1. Size Matters: The three tallest players on the ATP World Tour lead the field at the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open, which serves as the final grass-court tournament of the 2017 season. Six-foot-11 Ivo Karlovic is the defending Newport champion, 6-foot-11 Reilly Opelka is making his main draw tournament debut and 6-foot-10 John Isner won the title in 2011 and 2012.
2. Three Straight Finals: Karlovic saved three championship points to beat Gilles Muller in three tie-break sets and win the 2016 Newport title. The 38-year-old Croatian finished runner-up to Lleyton Hewittin 2014 and Rajeev Ram in 2015, losing both of those finals in a third-set tiebreak.
3. Isner Seeded No. 1: Isner is making his eighth appearance in Newport and fifth as the top seed. He won the title in 2011 and 2012, then fell in the 2014 quarter-finals and 2015 first round, as the No. 1 seed. Isner made his ATP World Tour debut here 10 years ago, losing to Dick Norman.
4. Opelka on the Rise: When Opelka played qualifying last year in Newport, he was No. 833 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. The 2015 Wimbledon junior champion returns inside the Top 150 after earning his first three main draw wins en route to the Atlanta semi-finals last August (l. to Isner).
5. First Time for Everything: Opelka is one of nine players seeking his first grass-court win – not including the four men who qualify on Monday. NCAA champion Thai-Son Kwiatkowski will make his ATP debut as a wild card.
No. 7 seed Tennys Sandgren (0-3), Mitchell Krueger (0-1) and #NextGenATP players Akira Santillan (0-4) and Michael Mmoh (0-6) seek their first ATP win on any surface. Bidding for their first grass-court win are Opelka (0-0 on grass), Bjorn Fratangelo (0-1 on grass), Adrian Menendez-Maceiras (0-2 on grass) and Konstantin Kravchuk (0-3 on grass).
6. First-Round Byes: Isner, Karlovic, No. 3 seed Adrian Mannarino and No. 4 seed Pierre-Hugues Herbert receive byes. Mannarino is coming off a fourth-round run at Wimbledon. Herbert will be making his Newport debut. His regular doubles partner, Nicolas Mahut, won the title here in 2013.
7. Raj Returns: Isner isn’t the only two-time champion in the field. Ram won the Newport title in 2009 as the World No. 181 and 2015 as the World No. 161. He returns this week outside of the Top 200.
8. #NextGenATP in Newport: Five #NextGenATP players are in Newport, including Opelka, Santillan and Mmoh. They are joined by American teens Taylor Fritz and Stefan Kozlov. Fritz qualified at Wimbledon before falling to Isner in the first round. Kozlov debuted at 2013 Newport as a 15 year old and remains the youngest participant in an ATP match since Noam Behr, 14, at 1990 Tel Aviv.
10. First-Time Team: Ram and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi will debut as a doubles team. Ram, the 2009 Newport doubles champion, and Qureshi, the 2015 champion, have combined for five titles in 2017.
via – ATP World Tour