The Hall of Fame open has been held in July every year since 1976. Last year’s edition was scratched from the calendar due to Covid-19 and in 2019 John Isner bear Alexander Bublik to catch his 4th title of the competition.
Contested in the week just after Wimbledon the event tends to have less ranked players competing for the title.
The trend is not any different this year without a single player from top 30 with top seed Alexander Bublik being 38-th, the last seeded one being Kevin Anderson ranked No.108 and the last direct acceptance being all the way to no.168 Paolo Lorenzi which is a rank more common for Challenger events and not ATP 250 category ones.
Alexander Bublik is leading the pack and he has good memories from this event as he stormed through the field scoring 4 underdog wins on his way to the final where he was beaten by John Isner. John won’t play this year, but the Russian has not an easy path with ivo Karlovic potentially being his 2nd round opponent.
The tall hard serving Croat hasn’t been good at all this year and maybe finally his age (42) is catching up on him. His serve is still capable to keep him on the match and steal some tiebreaks along the way but the rest of his game has not been that much efficient. Maybe a familiar scenery could spark him up, as he has a title and 2 lost finals in Newport with a 17-9 record and +13.5 % ROI and is a dark horse on grass.
Like Karlovic, Kevin Anderson has a great serve to go along with a 1-2 shot punch and nice slices and while he is out of top 100 right now mainly because of lengthy sideline with numerous knee injuries and meniscus tear over the past 2 years, he is someone worth mentioning every time he steps on grass court. Wimbledon finalist from 2018 where he beat Federer 13-11 in the 5th and Isner 26-24 his path was cut short by Djokovic in today’s edition but is someone to look for in the top part of the draw.
54th ranked Sam Querrey is the 2nd seed of the event and while his preparation for Wimbledon looked nice on paper with a SF in Stuttgart and Final in Mallorca he surprisingly got knocked out in the 2nd round at All England Club by Duckworth as a -350 favorite. Sam has not played Newport since 2015 and his best performance is a Final in 2009.
Jordan Thompson is my dark horse pick from the bottom and someone who can give Querrey some trouble in the 3rd round. His record is not that good but if we look closely to the numbers, he tends to score underdog wins demonstrated with a 29-28 record on Grass but +26.9 ROI to his credit. He defeated Ruud (+170) and Nishikori (+355) in Wimbledon just 2 weeks ago before going down to Ivashka, he is interesting to follow especially when priced at +100 or above as he might be 9-17 on grass in that odds range but boosting a great +52.5 ROI mainly because of defeating Andy Murray as a +1600 underdog in 2017.
Let’s get it straight, not clear-cut favorite around.
The venue has enough space so they could move from one court to another in the middle of the week when the surface start to look nothing like a grass one. This makes it easy for huge serving players to continue to do their thing as other venues/courts tends to slow by the end of the week.
Kevin Anderson will offer value to reach the final and so does Jordan Thomspon so I focus my investments towards them in a more risky way.