Shanghai, China, 13 October 2018 | AAP

Matt Ebden missed his chance to become Australian No.1 after losing his Shanghai Masters quarterfinal to Croatia’s Borna Coric in straight sets.

The West Australian, who is set to rise to a career high of world No.40 next week, was beatenĀ 7-5 6-4 on Friday.

If he had made the semifinals he would have risen up to 31 -overtaking fellow Australian Alex de Minaur, the world No.33.

World No.19 Coric will now face top seed Roger Federer in the semifinals.

The Swiss defending champion returned to form to beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-4 7-6(4) in their quarterfinal meeting.

The 20-time grand slam winner has produced a series of lacklustre performances in Shanghai, his first tournament since suffering a shock fourth-round defeat by Australia’s John Millman at the US Open last month.

Earlier in the day, three-times Shanghai champion Novak Djokovic extended his winning streak to 16 matches after beating South African Kevin Anderson 7-6(1) 6-3, edging the Serb closer to the world No.2 ranking.

Djokovic, who has won the last two Grand Slams, at Wimbledon and the US Open, is currently world No.3, but could move up a spot if he books a place in Sunday’s final.

Djokovic held the advantage to seal the victory and set up a semifinal clash with Germany’s Alexander Zverev, who became the fifth singles player to qualify for November’s ATP Finals with a 6-4 6-4 win over Kyle Edmund.

“He (Zverev) has improved a lot, and he has established himself as a top player,” Djokovic said.

“I think, quite similar in style of play to today’s match. Kevin is a big server, big hitter from the back of the court, really aggressive, tall. Sascha (Zverev) is similar to that.”

Zverev became the first German to seal a spot in successive years in the season-ending event since six-times grand slam winner Boris Becker between 1994-1996.

“It’s great to finally officially make it and again be a part of the best eight, which is an elite group,” the 21-year-old said.

“It’s close to, or it’s maybe equal to winning a Grand Slam, and I think other players will tell you the same thing, because just to be there, you obviously play well throughout the whole year.”