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Adrian Mannarino Ends American Teen Alex Michelsen’s Dream To Win Newport

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Second seed Adrian Mannarino upset teenager Alex Michelsen 6-2, 6-4 to win the Hall of Fame Open final on Sunday.
The 35-year-old Frenchman relied on the consistent and possibly tense play of the 18-year-old American to win his third ATP Tour title. “Tennis is a real mental game,” says Mannarino. “Even if you miss but try to win, it will give your opponent the information that you won’t give up and you will have a bit of luck in some matches.”

Under clear blue skies with a gentle breeze and temperatures in the 80s, Mannarino broke in the fifth and seventh games of the first set, which lasted just 27 minutes. The set ended when Mannarino hit a forehand across the line.

“I feel lucky that I made it this week,” said Mannarino, who played in Newport for the 10th time but reached his first final under the shadow of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Competing in his second ATP Tour event after winning the Challenger title in Chicago last week, Michelsen looked a little nervous early on, making some unexplained mistakes.
“I played very poorly from the start,” he said. Michelsen is looking to become the youngest ATP champion this season and the youngest American to win the title since Houston Hall of Famer Andy Roddick in 2001.
“It was a very good week. “I have a lot of points,” said the California native, who committed to and signed a college tennis contract with Georgia but said he’ll have to reevaluate when he gets home.

“I was here alone,” he said, “trying to figure it out.” “I think I did really well. It was a very good week, a very positive week, without a lot of negatives, that’s for sure.”

Looking stronger to start the second set, he broke through the second, but Mannarino broke through the next game, hitting a backhand on Michelsen’s line as the youngster looked for a comeback at the net.

“I know there will be more protests and that’s usually when I feel confident,” Mannarino said. “It all depends on what you show your opponent, and today I tried to make him think I was comfortable.”

Mannarino took control, breaking in the ninth game of the second set. The match, which lasted 1 hour and 22 minutes, ended with a backhand rebound from Michelsen on the final point.

The tournament is held in conjunction with the hall entry ceremony. Dominant wheelchair player Esther Vergeer, 42, who has won 21 Grand Slam singles titles and seven Paralympic gold medals, leads the class of 2023. She was entered Saturday night alongside American Rick Draney, 61, who won 12 singles and six doubles titles before the Grand Slam era of wheelchair tennis.

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