Eugenie Bouchard, the Canadian who captured the hearts of British tennis fans, apologised for letting them down on Saturday after losing in the Wimbledon final.
"I don't know if I deserve all your love today, but I really appreciate it," the 20-year-old told the crowd after her straight-sets defeat to Czech Petra Kvitova.
She also apologised for not putting on a better show for her royal fan - Princess Eugenie - who made a last-minute trip to the All England Club to support her namesake from the Royal Box.
"I'm very happy that she came out," Bouchard said. "Disappointed I couldn't put on a better show for her."
After Andy Murray's shock exit in the quarter-finals, and in the absence of any other British hope in the tournament, SW19 had adopted Bouchard, impressed with her aggressive playing style and composure.
She had breezed through to the final, beating Simona Halep, the world No 3, in the semi-final, where she was roared on by admirers on Centre Court and on Murray Mound.
Bouchard had hoped she could go all the way, but her dream was bought to a crashing halt by Kvitova.
Kvitova, 24, who won Wimbledon in 2011, needed just 55 minutes to take the game, the quickest since 1983, when Martina Navratilova beat Andrea Jaeger in 54 minutes.
She dropped to the ground in delight before making her way to the players' box to embrace her coach, her mother, Pavla and father, Jii.
There followed an awkward five minutes, when both players were told to leave Centre Court while the roof was closed because it was raining.
Bouchard was forced to go and sit in the same room as the Wimbledon engraver and watch as her opponent's name was added to the trophy.
"Yeah, it was a little odd," she said afterwards. "I sat down. I put my jacket on. Just reflected. I was in the engraver's room, so I was watching them work, wishing one day, dreaming that he'll write my name somewhere."
When she returned to the court, she was presented with the runner-up trophy by the Duke of Kent, president of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, while her namesake, Princess Eugenie watched on.
The Princess made a last-minute trip to Wimbledon to watch Bouchard after hearing she was eager to meet her.
Bouchard was named after Princess Eugenie, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York, by her "royal nut" mother, Julie Leclair. She has a twin sister named Beatrice, after Princess Beatrice, a brother William, 15, named after the Duke of Cambridge and younger sister Charlotte, named after the daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco.
Other famous faces in the royal box included Keira Knightley, the actress, her husband, James Righton, the musician, Frank Lampard, the England footballer, and Christine Bleakley, the television presenter.
Kvitova fought back tears of joy during her post-victory interview. "I just really wanted to be here again with the trophy," she said.
A disappointed Bouchard said: "First of all, I'd like to congratulate Petra. She's played fantastic these two weeks."
Bouchard, who won junior Wimbledon in 2012, later admitted she was outplayed by the Czech.
"I will take a little bit of time off, much deserved, I think. I'm just not going to think about a racquet for a few days at least. Maybe a week. We'll see how it goes."
Roger Federer will try to win a record eighth Wimbledon title today when he takes on Novak Djokovic in the men's singles final.
The Telegraph, London