Andy Murray failed to become the first British Wimbledon champion in 76 years after an exemplary Roger Federer overpowered him to add a record seventh title to his name.
Despite a promising start that saw Murray break the Swiss' serve twice to win the opening set, Federer ultimately proved too good for the 25-year-old Scot.
Murray broke down in tears after the thrilling match, sparking deafening cheers of encouragement from a packed Centre Court.
His voice trembling with emotion, he told them: "I'm going to try this and it's not going to be easy.
"First I would like to congratulate Roger, I was getting asked the other day after I won my semi-final, is this your best chance, Roger is 30 now? He isn't bad for a 30-year-old.
"He played a great tournament, he had some struggles early on with his back and showed what a fight he still has in him, so congratulations, you deserve it."
Speaking about "Team Murray", he said: "I'm going to try and not look at them because I'll probably start crying again but everyone who is in that corner over there, who has supported me...we did a great job, so thank you.
"And last of all to you guys," he said to the crowd. "Everybody always talks about the pressure of playing at Wimbledon, how difficult it is.
"It's not the people watching, they make it so much easier to play.
"The support has been incredible," he added, breaking down, as his mother Judy was also seen dissolving into tears.
He won the opening set 6-4 but Federer surged back in magnificent style to claim the second set 7-5, the third 6-3 and the fourth 6-4.
If Murray had won the match, he would have become the first British men's Wimbledon singles champion since Fred Perry won in 1936.