Great Britain's Johanna Konta
lost 6-3, 6-4 to former world No 1 Karolina Pliskova in the Italian Open final in Rome.
Konta survived a break point to take a 1-0 lead at the start of the second set and after Pliskova had held to 15, restored her lead in the third game.
The Czech levelled once again, but Konta held firm to establish a 3-2 advantage.
However, despite saving three break points at 3-3, she finally succumbed to hand Pliskova the opening she needed and despite being pegged back to deuce as she served for 5-3 before Konta saved two match points, the fourth seed clinched a 6-3 6-4 victory.
By reaching the final Konta will rise to world No 26 which will see her seeded for the French Open at Roland Garros later this month.
It has been a season-defining spell for the British No 1 as she looks to thrive on clay following a tough opening to the hard-court season.
Pliskova is finding form at just the right time ahead of the upcoming grand slam in Paris as she became the first Czech woman since 1978 to win the title in Rome.
'It was a great week for me and my team,' Pliskova said during the trophy ceremony.
'There were a couple of tough matches so I was happy to fight through them. I was a little bit nervous today, but it was the final, so that's to be expected. It's my first final in Rome, but hopefully not the last!'