Andy Murray showed flashes of his best form but was beaten 0-6 6-2 6-3 in the Moselle Open final by Tommy Robredo.
Murray looked unstoppable in the first set in Metz
The Scot overwhelmed the top seed in the first set, breaking him three times as raced through it in 23 minutes.
The Spaniard broke back at the start of the second. Murray struggled to win his next two service games before Robredo broke again, then levelled the match.
Now in control, Robredo broke Murray twice more in the decider to win his second ATP Tour title of 2007.
Murray returned superbly early on but his service was inconsistent - at one point in the second set, his first-serve percentage dipped to 37%.
"The lesson to learn is that you must not ease the pressure after winning a set easily," he said afterwards.
"However, it has been a good week, and I'm now heading to Paris to catch a flight to Moscow," added Murray, who meets Russian Evgeny Korolev in the first round of the Kremlin Cup.
Robredo, who also won his only previous match against Murray, remains on course for a spot in the season-ending Masters Cup.
"It's my first title on a hard court, so that's great," said the claycourt specialist.
"My goal here was at least to reach the final so that I could better my points tally in the ATP Points Race.
"It boosts my confidence for the Masters Cup, which is my main objective."