semi-finals, and victory there will confirm his place in the Masters Cup.
Even if Gasquet loses to Nalbandian he will still qualify for Shanghai if Baghdatis fails to win the Paris title.