Heather Watson lost 6-4 7-5 in straight sets to Magdalena Rybarikova in Sunday’s Aegon Surbiton Trophy final.
The British number two broke her Slovakian opponent twice in the second set but couldn’t hold her own serve in the blistery conditions.
Watson believes that Rybarikova, who didn’t drop a set at Surbiton, played better when it mattered in the high pressure situations.
“I felt a bit frustrated with myself, I made more mistakes than usual and my first serve percentage wasn’t very high,” said Watson.
“I had my chances and I had a lot of break points, it was just dealing with those situations the best that Magdalena was better with.”
Rybarikova broke Watson in the opening set just before the new balls came out to go up 4-3 after some unforced errors from Watson.
Watson’s frustration was clear as she held a break point in the 10th game but gave the set away with three consecutive unforced errors off Rybarikova’s bouncing second serves.
Watson stormed to a 3-0 lead in the second set, breaking Rybarikova for the first time, but the world number 242 Slovak won the next three games to make it level.
STRIKE A POSE: Heather Watson in action at the Surbiton Trophy final
The Wimbledon mixed doubles champion battled hard, pushing the Slovak in a number of rallies and forcing her into her first double fault as she was serving for the Championship at 5-4.
The former number 31 held on to win the second set, which had five breaks of serve, managing to serve the better of the two more consistently.
It is the third title she has won this year having come back from a seven-month injury break.
“I like to play on grass and I like to serve,” said Rybarikova.
“Sometimes you don’t need to serve amazing on grass but it’s very fast and sometimes it bounces bad
“Maybe sometimes I was lucky. Sometimes I focused too much on my first serve but at important moments, my serve worked and maybe this is why I won.”
Watson was positive in defeat, both with her performance at the opening grass court tournament of the season, and with the three other British ladies – Naomi Broady, Katy Dunne and Harriet Dart – all reaching the last eight at Surbiton.
VOLLEY GOOD: Heather Watson comes to the net to win a point again Magdalena Rybarikova
“If somebody had have told me that I was going to make a final in my first week on grass, I would have taken it and signed,” said Watson.
“It’s great having so many Brits go deep in the tournament, we all like grass and all look forward to this time of the year and as a country we have a really good grass court season.”
Watson defends her mixed doubles crown at Wimbledon next month with Henri Kontinen, and will compete at the Nottingham Open on Tuesday against the fourth-seeded American Alison Riske.