Mannarino wins Newport Infosys Hall of Fame Open July 2023

Adrian Mannarino, a French professional tennis player, achieved a significant victory by winning the Infosys Hall of Fame Open in Newport. He defeated the emerging American player, Alex Michelsen, with a score of 6-2, 6-4 in the final match to claim his first title of the season. Mannarino’s left-handed playing style and strategic use of slice shots helped him keep Michelsen off balance.

This victory marked Mannarino’s third ATP Tour title in his career. Despite struggling in ATP Tour finals earlier in his career, where he lost the first six he played, Mannarino has since improved his performance in championship matches, winning two out of his last three.

Mannarino expressed his pleasure at playing in Newport and his appreciation for the opportunity to compete in the tournament. He acknowledged his past struggles in Newport but highlighted his enjoyment of the event.

Alex Michelsen, an eighteen-year-old American player, displayed remarkable composure and performance throughout the tournament, notably defeating former Newport champions Maxime Cressy and John Isner. Despite his loss in the final, Michelsen’s impressive performance allowed him to climb to World No. 139 in the ATP Rankings. Isner made a good run knocking off #1 ranked Tommy Paul in the quarterfinals before bowing out to Michelsen.

Michelsen acknowledged Mannarino’s skill and praised him as one of the best grass-court players on tour. He also thanked the sponsors and organizers for making the tournament a positive and memorable experience for him.

Mannarino’s victory in Newport adds to his successful record on grass courts. Notably, he also reached a grass-court final earlier in the year in Mallorca, showcasing his proficiency on this surface. Two out of his three ATP Tour titles have been achieved on grass courts, with his first title earned four years ago in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

Early in his career, Mannarino struggled in ATP Tour finals, losing the first six he played. But the 35-year-old has won two of his past three championship clashes and is now a three-time tour-level champion. He had not made it past the quarter-finals in Newport before this week. “I’m just fighting on court, trying to do my best and it’s always some really close matches and you never know what to expect,” Mannarino said. “I’m feeling pretty lucky that I got through all the way this week.” 👑 Victorious in Newport 👑@AdrianMannarino claims his third ATP Tour title after defeating Michelsen 6-2, 6-4!@TennisHalloFame | #InfosysHallofFameOpen —

ATP Tour (@atptour) July 23, 2023 Eighteen-year-old Michelsen showed no fear of the big stage throughout his second ATP Tour event, at which he upset two former Newport champions, Maxime Cressy and John Isner. But Mannarino smartly prevented the teen from finding any rhythm, especially in longer rallies. Michelsen won 31 per cent of his return points against Isner, one of the best servers in history. But he managed to claim just 27 per cent of his return points against Mannarino, who used his lefty slice to keep the ball out of the American’s strike zone. After a one-sided first set, Michelsen battled hard and immediately broke to take the lead in the second set. But Mannarino was too steady throughout and ultimately lifted the trophy after one hour and 22 minutes. “I’d like to congratulate Alex for a great couple of weeks,” Mannarino said. “He’s playing really well and he has such a bright future ahead of him.” Michelsen, who did not own a tour-level win entering the tournament, nearly became the youngest ATP Tour titlist this season and the fourth teen to claim a crown.
Last week he earned his first ATP Challenger Tour trophy in Chicago. “You’re one of the best grass-court players on tour. I think I saw you final Mallorca and you’re a really good player, all the best in the future,” Michelsen said to Mannarino during the trophy ceremony. “I want to thank all the sponsors. This week was probably the best week of my life tennis-wise and you guys all made it happen, so it was pretty cool, thank you.” One year ago this week, Michelsen was tied for No. 1,081 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. Despite the loss, he will climb to World No. 139 on Monday. “I got a tonne of points, I was here on my own trying to figure it out, so I think I did pretty well,” Michelsen said. “It was a very good week, a very positive week. Not too many negatives for sure.” Did You Know? Mannarino also reached a grass-court final earlier this year in Mallorca. Two of his three ATP Tour titles have come on the surface, having earned his first title four years ago in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

Overall, Mannarino’s win and Michelsen’s impressive performance in the tournament highlight the dynamic and competitive nature of professional tennis, where emerging talents challenge established players, leading to exciting matches and memorable moments for both players and fans.

Photos by Jeff Zimerman