Manningtree tennis ace Henry Patten hopes his run to the UK Pro League final can harden him for the battle of the gruelling international tour.

Patten, 25, went down against world No.422 Anton Matusevich in Sunday’s showpiece as the country’s top professionals descended on the Shrewsbury Club for Finals Week.

Patten, ranked over 300 places below his opponent, beat experienced Dan Cox to navigate his way to the final but was unable to edge past the hotly-rated Matusevich and clinch the domestic crown.

The Essex star only arrived back from competing in the USA last week and says his promising form in Shropshire can lay the foundations for success.
He said: “It’s been a successful week.

“Anton is pretty good. I knew that going into it and that I’d have to play at my best to have a chance. I didn’t quite do that, but he played a fantastic match.

“I’ll go home for a few days then get back to training, before travelling to Greece in a couple of weeks – which I’m looking forward to.

“I’ve really enjoyed every second of it and every week I’ve played – I want to say a massive thank you to the whole team who put these events on.

“All the players love them – it’s an amazing opportunity for us and helps us fund our careers, so it’s amazing.”

Nine individual qualifying weeks culminated in the eagerly-anticipated UK Pro League Finals Week, where the country's top professionals descended on the salubrious Shrewsbury club to duel it out for the men's and women's trophies.
Patten was crowned Week 4 winner of the competition and qualified for Finals Week in eighth after racking up 43 points from his three weeks of action.

He required a match tie-break to edge past Sean Hodkin in the quarter-finals but breezed past Cox – who starred in the first round of Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014 – 6-3, 6-3 in the last four.

But Matusevich’s power-packed gameplan – he had a first serve win percentage of 93 per cent – proved too hot to handle in Sunday’s final as the 20-year-old from Kent cruised over the line.

Patten did rally in the second set and Matusevich said: “I didn’t want to be on the court [in the second set] and he was hitting some really good shots.

“I’m just happy to get through it as I got quite lucky at 4-4.

“I’m very pleased, as that second set was getting heated.

“I just wanted to get some matches in this week and really improve my game. I’m very happy to come out on top.”

With a prize fund of around £500k and Broadcast live on BT Sport, FreeSports, The Tennis Channel and UKproleague.tv, the UK Pro League is the only place where the British player group come together to compete across the full year.