An emotional Mary Pierce felt she did not do herself justice after surrendering the French Open crown 6-1 6-1 to Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne.
The French favourite had muscled her way to her third Roland Garros final but crumbled under the pressure.
"It's a bit difficult for me to talk. I'm very disappointed," said the 30-year-old after a 62-minute pasting.
"I had a great tournament but I played badly. I desperately wanted to play well but I didn't. It's very tough."
Pierce rediscovered her form at Roland Garos, where she spends much of the time training, after deciding against retirement last year.
She carved her way to the final - the oldest Grand Slam finalist since Martina Navratilova was runner-up at Wimbledon in 1994 aged 37 - with some measured tennis and shrugged off talk of growing pressures on home soil.
But her hopes of repeating her 2000 French Open victory over Conchita Martinez rapidly faded as she could find no answer to Henin's blistering groundstrokes.
"Winning here five years ago was a dream but this is more than a dream, reaching the final after all I've been through is just unbelievable," said Pierce.
"When I was little, I never could imagine that I would play three finals here.
"Even though I lost here I am so glad to have made it and to have won once.
"But I will be back next year and I will try again."