Three-time Champion John Isner to return to Hall of Fame Open as No. 1 seed

The Hall of Fame Open will be played July 14 – 21 on the historic grass courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

(Photo by Ben Solomon/ITHF)

John Isner, currently ranked World No. 12 on the ATP Tour, will be returning to Newport next week to compete in the Hall of Fame Open. Isner, who returned to action last week at Wimbledon for the first time in three months due to a foot injury, has been awarded a wild card into the tournament, which is the first stop of the summer season in the United States for the ATP Tour.

“Newport has been a great tournament for me over the years. I’ve had great results and also kicked off some strong summers there. I’m looking forward to heading back next week,” said Isner. “The International Tennis Hall of Fame is a really special place to be able to compete, the fans are always terrific, and the town is one of my favorites on Tour. It’s always a great week, and I’m looking forward to it once again.”

This will mark the No. 1 American’s ninth appearance in Newport, where he has a record of 19-5 and won the Newport title 2017, 2012, and 2011.

Earlier this year, Isner advanced to the finals at the Miami Open for the second straight year, where he was the defending champion. Last year, Isner was a semifinalist at Wimbledon and a quarterfinalist at the US Open, making him the first American in a decade to reach two Grand Slam quarterfinals, a feat which had not been achieved since Hall of Famer Andy Roddick did so in 2008.

Isner has a history in Newport beyond the tournament courts as well. He’s one of few active Tour players who have match artifacts and memorabilia in the collection of tennis history at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The 6’10” big serving player is one of just four players in tennis history to have served more than 10,000 career aces. The ball he served his 10,000th ace with – in April 2018 in Houston – is currently displayed in the museum. In addition, Isner donated a racquet from his 2010 match at Wimbledon versus Nicolas Mahut, which stands as the longest tennis match ever in tennis history, spanning 3 days and 11 hours and 5 minutes.

The 28-player draw for the Hall of Fame Open is now largely set and will bring a dynamic mix of long-time Newport fan favorites and exciting new players, competitors with impressive grass court resumes, and several players who have notched big wins over the sport’s biggest names.

Big Winners in the Field

Players in the Hall of Fame Open field boast big wins over tennis’ all-time greats. John Isner, Ivo Karlovic, and Denis Istomin have all notched wins over the current world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Isner and Karlovic have also been victorious against Roger Federer, as has Sergiy Stakhovsky. Isner also has a win against Rafael Nadal. In addition, three Newport players have wins over Andy Murray – Marcel Granollers, Jordan Thompson, and Mischa Zverev.

Among the players heading to Newport, 10 players have won titles on the ATP Tour, for a combined total of 43 titles, including 12 on grass.

Grass Court Standouts

Frequent Newport competitor Adrian Mannarino returns for his eighth appearance in Newport – this time coming in as a recent champion. The Frenchman got his first career title at the start of the grass court season, winning the Libema Open in The Netherlands. Mannarino has finished six straight seasons in the top-60 and last year he achieved a career-high rank of world No. 22.

Two Newport players made it through to the second week at Wimbledon. Tennys Sandgren and Ugo Humbert both knocked out two seeded players to get to the Round of 16, where they ultimately exited the grass court major.

Newport Veterans

In addition to Isner, two past champions will be back in action in Newport – 2016 Champion Ivo Karlovic and defending champion Steve Johnson.

At 6’11” Karlovic’s serve on grass courts is particularly dangerous and he sits as the all-time leader of aces served in tennis history at 13,378 and counting. Last summer, Johnson followed up his Newport victory with a run into the final at the Winston-Salem Open.

Ones to Watch

Russian rising star Alexander Bublik will make his Newport debut this summer. The 21-year-old is a rising star on the ATP Tour, and currently ranked world number 82.

Germany’s Mischa Zverev returns to Newport for the second straight year. A classic serve and volleyer, Zverev won a grass court title last summer at Eastbourne.

Australian Matt Ebden returns to Newport once again this summer, where he was the 2017 Singles Finalist and 2011 Doubles Champion (w/ Ryan Harrison).  Ebden achieved a career-high rank of No. 39 in October of last year following personal-best 19th match win of the season.

Special Events: 
Women’s Tennis Returns, Wood & Steel Match, the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & More

In addition to seven days of exciting pro tennis, the tournament offers great special events all week, including youth tennis clinics, a fashion show on the grass courts, and more.

On Friday, July 19, women’s tennis returns to Newport in a special exhibition match showcasing tennis’ past and present. Seventeen-year-old Amanda Anisimova, who was a finalist at Roland-Garros last month, and 2019 Australian Open semifinalist Danielle Collins will compete along with Hall of Famer Gigi Fernandez and former WTA player and Rhode Island native Jill Craybas.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for the Class of 2019 will take place on Saturday, July 20. Chinese tennis great Li Na, Russian former world No. 1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov, and France’s Mary Pierce will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. New this year, the induction ceremony will take place in the evening, at approximately 6 p.m.

Just ahead of the tournament final on Sunday, July 21, four tennis legends will hit the court for a legends tournament with a special throwback twist. In Invesco Legends Newport Hall of Famers Mats Wilander, Jim Courier, and Yevgeny Kafelnikov, along with ITHF CEO Todd Martin will be playing with wood and steel racquets.

Tickets & Info

Tickets for all special events include access to that day’s tournament matches. Tickets for the Hall of Fame Open are on sale now on www.HallofFameOpen.com.

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