Angelique Kerber felt she could have done no more to deny Serena Williams a record-equalling 22nd grand slam title after losing in straight sets to the world number one in a thrilling Wimbledon final on Saturday.
Kerber prevented the legendary American from equalling Steffi Graf's tally of major titles when she pulled off a shock to claim her first grand slam crown at the Australian Open in January.
There was to be no repeat on Centre Court, though, as the top seed powered her way to a 7-5 6-3 victory on a warm day at the All England Club to retain her title.
Kerber, who will rise to number two in the world next week, traded blows with Williams as the two served up a thrilling showdown, but the German acknowledged that she was beaten by the better player on the day.
The fourth seed said: "I think I played what I could today, I can just say. Serena was serving unbelievably. At the end I was trying everything, but she deserved it.
"She really played an unbelievable match, we both played on a really high level.
"I think I was not the one who lost the match, I think she won the match. Serena deserved it.
"I had one break point, and I couldn't do anything.
"I was trying to be tough, trying to fight until the last point. I played my best.".
Kerber was proud of her exploits after playing in her first Wimbledon final, having been knocked out of the French Open in the first round.
She added: "After this amazing two weeks, I just can say that I gave everything. Of course, I'm disappointed. But I'm proud about what I did, also after Paris.
"I reached my second grand slam final in this year. It was an amazing final. I really enjoyed the final. It was a great atmosphere out there, I will never forget the feeling."