Having looked on course to reach the Masters semi-finals, 2018 runner-up Kyren Wilson admitted he lost control of his last-eight tie against Stuart Bingham after crashing out 6-4.
The 28-year-old had signalled his intent to challenge for the title at the second Triple Crown event of the season with an impressive 6-2 win over Jack Lisowski in the opening round, and started strongly against 2015 world champion Bingham with a spot in the last four at stake.
Having posted a break of 139 in the first frame, Wilson raced into a 4-1 lead and looked set to claim a semi-final berth at Alexandra Palace for the second time in three years.
But after Bingham nicked the sixth frame with an impressive double on the black the momentum swung in his favour, and Wilson admitted he was ultimately beaten by the better man on the night.
“I’m not going to be too hard on myself because I think I played well,” the world No.8 said. “It was perhaps just a bit of fatigue that crept in at the end.
“I thought Stuart played really well from being 4-1 down. Once he potted that black he started to put me under some serious pressure.
“I missed some silly balls when I had chances but the pockets are very tight. If you catch the lip of the jaw it doesn’t take it, so it comes down to fine margins at times.
“I played a bit of a risky shot in the final frame but I didn’t want to keep playing safe - I wanted to try and make something happen. I’m obviously disappointed but that’s part and parcel of sport.”
Despite the cruel nature of his defeat, Wilson reserved a special mention for his opponent, who will go on to play David Gilbert on Saturday evening for a spot in the tournament’s showpiece.
And with his exit from the competition confirmed, the Kettering potter explained his attention now turns to the European Masters in Austria at the end of the month, where he faces an awkward test against Scotland’s Scott Donaldson in the first round.
He said: “I hope Stuart goes on to win now because I’ve got a lot of time for him and he’s a lovely guy. He played really well so good luck to him.
“I’m looking forward to going to play in Austria. The European Masters is a great tournament and I’m really excited to be travelling to a new place.
“Hopefully I can continue the form that I’ve shown this week and do well out there, but Scott’s a good player who’s come on leaps and bounds so I know it’s going to be a tough game.”
Watch the London Masters LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with analysis from Ronnie O'Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.