One of the signature events in the region’s annual calendar is the Western & Southern Cincinnati Open. It’s the 112th year for it and we saw Caroline Wozniaki, Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova, Elena Jankovic, James Blake practicing as well as many other players competing to qualify for the tournament. It’s a nine-day tournament that went co-ed about seven years ago. It may not be a Grand Slam event, but it’s one of the top world tournaments for men and women players and a great warm-up for the U.S. Open.
|Main Entrance and Champion Gardens|
|The Crowd Watching |
Caroline Wozniaki on the Practice Court
|Andy Roddick Signing Autographs|
The newly added courts, new food options, and expanded dining and/or chatting areas outside of the courts have made this an even more attractive spot than it’s been. This was a busy day with a vibrant crowd (the $5 grounds entrance fee certainly helped) that was excited, diverse, and really committed to tennis. The gate price increases daily as the tournament continues. We’ve always thought the best time to go was before Friday so that a spectator could see a variety of men’s, women’s, singles, and doubles matches. One little detail – it’s not really in Cincinnati (that’s where the Bengals lose annually and local taxpayers and visitors are stuck with the ‘privilege’ of paying for an underutilized stadium thanks to the chicken scratch Hamilton County Commissioners of the late 1990s), it’s actually in Mason across Interstate 71 from Kings Island.
The Western & Southern Open
runs through Sunday, August 21
My backhand almost got me another sparrow this afternoon. I'm practicing with Roger Federer tomorrow. Maybe he'll have some tips for me.
There’s over a dozen food stand choices run by local restaurants within the grounds, but a couple of hundred yards away from the West Gate (just have your ticket and hand stamped for re-entry) is the Courseview restaurant at the Golf Center at Kings Island. The Courseview is never written up either in print or online, but we’ve never had anything less than a good meal there.
|The Bar and Main Dining Area |
at Courseview Restaurant
at Kings Island
It’s basically a sports bar, though the couple of TV screens are unobtrusive and quiet. The bar area is relaxed and discreet and the dining rooms are comfortable with views of the golf course and the tennis center. The service has always been friendly and efficient.
|Monte Cristo Sandwich|
|Pot Roast Sandwich|
|The Patty Melt|
What makes it is the food. We’ve gone during the afternoon when sandwiches and burgers are featured. Neil usually orders the Monte Cristo, which he opines is the best he’s ever had.
It’s a very generous portion that is served with a side of Peach Melba sauce. I had the Pot Roast sandwich topped with melted swiss. The meat was tender and almost pulled since there wasn’t any fat or gristle on it. (In the past, I’ve ordered the BBQ Pulled Pork and the Reuben and both of them were also excellent). Lisa had the Patty Melt and thought it was delicious and perfectly cooked. After she’d ordered it, Neil asked for her definition of a Patty Melt versus a burger. Lisa said that yes it’s a burger, but with rye bread, rather than a bun. Chips are served with all plates, though there are upgraded sides for a buck.