Tag Archives: Tennis

Countdown to Cincy: Tomorrow it begins!

WS    Although I won’t be there until Monday, there is still plenty of tennis action at the Linder Family Tennis Center this weekend as the qualifiers play and the big names practice in preparation for their first rounds on Monday. Just the other day the Wild Card entries were announced and it appears that two-time Cincinnati finalist Mardy Fish and Wimbledon quarterfinalist CoCo Vandeweghe headline the wild card recipients for the 2015 Western & Southern Open.

Four men – Fish, Rajeev Ram, Bjorn Fratangelo and Jared Donaldson – and three women – Vandeweghe, Ali Riske and Daniela Hantuchova – have been added to their respective fields for the tournament that begins Saturday at the Lindner Family Tennis Center.

Additionally, nine American players have been awarded qualifying wild cards. The men’s qualifying wild card recipients are Frances Tiafoe, Ryan Harrison and Stefan Kozlov, while Vicky Duval, Taylor Townsend, Sachia Vickery, Alexa Glatch and Louisa Chirico will join Cincinnati native Nicole Gibbs with wild cards for women’s qualifying. One more male recipient has yet to be named.

The two-round qualifying tournaments will be played Saturday and Sunday, with seven men and 12 women advancing into the main draw to complete the 56-player fields.

The men’s doubles wild cards have been awarded to a pair of American duos – Eric Butorac & Scott Lipsky and Steve Johnson & Sam Querrey. The women’s doubles wild cards will be announced later.

Are you ready for some tennis? I know I sure am!


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Countdown to Cincy: What to eat, see and do

WS Open    One of the ultimate things about the Western & Southern open is the wide variety of things to do once you are there! There is a huge food court that has something for everyone. Mama Rosa’s Pizza,  Fusian, ice cream from Graeters, Palomino and more! It’s all centrally located with great tables in the center of the venue and in full site of the big screens where you can continue to catch all of the tennis action! This is one of the BEST places to people watch while you are there and time flies while enjoying plenty of great grub and waiting for there next practice session or match.

There are also several great opportunities to wet your whistle as well. There isn’t anything better than quenching your thirst during an exciting day of tennis with some of the best drinks to compliment the tennis. From the El Arco Tequila Margarita Bar, to the rustic Robert Mondavi wine garden, or a refreshing Michelob ULTRA, there will be drinks all around.

And don’t forget the shopping!! Midwest sports and other vendors have official issue tennis gear on hand for all of the fans who want to dress like, play like and be like their favorite player. Were you crazy about that Stella McCartney ensemble Caroline Wozniacki wore at the French Open? Chances are it will be on hand as well as the gear for the upcoming US Open. Need a new racket? Company reps from all of the big names in sports will be on hand to help you find the right gear for the job: Wilson, Head, Babolat, Prince, Dunlop….you name it, they are there. While Midwest Sports has a great website, what could be better than having a place to try on the clothes and get the feel for new gear without having to pay for shipping first? You don’t want to miss out on all of the sights, sounds and experiences of the Western & Southern Open…so get your tickets now! Visit http://www.cincytennis.com for more information!

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Countdown To Cincy: Sessions are selling out

So I went to http://www.cincytennis.com to purchase my son’s tickets to the tournament. He had the opportunity to go for free with his team, but when your mom is actually covering the event….well, it becomes Take Your Son to Work Day. He was also really happy that we would be there for more than one day, get to stay over in a hotel and that there would be a free continental breakfast involved. (Sometimes I think that is the REAL reason he wants to go!)

I will say the Western & Southern Open website could not make it easier for spectators to buy tickets, learn everything they need to know, get directions and book a hotel room at one of their partner hotels. This was the first time I’ve done all of that and I have to say I highly recommend it. I also feel better about staying at a partner hotel because they have been vetted and probably have good reputations. Both of us are excited about it and it will be fun to have one last mother/son getaway before he goes off to college. (I am still sad his brother couldn’t attend, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.)

VikaI have already started getting press releases from the tournament about what we can expect this year and I have to tell you, the lineup is going to be AWESOME! Everybody who is anybody in the tennis world is going to be down there so you don’t want to miss this! Who knows when Roger or Rafa may decide to leave the sport behind, so you want to catch them in action before you miss out forever!  Serena is on track to make history at the US Open so she is among the stars to see at the event. Up and comers such as Monfils, Warinka, Wozniacki, and perennial  favorites such as Murray, Djokovic, Sharapova and Azarenka will be there as well. Sessions are selling out fast though and day passes typically always sell out. So don’t wait to get your tickets!

I’ll update soon about the venue itself. If you’ve never been there, it’s really a treat for all of the senses. Stay tuned!

Serve’s Up!


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The countdown to Cincy has begun!

IMG_9745    Once upon a time, Indianapolis had a tennis tournament. It was held at the Indianapolis Tennis Center on the IUPUI campus and I remember attending it when I was a 12-year-old NJTL player. That was the year Boris Becker won Wimbledon for the first time at the age of 17 and I remember him walking through the grounds (flanked by security) and being in awe that a guy only a few years older than me could win the biggest tennis tournament in the world.

In time, our clay court tournament converted to a hard court event and I still traveled downtown to see some of the biggest names in the game battle it out, but 10 years ago, it was painfully clear the party was over. attendance was down, the big players were no longer making a point of showing up and the last person I saw practicing on Centre Court in 2004 was Michael Chang. It was the end of an era, but I wasn’t too upset. At that time, tennis wasn’t one of my top priorities…it was something I shared with my dad and when he died…my love of the game died too and I honestly never thought I would get “back into the game.”

