Milos Raonic blasted a first serve at 147 mph (236kmh), the fastest delivery of the entire tournament, only for the ball to come rifling back across the net.
Not only did Andy Murray make the return, he went on to win the point with a cross-court backhand passing shot.
It was that kind of day for Raonic, who could never get the upper hand against Murray in the Wimbledon final, losing in straight sets in the 24-year-old Canadian’s first grand slam title match.
Murray broke Raonic only once, but never lost his own serve and dominated both tiebreakers to win 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-2), securing his second Wimbledon title and third major championship.
“This one’s going to sting,” Raonic said after accepting the runner-up trophy.
The 198cm Raonic, one of the top servers in the game, came up short against one of the top returners and defensive players in tennis.
Raonic came into the final with a tournament-high 154 aces, averaging more than 20 per match. But he finished with just eight on Saturday, one more than Murray.
“Every single time you play him, you know he’s going to get more returns back than anybody else, alongside with Novak (Djokovic),” Raonic said.
Raonic also struggled in rallies to break down Murray, who chased down shots in the corners to keep the ball in play, and hit a series of cross-court passing winners off the backhand wing.
“I tried to put the things together,” Raonic said.
“I tried coming forward, putting pressure on him. He was playing much better than me off the baseline.
“He was more effective there. I was keeping up with him. But then when it counted, I wasn’t able to get on top.”
That included the second-set tiebreaker, when Raonic missed an easy forehand volley on the first point and then failed to put away a smash to fall behind 4-1.
Then, in the fifth game of the third set, Raonic had his first, and only, chance to break – but it was squandered.
“Obviously it does come down a lot of the time to a few important points,” he said.
“That was probably the most clear look I had. I had a sense that if I could have gotten ahead there, maybe I could have turned it around a bit.”