London - Eugenie Bouchard finally had time to think what went wrong when she sat in the engraving room waiting for the roof to close before her opponent Petra Kvitova took the plaudits and received the Wimbledon women's singles trophy.
The 20-year-old had hardly had time to catch her breath, let alone consider how to fight back, during a whirlwind 55-minute battering by the Czech sixth seed.
Suddenly it was all over. She had been thrashed 6-3 6-0 in the fastest final for 31 years and she was led away while the victory ceremony was prepared.
“It was a little odd,” the Canadian told reporters. “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.”
Bouchard has been hailed as the new face of women's tennis, her brash, big-swinging, exuberant brand of tennis sweeping her through six rounds at Wimbledon, following semi-final appearances at the previous two grand slams.
Only two years ago she had lifted the junior trophy at Wimbledon - an occasion she said capped her appearance at the adult final because she had won that match.
Opponents marvelled at her athleticism and old tennis hands remarked on her composure and self-assurance. For a woman of 20, barely 18 months into her tour career, she showed remarkable confidence and said she felt right at home on Centre Court.
She was brought down to earth with a thump on Saturday, however, helpless in the face of a barrage of winners from both sides of the court. Her head dropped, her shoulders slumped and she looked somehow younger than when the tournament started.
“I definitely got outplayed, and I felt that way after the match,” Bouchard said.
“But I'm still holding my head up. I feel like I've come a long way and I'm proud of what I've achieved not only this week but this year as well.”
Bouchard's enthusiastically royalist mother named her twin daughters after two of Queen Elizabeth's grand-daughters and Princess Eugenie watched the rout from the Royal Box.
“I'm very happy that she came out. Disappointed I couldn't put on a better show for her, but I'd love to meet her, of course. It's the only person I'm named after. She's the only one in the world,” Bouchard said.
With disappointment so fresh, Bouchard said she was unlikely to watch a recording of the match for a few weeks. Then she and her coaching team will analyse what went wrong.
“I'm just going to keep working,” the single-minded Bouchard said. “That's what you have to do, just go back to work.” – Reuters