So as Wimbledon is soon over, so is also the grass season. No, wait, Newport is still there! Oh yes, that 250 with a Challenger-level field. NO! GOATport is the true 5th slam with true legends of the game, Wimbledon was only warm-up for it.
Let’s take a look at some of the legends playing in Newport:
Lleyton Hewitt: Former World No. 1 and US Open and Wimbledon champion. The most agonizing loss in his career: 2012 Newport final. Now aiming for a revenge.
John Isner: Defeated Federer and took Nadal to five sets on clay; definitely a future clay GOAT. Also beat Djokovic at Indian Wells 2012 to reach his first Masters 1000 final. Also a legend of grass tennis; 2011 and 2012 Newport champion plus won the longest match ever at Wimbledon 2010 against Nicolas Mahut, another legend of grass tennis.
Nicolas Mahut: As mentioned, played the longest, I mean the GREATEST, match ever against John Isner at Wimbledon 2010. One of the few remaining saviours of serve-and-volley tennis, and Newport finalist from 2007. Given he recently won a grass tournament in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, he must be in a good form and is my pick for the title.
Ivo Karlovic: Great to see this man back in action after the viral meningitis he suffered in April. He’s held the record of the fastest serve ever and grass is his best surface. Lleyton Hewitt knows this better than well as his title defence at Wimbledon 2003 ended on the 1st round to a loss to Karlovic.
Rajeev Ram: Also known as Rampras, a true beast on grass with his serve-and-volley game. Don’t let his ranking fool you, he won both singles and doubles titles at Newport the 5th slam in 2009.
James Blake: Former World No. 4 and 2006 Masters Cup finalist. Lost that match to Roger Federer but two years later denied Federer the chance to win Olympic gold in singles. Newport finalist from 2002.
Michael Russell: Even at the age of 35, Iron Mike is still in full force. Even the greatest players are struggling against this man; Michael was leading the eventual champion Gustavo Kuerten with two sets and a break at the 2001 French Open.
So forget the Wimbledon final, Djokovic and Murray have still a long way to becoming similar legends as the guys above.