Marina Erakovic failed in her bid to become the first New Zealander to win on the WTA Tour since 1989, losing the final of the Memphis international to Sofia Arvidsson.
Erakovic succumbed in straight sets 3-6 4-6 in a match that last 84 minutes.
It will be a bitter blow for Erakovic, who went into the final ranked 18 places higher than the Swede, but struggled throughout on serve with a 48 per cent first serve ratio.
She gave up eight break points and lost three, while stealing a game on Arvidsson's serve just once.
Erakovic paid tribute to the Swede. "Sofia played really well today and deserved to win."
The 23-year-old Aucklander will take comfort in the fact that she will achieve her highest world ranking - probably in the mid-40s - when they are released tomorrow.
That surpasses her previous highest of 49, set in 2008.
It was also the first time Erakovic has made it past the second round of a tournament this year and adds impetus to those who argue she should be included in the team to travel to the London Olympics.
"Her form would make a great case for selection," said NZ Tennis CEO Steve Johns.
There is something about Memphis that appeals to Arvidsson. This is the second time she has won the tournament in three finals appearances.
"Can't stop smiling. I love Memphis," she tweeted.
Erakovic on the other hand is 0-2 in WTA finals, having lost to Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-4 1-6 0-6 in Quebec last year.
She now travels to Acapulco, Mexico, for another WTA International event in a field headed by ASB Classic finalist Flavia Pennetta.
- NZ Herald