One new winner and one regular victor reigned supreme as Eliz Maloney and Anton Matusevich claimed Week 3 honours in the UK Pro League. Revenge was a sweet relief for Maloney in Loughborough, overcoming Emily Appleton for the second time in the week having lost in the Week 2 Final.
But there was no stopping Matusevich at the Dan Maskell Tennis Centre, winning his 15th successive match in the competition having not dropped a single set in the week. Maloney has improved week-on-week in this year’s series, and this week was no different having waltzed through the Pool stage with five wins from five.
Another straight sets win over Freya Christie set her up for the Appleton showdown – prevailing 6-4 6-3 to take maximum points away from Week 3. “I’m just so relieved, especially after that last game which seemed to go on forever, but I’m happy to close that out,” she said. “My legs felt a bit shaky, especially on your own serve trying to start it off, but you’d rather have the serve than not.
“The group-stage win gave me a lot of confidence heading into the final, I hadn’t beaten her on these courts but because she’s playing so well, that certainly helped me raise my game. “I was making inroads into Emily’s serve but couldn’t take the break points, luckily I was able to take the chances in the end. She’s serving so well at the moment, and follows it up really well to make it hard to get a look in against her. I’ll be back for Week 4, I’ve got a picnic on Monday to look forward to now – hopefully it will be sunny!”
And Matusevich has taken another huge step towards Finals Week after winning for the second week in a row. Since winning the third-place play-off in Week 1, the 19-year-old hasn’t lost a match – a record he maintained with a 7-5 6-1 win against Henry Patten.
Patten held his own in the opener but Matusevich’s flying form proved too much – winning 14 from a possible 14 sets across the week.
“I was very happy the way I played, I thought I played quite at home out here and was playing better tennis than in the second week. Congratulations to Henry in making the final, that’s a great achievement. It was awesome, I’ve really enjoyed it here. Week 1, you’re panicking a little bit, as top seed having not played in these events before. There was less panicking, less talking for me, I was a bit more calm and composed and stopped thinking about the scoreline. I turn 20 next month – it’s scary getting older, I don’t want to do that. Maturity is definitely something I want to work on, getting mentally solid.”
Sunday also saw a host of play-off matches played, with the final league ranking key in determining who will make Finals Week later this year.