John Isner is the top seed and favourite as the American seeks what would be his fourth career title at the 2019 Hall of Fame Open this week.
With Wimbledon over for another year, tennis fans will soon be turning their attention to the next grand slam tournament of 2019, the US Open at Flushing Meadows in New York.
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Many players will therefore be heading straight to the United States to start their preparations for the event, although the Hall of Fame Open is held on outdoor grass courts.
This is the only grass-court tournament played outside of Europe and Isner, who is back in action after recovering from a foot injury, will be hoping to show off improved form.
A three-time winner of this event, Isner triumphed two years ago and was the winner in back-to-back years in 2011 and 2012, with all those successes coming in straight sets.
A decent field has been assembled despite the close proximity to the end of Wimbledon and Isner is a clear favourite among the major betting sites to win it all.
But is Isner the best value option for those looking to have a bet on the 2019 Hall of Fame Open?
Americans Tend to Dominate
There is often a home winner of the Hall of Fame Open, with seven of the past 10 titles at the tournament claimed by an American player.
As well as John Isner, Rajeev Ram has won a couple of times at this event while Mardy Fish was a previous winner too. The defending champion is also a home hope, with Steve Johnson having come out on top against Ramkumar Ramanathan a year ago.
Johnson is back to try and defend his title this year and he is offered at a price of 13/2 for the betting odds for the Hall of Fame Open, the same price as French player Adrian Mannarino.
Isner, meanwhile, is shorter at 7/2, which makes sense given he has a lot of experience of playing in Rhode Island and has shown he has what it takes to win here on three occasions. Vijay Amritraj is the only other player to have won the Hall of Fame Open three times, so if it is Isner who is celebrating lifting the trophy at the end of the week, he will have made history.
“The International Tennis Hall of Fame is a really special place to be able to compete, the fans are always terrific, and the town is one of my favorites on Tour,” Isner said ahead of taking part in the tournament. “It’s always a great week, and I’m looking forward to it once again.”
Veteran Ivo Karlovic Still a Threat
There are not many players still plugging away on the tour at the age of 40, but Ivo Karlovic could be a man to keep a close eye on at the Hall of Fame Open this week.
Karlovic won the event in 2016 – beating Gilles Muller in a final that saw all three sets settled on tie-breaks – and he also got to the final in each of the two previous years. The giant Croatian may be approaching the end of his career, but that mammoth serve remains a serious weapon on grass courts and he might just fancy a last hurrah on his preferred surface.
Seeded sixth in the draw, Karlovic may only be ranked 80 in the world these days – he was in the top 15 at the peak of his career – but he should not be taken lightly in Rhode Island.
He can be backed at a price of 14/1, which looks generous considering the experience Karlovic has of playing at the glorious venue that is the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Karlovic has shown little form over the course of the grass-court season to date, however.
Adrian Mannarino a Major Threat to Isner
Hall of Fame Open second seed Adrian Mannarino could well be the biggest threat to Isner’s chances of becoming the most successful player in the history of the tournament.
The Frenchman has had an up and down 2019 but did win a grass-court event in the build-up to Wimbledon, triumphing at the ATP 250 tournament the Libema Open in the Netherlands.
Mannarino went out in the first round at Wimbledon, though, losing to Marin Cilic in straight sets, and he can consider himself a little unfortunate to have been given such a tough draw there.
Ranked 42 in the world, the 31-year-old could play one of the many Americans in the draw first up with Tennys Sandgren perhaps awaiting in the second round after Mannarino’s opening bye. At 13/2 in the betting odds, Mannarino could be a good option as he has displayed strong performances on grass this season and should be fresh after a lack of exertion at Wimbledon.
Jordan Thompson Goes Under the Radar
The man beaten by Mannarino in the final of the Libema Open was the talented Australian Jordan Thompson, who is the third seed for the Hall of Fame Open.
Offered at a juicy 9/1 in the betting, Thompson looks to have a decent draw and should have a great chance of getting through to the semi-finals, where he could be reunited with Mannarino.
The 25-year-old is yet to win a singles title on the ATP tour, but he is good enough to do so and it is surely only going to be a matter of time until he can bank a big cheque and collect a trophy.
Hall of Fame Open best bets
Isner is a solid favourite given his excellent record at the Hall of Fame Open, but it is unclear whether or not he is operating at 100 per cent full fitness after recovering from a recent injury.
That is really the only reason to consider going elsewhere for tennis fans seeking a bet for this week’s tournament in Newport, Rhode Island, however, as he is the best player in the field.
Mannarino is a good alternative, especially as he has already won a tournament on grass this year, with 13/2 a decent value price for the number two seed.
At 9/1 there is a further option to consider in the form of Thompson, who would be desperate for revenge on Mannarino were the two to reach a scheduled semi-final together.
Thompson’s fellow Australian Matthew Ebden got to the final here in 2017 – losing to Isner – and he could be another alternative on an each way basis at a price of 22/1.