In an age when some tennis players do not smile even when they win, Elena Baltacha has mastered the art of smiling when she has lost. It adds to her reputation as a maverick.
The British No 1, who was born in Ukraine but grew up in Scotland, bowed out of the DFS Classic in the second round yesterday - she lost 6-4, 6-2 to Milagros Sequera of Venezuela - but was still purring like a cat.
There were many negatives but she was only interested in embracing the positives.
Her serve, usually so powerful, weakened badly in the second set but she was quick to reveal one significant statistic: "It has been great for me that I have at least managed to win a round here because I have never done that before."
It should also be noted that this is the same Baltacha who spent six months out of the game in 2003-04 because of a mysterious liver complaint. It was not just her career that was under threat.
But if Baltacha's firstround victory over Alyona Bondarenko, of Ukraine, on Monday saw the British player break new ground, the defeat to Sequera was coated in anticlimax. You could feel it in the air.
One must not take anything away from Sequera. The South American, who won through two qualifying rounds to take her place in the main draw last weekend, has hand-eye co-ordination to rival that of Andre Agassi.
The main surprise was not so much that Baltacha's serve collapsed but that Sequera is still not in the world's top
"Perhaps her ranking is not a reflection of her ability," Baltacha said. "But her ranking did not fool me because I knew of what she can do. I knew to expect a tough match.
"It was a very difficult match. I served pretty well in the first set and had quite a few break points. Maybe things would have changed if I had won the first set.
"But she read everything that I tried to do and she was so quick. My serve percentage went down in the second set and she got on top of me.
"She has quick hands." Baltacha, aged 21, reached a career-high ranking of 118 in March, mainly because of her run to the third round of the Australian Open in Melbourne in January. She had high hopes of qualifying for Wimbledon through her ranking rather than through the inevitable wildcard.
She is now ranked at world No 121, just two above Sequera, but the difference between the two in the second set yesterday was stark. Sequera, aged 24, played like a top-20 player.
Baltacha could not break her smooth-hitting opponent and lost the first set after dropping her serve in the tenth game.
The booming first serve on which Baltacha relies so heavily deserted her in the second set and she was broken twice by Sequera, who has been playing professionally for nearly ten years.
It was a double fault from Baltacha that gave her opponent match-point and, with a feeling of frustration circulating centre court here, it was all over after an hour and 22 minutes.
Under the circumstances, Baltacha has done well. This has been a good year, with the promise of more successes to come. She will play Eastbourne next week and will then bid to rise into the top 100 by reaching the third round at Wimbledon.
Baltacha looks fitter, thinner, and leaner than at any point in her career. She looks happy but that is no surprise because she has spent a lifetime revealing her cheerful countenance. How could she be miserable when she has the chance to do what she does best: play tennis to a high standard.
"I feel great; absolutely great," she said. "I know I have improved a lot. I feel much quicker. I do not usually do great at Surbiton and Birmingham so to do fairly all right has been a confidence boost to me."
The problem, of course, is that "fairly all right" can mean different things to different players.
Baltacha's run to the third round at Melbourne Park six months ago means that "fairly all right" is no longer acceptable. She has the ability to be inside the top 50 - with that serve anything is possible - but proving it is much tougher.