Newport wild cards awarded
NEWPORT, R.I. — After the Wimbledon titles are claimed this weekend, the ATP World Tour heads to the United States for the summer, with the first stop being the historic grass courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. A strong player field featuring 8 of the top-10 Americans is set for the event. Wild cards for the tournament have now been awarded to Nicolas Mahut and Prakash Amritraj, both of whom have reached the event’s finals previously. The final wild card was awarded to 15-year-old Stefan Kozlov, a young American player who will be making his ATP World Tour debut in Newport. The new additions join a strong player field that features top Americans John Isner, Sam Querrey, Ryan Harrison, Rajeev Ram, Ryan Harrison, Jack Sock, Michael Russell, Denis Kudla, Rhyne Williams, and Tim Smyczek. In addition, former world no. 1 Lletyon Hewitt of Australia, and Frenchmen Adrian Mannarino of and Kenny De Schepper, who are both coming off successful runs into the Round of 16 at Wimbledon, will compete.
“Our tournament has a long history of welcoming up and coming stars to the field. We granted wild cards to John Isner, Sam Querrey, James Blake, Ryan Harrison, and Jack Sock early on in their careers, and have been glad to see them all go on to such great success. Stefan is coming to Newport after an exciting and successful Wimbledon run, and we’re very pleased to give him his first opportunity to play in the main draw of an ATP World Tour event. Nicolas and Prakash are always strong players in Newport, and will definitely add to the excitement of our tournament,” said Tournament Director Mark L. Stenning. “When you put these three players in the mix for an already strong field, we’re set up for a great week of ATP World Tour tennis at the Hall of Fame.”
Stefan Kozlov, of Florida is an up and coming young sensation among American juniors. Kozlov comes to Newport after a highly successful Wimbledon, where he reached the quarterfinals and was the youngest player in the Boys Singles field. Earlier this year, Kozlov qualified for and reached the quarterfinals at an ATP Futures tournament, competing against much older players. Currently ranked world No. 21, Kozlov is the youngest player ranked inside the top-25 on the ITF World Junior Circuit. In April 2013, he won the USTA International Spring Championships. At 15 years old, Kozlov will be the youngest player ever in the Main Draw of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.
A skilled grass court player, Frenchman Nicolas Mahut comes to Newport on the heels of winning his first ATP World Tour singles title. Mahut defeated world No. 1 Stanislas Wawrinka in the finals of the Topshelf Open at s-Hertogenbosch, the week prior to Wimbledon. This will be Mahut’s 8th appearance at Newport, where he was the singles runner up in 2007 (l. to Santoro) and a doubles runner up in 2004 (w/ Carraz). Earlier this season, Mahut partnered with countryman Michael Llodra to reach the doubles final at the French Open, where they were defeated by the Bryan Brothers.
Prakash Amritraj has also had strong results at Newport. He was a runner up at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in 2008 (l. to Santoro), and advanced to the quarterfinals in 2007. This season Amritraj has had success in Challenger events including a semifinal and quarterfinal result. In this year’s season opener in Chennai, India, Amritraj qualified for the tournament and advanced to the second round. Amritraj is the son of Indian tennis great Vijay Amritraj, a former world top-20, one of India’s finest players, who won the Newport title in 1976, 1980, and 1984.
Hosted in the historic, intimate stadium at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, a hallmark of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships is the quaint atmosphere and unparalleled views close to the action. Additional information and tickets are available on HallofFameTennisChampionships.com or by phone at (401) 849-6053.
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