Borna Coric has thwarted Roger Federer's campaign for a 99th career title for the second successive meeting as the Croatian triumphed 6-4, 6-4 in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters.
Coric, who defeated Federer in three sets at the Halle Open final in June, earned a break in the opening game of both sets on Sunday to wrap up the victory with an excellent forehand pass after 73 minutes.
The 21-year-old, currently ranked 19th, will enter the top 15 of the ATP rankings for the first time after he competes against Novak Djokovic in the final.
Djokovic, a three-time Shanghai champion, dominated Germany's Alexander Zverev to win 6-2, 6-1 in a 60-minute masterclass.
The 31-year-old Serb will also overtake Federer for the No.2 spot in the ATP rankings after claiming a 17th consecutive win in his 1000th senior contest.
From the beginning of their match, Federer's shot-making was below par as he missed often on straightforward points or after long rallies, in which Coric was superb.
The 37-year-old Swiss player saved two break points in the opening game but was eventually broken when his backhand stroke landed long.
Federer netted another backhand to concede a 4-2 deficit before Coric secured the first set with a ruthless sequence of serves.
A miss-hit Federer forehand gifted Coric the opening break of the second set for a 2-0 lead, before Coric pulled off an excellent lob and smashed an ace down the tee to move clear at 5-3.
And even though Federer provided some early resistance in Coric's match-winning service, the 20-time grand-slam champion could not find a breakthrough to survive.
Coric rallied and found the winning shot with a flicked cross-court forehand to enter his third senior final and his first at Masters level.
But even in defeat, both Federer and Zverev have qualified for the season-ending ATP Finals, featuring the world's top eight players on November 11 in London.