2018-07-12 / Around Town

Newport Casino Hosts Tennis Tournament

First WTA Exhibition in 25 Years
By Ross Sinclair Cann


Above, the shingle style Newport Casino is a backdrop for the grass courts. (Photo by Ross Sinclair Cann) Above, the shingle style Newport Casino is a backdrop for the grass courts. (Photo by Ross Sinclair Cann) Newport is notable for many things, including its sporting traditions, its architecture and its storied history. At the annual professional tournament at the International Tennis Hall of Fame beginning July 15, all three of those will be on prominent display as the eyes of the world are upon Newport during the televised induction of the new Hall of Fame class.

The Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open will be held at the Newport Casino on Bellevue Avenue, one of the most widely recognizable buildings in the city. The Casino is really a complex of buildings designed by the firm of McKim Mead and White which are acknowledged masterpieces of the “Shingle Style,” is an architectural style that evolved during the 1880’s.

This year there will also be a special exhibition of women’s tennis. Sloane Stephens, the reigning US Open Champion, and Madison Keys, a US Open Finalist, will compete in a women’s exhibition match at the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Friday, July 20. This best of three sets match is scheduled to take place following that day’s quarterfinal matches of the men’s ATP World Tour event.


Sloane Stephens of the U.S. will compete in an exhibition match July 20 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) Sloane Stephens of the U.S. will compete in an exhibition match July 20 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) While the Newport Casino has a rich history of hosting women’s professional tennis during its 138- year history, the exhibition match will mark the first time that current WTA stars will compete in Newport in more than 25 years.

The Casino (which meant “little house” and not “place of gambling” in those days) represented a new sort of leisure facility with dining, sporting and other facilities under one roof and would later become known as the “country club.”

The Newport Casino hosted the first U.S. National Men’s Singles Championship in 1881, where it remained for 34 years. In 1915 that tournament was moved to Forest Hills, N.Y., and then to Flushing Meadows, N.Y. in 1978, where, once professional players were allowed to participate, it became known as the “U.S. Open.”

Whether you are coming for the architecture, for the high-quality lawn tennis or for the unmatched collection of tennis memorabilia, you will not find a better destination to see and learn about the game of tennis than the Newport Casino.

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