London: Sabine Lisicki broke down in floods of tears after crippling stagefright condemned her to a 6-1, 6-4 defeat to Marion Bartoli in Saturday's Wimbledon final.
The German 23rd seed, who had beamed her way into a maiden Grand Slam final, struggled to keep her emotions in check as the match slipped away from her in the second set.
She then completely lost her composure as she addressed the Centre Court crowd after her 81-minute choke.
"I was just overwhelmed by the whole situation, but credit to Marion. She handled it perfectly, she's been on the tour for a long time and deserves this. I just hope I get another chance as well," said the 23-year-old Lisicki, who had knocked out five-time champion Serena Williams in the fourth round.
"I still love this tournament. I love the crowd, you helped me try and get over my nerves but Marion was just too good."
Lisicki, bidding to be the first German winner at Wimbledon since Steffi Graf in 1996, sobbed openly as she turned to her father and mother, Richard and Elisabeth, watching from the players' box.
"I want to thank my team, they have always been there for me....we have been through so much together, there have been so many ups and downs," she said.
"I wish I had won but I hope to get the chance one more time."
Bartoli, 28, is the fifth oldest woman to become a first-time Grand Slam winner in the Open Era and she achieved it in her 47th Grand Slam appearance.
Jana Novotna held the previous record of 45 majors before she broke her duck at Wimbledon in 1998.
Six years after losing to Venus Williams in the Wimbledon final, Bartoli returned to Centre Court and finally ended her long wait for a major crown with a supreme display of power hitting.
She celebrated her win with an exhausting climb into the players' box where her father Walter and coach Amelie Mauresmo, the last French champion in 2006, were watching.
"Honestly I just can't believe it, as a little girl I dreamt of this moment for so long," Bartoli said.
"Finishing with an ace to win Wimbledon, even in my wildest dreams I couldn't have imagined that. I'm just so happy to be holding this trophy.
"I missed out here in 2007. I know what it is like and I'm sure Sabine will be here one more time, no doubt about it."
Walter Bartoli said he was impressed by his daughter's calm demeanour in the hours before the final.
"I think this morning I was completely surprised because she was very quiet. I had breakfast with her, then she went to the court with her team and and I was just walking in Wimbledon," he said.
"She had this serenity -- and it was very impressive to see that."
Mauresmo said Bartoli gained momentum as the tournament progressed and the big stars like Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka all went out early.
"It's amazing, it would've been a surprise two weeks ago, but after the quarter-finals, I really thought she could do it," Mauresmo told www.wimbledon.org.
"The way she handled the semis and final was pretty amazing -- tennis-wise, but also mentally, she had no doubt. It's great. On the other hand, Sabine was a little bit tight. Her first Grand Slam final, she learned the hard way today."
Serena Williams's coach Patrick Mouratoglou praised his French compatriot Bartoli.
"Happy for #marionbartoli. She worked so hard in her career, she really deserves to be rewarded. And she is an example for many," he tweeted.