Delray Beach, USA, 6 March 2012 | AAP/AFP

Australian tennis player Marinko Matosevic has soared to a career-high world ranking after reaching his maiden ATP final.

Matosevic on Monday rose 44 spots to 129th in the standings after falling 6-4 7-6(2) to seventh-seeded South African Kevin Anderson in the final of the Delray Beach International in Florida.

The 26-year-old from Melbourne leapfrogged Lleyton Hewitt (171) to become the Australian No.3 behind Bernard Tomic (36) and Matt Ebden (91).

Matosevic was was bidding to become the second player this year to come through qualifying and win a title, after Jarkko Nieminen in Sydney in January.

Although his run through qualifying to the final was impressive, Matosevic was clearly disappointed that he couldn’t make the most of his chance against Anderson.

“Before the week, if you told me that I’d make the final, I’d be the happiest guy in the world,” he said.

“Then when you get there and you play the match – I feel like I was just a few points from winning the match or turning the match, but I just couldn’t do it. It can only help me, I guess.”

He admitted he felt a little flat, a day after notching an ATP semifinal victory in his first attempt for his seventh win of the week.

“My energy levels were pretty low,” Matosevic said.

“I just couldn’t serve well today, but credit to Kevin. He was the better player today.”

Matosevic earned $US39,000 ($A36,000) in prize money, the biggest pay day of his career.

Before this week, Matosevic had not won a tour-level match this season and was just three-from-18 in his career.

Anderson won his second career title, to go with a triumph on home soil in Johannesburg last year.

The big-serving South African couldn’t convert any of his eight break chances in the second set, but he took control early in the tiebreaker to finish off the victory in just under two hours.

“Both of us were a little nervous at the start of the match, so I had to find my rhythm,” said Anderson, who saved three match points in a quarter-final victory over Andy Roddick, then defeated top-seeded John Isner in the semi-finals.

“I think at the end, I felt I was mentally composed throughout (the tournament). I didn’t let any patches of bad tennis affect my mindset.”