By Ashley Marshall, USOpenSeries.com
The US Open will reconnect with its original home next summer, when the Hall of Fame Open in Newport, R.I., officially joins the US Open Series and kicks off the American summer tennis season.
The historic ATP 250 grass-court tournament will launch the 2020 US Open Series, July 12-19, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and International Tennis Hall of Fame announced Monday.
“The addition of the Hall of Fame Open to the US Open Series simply makes the North American summer tennis season stronger,” said USTA Chief Executive, Professional Tennis Stacey Allaster. “The rich history of the tournament, combined with the power and equity of the US Open brand and a mutual focus on building new generations of audiences and tennis players, will serve both the Hall of Fame Open and the Series as a whole in showcasing a world-class tennis event and growing the game.”
The move increases the number of ATP events on the US Open Series to six and means the Hall of Fame Open will now receive the same level of on-site, broadcast, digital and grassroots support from the USTA provided to all Series tournaments.
The Hall of Fame Open is the only ATP grass-court event played outside of Europe. As the first stop of the summer season in the States, the event generally draws a strong group of Americans among the diverse international player field. Recent champions have included No. 1 American John Isner, who has won the title a record four times, including 2019, and fellow American Steve Johnson, who won last year’s title.
“It is wonderful to be able to connect our present-day tournament with the venue’s great history as the birthplace of the US Open,” said International Tennis Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin. “Additionally, we are excited to partner with the USTA and the US Open Series tournaments to kick off the summer season and to collectively shine a broader spotlight on tennis in the U.S. In our historic setting, the Hall of Fame Open already offers a special experience for the players and fans, and we look forward to enhancing this experience with the USTA’s partnership.”
The tournament has been an annual ATP stop since 1976, but the venue boasts a rich tennis history that dates back much further. In 1881, it was the site of the first U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championships. The tournament was contested in Newport annually until 1914. It moved to New York in 1915, where it evolved and thrives today as the US Open. In a nod to its original home, the perpetual US Open trophies are displayed in Newport for museum visitors to see year-round and are transported to New York every August for the tournament.
The USTA continues to invest in both the professional and grassroots elements of the US Open Series tournaments to promote the game and grow participation. Since its inception in 2004, the US Open Series has expanded television viewing opportunities with a cohesive and easy-to-follow schedule, while also increasing attendance and generating new corporate partnerships for its tournaments. In addition, the Series will continue to engage its local tournament communities with a variety of community outreach initiatives, including grassroots clinics and activities involving Net Generation, the official youth tennis of the USTA.
Pictured above (l-r): Brewer Rowe, Senior Vice President Tennis Operations and Assistant Tournament Director, International Tennis Hall of Fame; Todd Martin, CEO and Tournament Director, International Tennis Hall of Fame; Stacey Allaster, Chief Executive, Pro Tennis, USTA; J. Wayne Richmond, Managing Director, Major Events, USTA. (Photo credit: USTA)