By International Tennis Hall Of Fame/ Hall Of Fame Open
As the Hall of Fame Open advances some recognizable names are still swinging in Newport, however, 2019 is proving to be the year of the rising star with several tournament favorites being ousted by young up-and-comers.
Keep an eye on these players over the weekend, next time you see them they just may be holding the Van Alen Cup!
Ilya Ivashka (left) to play Ugo Humbert (right) Friday
21-year-old Ugo Humbert from Metz, France has been training with the French Tennis Federation since he was 12. The grass has definitely been good to him this year. He put on an impressive showing at Wimbledon where he advanced to the fourth round before being ousted by 2019 Wimbledon champ Novak Djokovic.
Prior to 2019, Humbert had not played a professional match on grass, although you wouldn’t know it by his impressive performance here in Newport. As a rising star in the ATP rankings, Hubert is current world No. 48 and climbing.
Facing Humbert on Friday will be Ilya Ivashka. Another rising star in the ATP Tour, Ivashka has been playing almost since he was old enough to hold a racquet. Although his favorite playing surface is hard, he has been holding his ground on Newport’s grass courts.
Ivashka’s first match in Newport this week also marked his first time playing professionally on grass. At 25 years old, Ivashka is at the top of his game and a fierce competitor looking to claim his first ATP title here in Newport.
John Isner (left) will face Matthew Ebden (right) on Friday
Tournament favorite and world no. 15, John Isner is fighting his way back from an injury that took him out of play much of the past 3 months. After a disappointing loss to Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin in Wimbledon, this is Isner’s first time back on the grass courts in Newport since his title win in 2017.
Following a close match against Kamil Majchrzak on Wednesday, during which he pulled out an impressive ace count of 25, Isner is determined to once again claim the Hall of Fame Open title as his own.
The Aussie Matt Ebden is making play on grass look easy this tournament, a feat that is not easy to accomplish. After losing to Rafael Nadal in the second round at this year’s Australian Open, his next match against Isner on Friday will determine who moves one step closer to claiming this year’s Van Alen Cup.
Playing both singles and doubles in this year’s tournament, Ebden and partner Robert Linstedt are looking to claim the doubles title in Newport.
With many of the top-seeded players being knocked out in the early rounds of the tournament, this year’s winner may just be next year’s superstar! Buy your tickets for Friday’s matches today!