This week the ATP and WTA stop in Cincinnati, Ohio for the Western & Southern Open. This was the first tournament we saw outside of the slams. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Was it going to be as interesting and competitive? Was it going to be accommodating for the fans? Was I going to feel like it was worth my trip to go there? The answer to all was YES!

It was just as competitive, but the best part for the fans is the smaller venue. You can’t believe how close you are to the play. You feel it more. And you feel like you are in it, not just watching.

I couldn’t believe how close I was to Federer, Nadal, Murray, Djokovic, Monfils, Berdych, Sharapova, and Jankovic. We were literally standing at the side of the court, no fence or anything watching Kvitova practicing just a few weeks coming off her first Wimbledon win. I got my first, and only tournament autograph there that wan’t part of an organized signing session. The players are walking all over and when they are walking in/out of the players entrance, are more than willing to stop to sign anything. Mary Fish signed a W&S tennis ball I picked d up along the way.

It was HOT there, but they have the best lemonade. So good! And I loved the fact that they had such a good variety of food. When you are eating at a tournament for 3 days, there needs to be options.

There are a couple of highlights not to miss while you are in Mason. The one I loved was Jungle Jim’s International Market. It had aisles and aisles of foods from around the world, prepared foods, and wait until you see the bathrooms! Not being a roller-coaster person, we skipped Kings Island amusement and water park. But if you are, it is THE place to go.

Since we have been there, they have expanded and updated more. Knowing how good it was already, it really must be great now. I do want to go back someday.