Isner Sets New Mark
At Hall of Fame Open
James Maimonis, Manager, Media & Communications | July 24, 2019
NEWPORT, RI- For the record-setting fourth time in his career, top-ranked American male, John Isner, is the Hall of Fame Open Champion! Isner was tested throughout the week on the Hall of Fame grass, with three of his four matches going three sets, but he ultimately defeated Alexander Bublik in the finals at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI from July 14-21 to break a tie with Greg Rusedski and Vijay Amritraj for most career Newport titles.
USTA New England was on-site at the Hall of Fame throughout the week to witness Isner make history as well as to see Li Na, Mary Pierce and Yevgeny Kafelnikov enshrined as the Hall of fame Class of 2019.
Earlier in the week, USTA New England events successfully complemented the pro action. The annual Member Appreciation Day on Tuesday was once again a highlight, as more than 600 USTA members stopped by the booth for their free gifts and lunch. ADVERTISEMENT During the member lunch on the Horseshoe Piazza, Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin conducted an exclusive Q & A with Isner. Fans jumped at the opportunity to see the then three-time champ up close and personal and ask a few questions of their own.
“We enjoyed welcoming hundreds of regional tennis players for a terrific day of tennis on USTA Member Appreciation Day and had a nice chat with the members and our eventual champion, John Isner. John has been No. 1 American player for several years, and he’s now a four-time champion here at the Hall of Fame Open, and it was great to see so many USTA New England members cheering him on all week,” Martin said.
Member Day also featured a special presentation on Center Court for USTA New England’s 2018 top-ranked adult tournament players. The No. 1 players, along with the Youth Tennis Foundation’s Ned Weld Award winner, Rob Oppenheim, were honored between match two and three of the day. Following the ceremony, USTANE President and CEO, Peter Parotta, did the honorary coin toss.
Throughout the week, USTA New England headed the Net Generation Fan Zone, where kids were given special playing access. The Hall of Fame welcomed six NJTLs (National Junior Tennis and Learning) chapters on Wednesday, for NJTL Day. NJTLs TeamFAME, Norwalk Grassroots, Progreso Latino, Rodney Street Tennis, Sportsmen’s and New HYTEs were all represented, and select members were invited on Center Court for a coin toss.
Also on Wednesday, Rhode Island NCAA players Matt Kuhar and Julia Pezzuco were honored on Center Court as USTA Rhode Island’s College Players of the Year. The honor is the fourth for Kuhar and the first for Pezzuco.
Friday featured a full lineup of events, including the annual wheelchair clinic, a women’s exhibition match with legends Jull Craybas and Gigi Fernandez, and up-and-coming Americans, Danielle Collins and Amanda Anisimova and the New England Section WITT (Women in Tennis Together) event.
Parents, coaches and players from all six of this year’s WITT events were invited to the Hall of Fame to take in the action, watch the women’s exhibition, and listen to a motivation presentation in the Casino Theatre from Alissa Dver, author and CEO of the American Confidence Institute.
Jack’s Abby Social Tennis League players enjoyed a special day on Saturday, as they watched semifinal action and then sipped and played on the grass courts themselves.
“The Hall of Fame Open and our ITHF Induction Weekend really celebrate every facet of our sport – pro tennis at the forefront, as well as youth tennis activities, wheelchair tennis, and of course, the celebration of tennis’ ultimate honor with the Hall of Fame inductions,” Martin said. “We are so glad to be able to bring these events and opportunities to Newport each summer and we’re grateful for the participation of so many USTA NE members. We’re already looking forward to doing it again in 2020.”
For more info and results from the Hall of Fame Open, visit their website.