The Western & Southern Open has been in the Cincinnati area since 1899, and though plenty has changed over time, the tournament continues to draw the best players in the world to Mason, Ohio year after year.
The tournament, which is one of nine elite Masters 1000 tournaments on the ATP World Tour and one of five Premier 5 events on the WTA Tour, takes place in Mason at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. It’s just over a week of world-class tennis, and a fantastic reason to visit Warren County. The tennis center has grown significantly over the past several years, and now holds 16 tennis courts, along with a large food court, plenty of snack and drink options, a pro shop, and more. There’s plenty to see and do, and a visit to the tournament makes for a great day with the family, or night out with friends.
Last year, my husband and I went on a weekday night–it was his first time at the tournament. We walked into the tennis center and were immediately surrounded by food, drinks, friendly people and the gorgeous grounds. Our tickets for the evening session allowed us in a couple hours before the 7 pm match, so we had some time to look around. First up for us was food, so we headed straight for the line of tents we saw that were occupied by local vendors. You can make a full meal from any of the vendors, but we decided to taste a few options.
After enjoying our food, doing some shopping and walking the grounds, we headed to center court where the night’s match was just beginning. It was a very relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, but we could feel the excitement in the crowd. Center Court is the largest of the courts at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, and it holds more than 11,000 people. The place was pretty full, and we realized why when we looked down to see Rafael Nadal warming up.
Needless to say, it was a fun match to watch. The caliber of athletes that show up to the Western & Southern Open is amazing, and being able to see them in action is very cool. Before and after the matches, fans will line the walkway into the private Players’ Lounge, and wait for their favorite athletes to come through, on their way in or out of the facility. We happened to walk up at just the right moment, and saw Rafael Nadal walking out after his match. He stayed to sign autographs for several minutes before finally leaving. I didn’t get an autograph, but I did snap a photo, since I was within two arms’ lengths of one of the top tennis players in the WORLD.
Check out some more highlights from the 2013 Western & Southern Open here!
Attending the Western & Southern Open is more than enough reason to visit Warren County, but once you’re here, be sure to take advantage of everything else that Ohio’s Largest Playground has to offer!