Andry Rublev took the court after a bye and two walkovers this week and was promptly booted out in the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open on Friday.
Match-tough Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut performed the 6-3, 6-3 demolition job on the Russian who won the Rotterdam title last week and helped Russia to the ATP Cup trophy in February.
Third seed Rublev encountered a strange set of circumstances after his first-round bye; he was then handed subsequent walkovers when opponents Richard Gasquet and Marton Fucsovics each retired before taking to the court.
Rublev had won his last 20 matches at the ATP 500 level but found his run of form ended Bautista Agut in an hour and a quarter.
The Spaniard, who won the title here two years ago, will face the winner from the semi-final between Nicoloz Basilashvili, who beat Roger Federer, and American Taylor Fritz.
“It was very difficult to play tennis today, with the windy conditions,” Bautista Agut said.
“But I put a lot of pressure on his second serve and played really good tennis. I played a long match yesterday [against Dominic Thiem], but I felt fresh.
“I had a lot of power on the court.”
The Spanish finalist called the Doha event “one of my favourites.”
“I played one of my best matches here in Qatar two years ago, and I hope I can win one more match tomorrow.”