ILKLEY Tennis Club's performance coach Gary Henderson reminded his adoring Ilkley public just what they have been missing on Saturday when he won the men's singles at the Tropicana British Tour event.

Then 36 year-old beat defending champion Burnham Arlidge from Basingstoke 6-2, 6-1 in just 53 minutes.

Having slogged his way around the world, including such unlikely places as India, Thailand and Uzbekistan, Gary Henderson was ranked the fifth best tennis player in Britain in 1994.

He was world-ranked No 237 and the following year played in the men's singles at Wimbledon against Guy Forget and got a career-high doubles ranking of 323 that November.

However, it was not easy to make a living at the Challenger level he had just broken into and financial hardship forced the Bingley-based player to quit the full-time circuit.

Coaching jobs followed at Ilkley, Heaton, Hallamshire and, since September, Ilkley again.

Henderson, who survived a marathon 3hr 15min second round match on Thursday against second seed Matt Taylor, said he had even thought about entering the $15,000 Men's Futures Tournament which ran alongside the British Tour event at Ilkley.

"That would have meant driving up from County Week at Eastbourne last Saturday night," he revealed.

"But I have been practising with Ross Connolly recently and I am confident I would have qualified, just as he did."

Whether Henderson's British Tour victory, against players who were often almost half his age, says more about the 36 year-old than the current state of the British Tour is a matter for debate.

But Henderson's mixture of heavy serving and reliability of his groundstrokes, particularly his sliced backhand, certainly proved a potent mixture against Arlidge.

Before the end, 18 year-old Arlidge almost became embarrassed by his inability to deal with whatever Henderson threw at him.

Ilkley Lawn Tennis and Squash Club's performance coach, who last won Ilkley's British Tour title in 1994, said: "I used to enjoy competing after I came off the circuit but then I had a three or four year period when I didn't want to compete.

"But now I have my hunger again and I will be playing in the Yorkshire Championships at South Leeds Stadium when I come back off my holiday."

Saturday was also a landmark day at Ilkley for 17 year-old former Woodhouse Grove pupil Anna Fitzpatrick.

She did little wrong in the final of the $10,000 Women's Futures Tournament as she defeated Surrey's Anna Smith 6-4, 6-3.

She said: "Everything went really well and I hope this is the springboard for more victories."

In September the Sheffield player is part of the initial intake at a new tennis academy in Monte Carlo.

There was no title double for Fitzpatrick, however, as she and partner Joanna Craven were beaten 6-2, 6-1 in the women's doubles final by rising pair Danielle Brown from Huddersfield and Lancastrian Liz Thomas.

South Korean-born Frenchman Julien Maes won the $15,000 Men's Futures Tournament with a very tidy display, seeing off fellow unseeded player Philip Stolt from the United States 6-2, 6-3.

Maes, who had lost both his previous Futures finals, hardly missed a return of serve and was far too steady in the rallies, particularly off his sliced backhand.

Results LTA $15,000 Men's Futures, Ilkley - Singles final: Julien Maes (Fra) bt Philip Stolt (Usa) 6-2, 6-3. Doubles final: Jonathan Marray & Jim May (GB) bt Shane La Porte & James Ludlow (USA) 7-6, (7-3) 6-3.

Lta $10,000 Ladies' Event, Ilkley - Singles final: Anna Fitzpatrick (GB) bt Anna Smith (GB) 6-4, 6-3. Doubles final: Danielle Brown & Elizabeth Thomas (GB) bt Joanna Craven & Anna Fitzpatrick (GB) 6-2, 6-1.

Tropicana British Tour, Ilkley - Men's final: Gary Henderson (GB) bt Burnham Arlidge (GB) 6-2, 6-1 Last Cawthra Feather Tournament, Ilkley - Men's Evening singles: K Stentenbach (Germany) bt K Munsterman (Germany) 6-2, 6-2. Boys' singles finals - Ten & under: S Venn bt J Jacob 6-4, 6-4. 12 & under: L Johnson bt C Crawford 6-0, 6-4. 14 & under: O Kaye bt J Bindine 6-4, 6-4. 16 & under: C Lloyd w.o. M Buckley. 18 & under: C Priddle bt Y Assion (Germany) 6-0, 6-3. Girls' singles finals - Ten & under (round robin): Winner, Lottie Taylor; runner-up, Milly Sidaway. 12 & under: Johnson bt Harris 6-2, 6-1. 14 & under: N Peterson bt O Brown 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-4. 16 & under: N Fellows bt N Peterson 7-5, 5-7, 6-1. 18 & under: J Konta bt S Harding 6-3, 6-2. Men's Veterans' finals - 45 & over singles: T Rekash (Germany) bt J Cooper 6-3, 6-1. 60 & over singles: G Cavestro bt T Nuttall 6-3, 3-1 retd. 45 & over doubles: A Cope & N Hillerby bt R Bourdon & C Campbell 6-2, 6-1. 55 & over doubles: T Nuttall & D Whitelaw bt B Butler & W Murfitt 6-0, 6-4. Handicap finals - Men's singles: J Ickringill w.o. G Janke (Germany). Women's singles: J Jacob bt W Ponzi 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. Men's doubles: A Cope & N Hillerby bt Elke Sowa & Jens Sowa (Germany) w.o. Women's doubles: Eva Petri & Esther Rekash (Germany) bt Becky Bourdon & Penny Hunt 6-1, 6-1. Mixed doubles: Lukas Huttemann & Esther Rekash (Germany) bt Nicklas Gettler & Eva Petri (Germany) 6-2, 6-2.