Roger Federer believes the emotional demands of going for gold at the Olympics left him a spent force in Sunday's final thrashing by Andy Murray.
Just four weeks after beating Murray to win a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title and return to the top of the world rankings, Federer suffered one of the worst major final defeats of his career as Murray swept to 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 victory on Centre Court.
Federer had hoped to crown his glorious career by adding a first Olympic singles gold medal to his 17 Grand Slam titles, but the 30-year-old found it impossible to subdue Murray once the world number four got off to a flying start.
While Federer conceded Murray was a worthy winner, the Swiss great claims he was already mentally exhausted after battling through the longest three-set men's singles match in the Open Era just to reach the final.
Federer took four hours and 26 minutes to beat Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals and that gruelling experience, combined with some earlier hard-fought matches against Alejandro Falla and John Isner, were too much to recover from in time to face the rampant Murray.
"I felt OK physically, I think it was maybe more emotionally because, God, I had tears in my eyes after my first-round match, believe it or not," Federer said.
"I almost broke down after the Falla first round match because I understood how close I was to losing. That was how much it meant to me.
"There's no doubt about it, I felt the same way exactly after the semis. Maybe there was so much emotion already out of me that today that kind of hindered me from playing my absolute very best.
"For me, it's always been a dream to be part of the Olympic spirit and I didn't want to just have it go on for one day.
"Obviously, the Del Potro match emphasised all of that and made it go to some crazy extremes, which I never thought it would.
"But I'm happy I had a match like that, even though it may have cost me the finals."
Whatever the emotional damage of his earlier matches, Federer still gave disappointing display. He failed to win a single break-point and offered little resistence as Murray swept towards the finish line.
"It was a combination of many things today. The result was a bit too brutal, I do believe. But credit to Andy for making it happen," Federer said.
"I just think he was better, and I missed my chances. I took poor decisions in some big moments at times.
"I mean, I didn't win a break-point. I have myself to blame at times. But at the same time he put me time and time in a tough position as well."
Federer, who has beaten Murray in three Grand Slam finals, has sometimes been critical when asked about the Scot's lack of success at the majors, but he insisted he was delighted to see his rival succeed on such a big occasion.
"It was obvious that Andy was going to become a better player over the years. Obviously he learned how to play more aggressively. He's more consistent. All these things are obviously minor tweaks, but they make a big difference at the highest of levels," Federer said.
"I was very happy for him, that he was able to bring such a performance and bring home the gold for Great Britain. It's a long time coming for him. He did great."
Despite the one-sided nature of the scoreline, Federer refused to be downbeat after a grass-court campaign which saw him rediscover his best form.
"I think this is as good as I could do during these championships," he said.
"For me, it's been a great month. I won Wimbledon, became world number one again, and I got silver. Don't feel too bad for me."