Rules blown away – grass-court Newport joins US Open hard-court series!
Precedent has been blown up after the US Open Series announced the addition of grass-court Newport to the longtime hard-court series.
The series has up until now been hyped as the supreme test on cement over the six weeks leading to the final Grand Slam of the season at Flushing Meadows.
Now, the entire run will start at a tail-ender venue from the summer grass season, with Newport long regarded as the North American orphan of the European-based grass season.
But Newport has a major inside edge, with tournament based in the tranquil Rhode Island home of the Hall of Fame museum, a body which has big-time pull with the US Tennis Association.
The 250 event will get a prestige boost next summer in a calendar squeezed to the limit by the Tokyo games, which will be staged the same week as the Atlanta tournament.
The US Open run-up will now comprise six tournaments with the addition of Newport from July 12-19.
The Open series will be starting its 17th edition amid a fresh round of promotion, with the top men’s and women’s point scorers each chase a bonus of $1 million.
While the cash dash was formerly the main emphasis on the series when it began in 2004, the prize money angle is currently not even mentioned on the website.
The event attracts a mainly American entry, with major ATP names all resting the week after Wimbledon, with many taking a month off before resurfacing at the Canadian stop on the Masters series in early August..
“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,” former player and Hall of Fame boss Todd Martin said.
“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 US.”
Written by Bill Scott for Grandslamtennis.online. To read more visit grandslamtennis.online