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Published: Thursday, August 09, 2018 @ 10:00 AM
— There’s just one time of the year when tennis fans in the Cincinnati-Dayton area can watch the best players in the world compete live and be back at home just a few minutes later. That would be during the Western and Southern Open, a part of the ATP (Associated Tennis Players) and WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) Tour. It’s both the second-largest summer tennis tournament in the United States and the oldest tennis tournament still played in its original city.
>> NEW DETAILS: Nadal pulls out of Western and Southern Open
But the W&S Open isn’t just a tennis tournament. It’s a tennis event. During its weeklong run, there are a host of things to do and check out before and in between matches. But before we get into that, we must start with …
The top 45 men (minus No. 25 Tomas Berdych) and top 37 women are entered in the W&S Open. Top players on the women’s side expected to compete include Simona Halep, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Maria Sherapova, Angelique Kerber, and last year’s champion, Garbiñe Muguruza. On the men’s side, the big names include Roger Federer and Novak Djokovik. Andy Murray, who recently withdrew from the Washington Open due to exhaustion, is listed as a wild card. Grigor Dimitrov will return to defend his 2017 title.
Throughout the week, there will be special days devoted to special groups.
Kids Day: On Aug. 11 from 9 a.m.-noon, kids of all skill sets are invited to participate in tennis drills and games. They don’t even need to bring a racket. There’s also face painting, balloon artists, and autograph sessions. Tickets purchased for Kids Day includes all day session matches.
High School Day: On Aug. 12, it’s time for the bigger kids. From 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., high school players of all skill sets will run drills with ATP/WTA stars. Afterward, they’ll enjoy a complimentary Skyline lunch. Tickets purchased for High School Day includes all day session matches.
Service Appreciation Day: On Aug. 13, police, firefighters, and members of all branches of the armed forces will receive a day or evening session ticket at half price. The day will include a special national anthem and recognition during the evening matches.
USTA Day: On Aug. 13 and Aug. 16, USTA members will receive a $4 discount from qualifying session tickets.
USTA Pride Night: On Aug. 14 from 5:30-8:30 p.m., members of the LBGT+ community are invited to commune in the hospitality area and enjoy complimentary food and beverages. Tickets are $55.
There are lots of places to eat at the W&S Open. In addition to Cincinnati faves like LaRosa’s, Graeter’s and Skyline, there will be restaurant booths serving tostadas, seafood, build-your-own sushi, gyros, burgers, subs, chitas, pulled pork, French pot ice cream, and soft pretzels. You can wash it all down with selections from Rhinegeist, White Claw, the Robert Mondavi wine garden, Moet champagne, Michelob Ultra, or a margarita from the Don Julio cantina.
There will also be live music every day, a retail plaza selling jewelry, sunglasses, tennis apparel and more, and a family zone consisting of mini-tennis courts and toss-up games.
HOW TO GO
What: Western & Southern Open
When: Aug. 11-19
Where: Lindner Family Tennis Center, 5460 Courseview Drive, Mason
More info: 513-651-0303 or visit www.wsopen.com.