Novak Djokovic said his Wimbledon final defeat by Andy Murray was partly down to feeling exhausted after his gruelling semi-final victory.
Top seed Djokovic took four hours and 43 minutes to defeat Juan Martin del Potro in five sets on Friday.
And he looked weary at times against Murray on a sweltering Centre Court, eventually losing 6-4 7-5 6-4.
"I cannot look for excuses but the previous match took a lot out of me," said Djokovic, champion in 2011.
"I've been in these situations before. I felt OK but maybe physically I didn't have enough gas in the important moments.
"It was a very long match for three sets today. But the bottom line is that he was a better player in the decisive moments."
Djokovic, a six-time Grand Slam champion, was in sublime form en route to the final, with only Del Potro stretching him.
But the Serb hit 40 unforced errors during his first straight-sets defeat in a Grand Slam tournament since a loss to Tomas Berdych at Wimbledon in 2010.
"In both second and third sets I was 4-2 up and dropped the serve in those games and allowed him to come back for no reason," said Djokovic.
"I should have played better in the decisive moments. I wasn't patient enough.
"I believed I could come back, but I didn't play on the top of my abilities and with this kind of game I didn't have a chance to win.
"He was getting some incredible shots on the stretch and running down the drop-shots. He played fantastic tennis, he deserved to win."
Djokovic, 26, was booed for questioning line calls and ranting at umpire Mohamed Lahyani following one decision.
But he refused to criticise the crowd and said he had expected them to be against him.
"The atmosphere was incredible for him," he said. "For me, not so much. But that's what I expected and that's how it was.
"It must mean a lot to everybody. Wimbledon is the most important tennis tournament in the world. Especially for him as a British player, and the crowd."