I was wrong. A few years ago, something happened that renewed my interest in tennis and I have been a court junkie ever since. I typically wake up in the morning saying “There’s a tennis tournament happening somewhere in the world” and I am not happy until I can stream it. I also began looking into the Western & Southern Open and realized that it happened lless than two hours from my home in Cincinnati and I decided I had to go there. My family took me for my birthday two years ago where I met Victoria Azarenka, Richard Gasquet, watched Venus Williams practice (what a powerhouse!) and was like a kid on Christmas morning. As though it couldn’t get any better, last year, I attended as a member of the media and was in awe as I sat in on a press conference that included none other than Serena Williams.

I am pleased to say that this year I will once again be at the tournament and this time, my readers will be treated to all of the action as I blog live from the event. Not a tennis fan? Don’t worry…this blog will not only include news from the world of tennis, but plenty of color commentary as well. I will give you recommendations on food, cool things to do in Cincy, hotel recommendations and oh yeah…player interviews and photos as well.

If you are a tennis fan, live in the Midwest and have never been at the Western & Southern Open, I highly recommend it. The venue is awesome, the staff and volunteers are great, it’s the perfect way to spend a summer day and I can’t wait to get there.

Serve’s Up!









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Fabulous Fridays: A Grand Slam

It’s not often that I am really and truly surprised. I don’t know if I came equipped with some kind of super intuition or what, but I have a way of unintentionally tapping into things or guessing presents in such a way that it ruins the giver’s intended secret. While I willingly admit that I used to use this gift for evil, now that I am older, I really do try not to turn on this psychic power. I no longer guess at gifts under the tree. I do not shake them. When someone says “betcha you don’t know what I got you!” I will say “you’re right.” Because, people try hard…why should I use my Wonder Twin powers and ruin that?

Of course that means that when someone does really shock me, it’s even better! Such was the case yesterday when my youngest (let’s call him “Gleek”) handed me a present that was obviously a book. I mean, come on…I could feel the binding!) For weeks he had told me that he had gotten me something at work and had hinted that it was a small stuffed orangutan so I assumed that he’d had a last minute change of heart and went with a book he picked up somewhere. Fair enough.

to my surprise, it wasn’t just any book. It was the autobiography of Tennis icon Arthur Ashe and when I looked inside, I noticed that it was signed! Now, Arthur Ashe has been dead for quite a while, so Gleek pulling this one off was pretty miraculous by anyone’s standards!

According to him, he was helping out a dear friend and local bookseller who asked him if he had his mother’s Christmas present yet. Gleek said “no” to which this wonderful “Bookmama” said, “I’ve got you covered.” She handed him the book which prompted him to ask, “Who’s Arthur Ashe?” This question illicited  the rather shocked reponse, “You live in your mother’s house, and you DONT know who Arthur Ashe is?” Gleek thought about it for a minute and said, “Well, I’ve heard of Arhtur Ashe stadium…isn’t that at the U.S. Open?” Um….duh, Kid. To his credit, he realized that this must be a big deal and took the time to actually looked him up and put all of the pieces together. He even asked a few of his friends at the Zoo if they knew who Ashe was. (They did and assured him that I would be blown away by the gift!)

And I was. Not only because I have such dear friends who would look out for my kid like that, but also because my son took the time to research the gift so that he would have a better handle on what he had given me. I don’t think that even O.Henry could have come up with a better tale.

Of course this also means that the boy can look me in the eye and lie to me rather convincingly which causes me to rethink all of the cookies, crackers and snack foods that have gone missing overs her years and his constant insistence that he was not the culprit. He’s actually had me thinking that the “not me” ghost might be real! Guess the jig is up on that one son, and it’s time to shake the mothballs out of my spidey senses.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Fabulous Fridays- Top Moments of 2013

I’m sorry to see 2013 go. Last year at this time, I vowed that it would be the best one since 1986 and I have to say, in the end…2013 is going to be a hard one to top. On New Year’s Eve, I was at dinner contemplating what the best moment of the year was. I had to be the only one at the table with a true Top Ten list but I couldn’t help it. It was all so amazing! So with no further ado…here are some of my favorite moments from what has truly been a spectacular year!

Ann     Seeing/Meeting Heart. It’s always exciting to go to a concert, but it is even more exciting to see your favorite band, meet them and listen to them do a 30 minute encore of your OTHER favorite band. Top that off with an exclusive interview with the lead singer and a press pass for the show and you have a recipe for an unforgettable life event!

grad     Getting my masters degree. I firmly believe that education is the key to making all of your dreams come true and it was incredible to be able to complete my masters program in a year and to secure my degree with a 4.0 GPA. It seemed like such a long journey but in the end, it was well-worth it. Hopefully in 2014, I can secure a teaching position at a local college or university and enter into a new phase of my already amazing career!


EPCOT     Going to Disney World. I don’t take vacations, so after completing my degree I decided that the Monkey and I would take off for the Happiest Place on Earth and trip the light fantastic for an AWESOME week. The Disney people do not disappoint, I must say. Everyone was so pleasant and accommodating and I literally cried when I had to leave and go back to the real world. Getting to spend that vacation with my teenage son was also fabulous, especially when I asked him what the best part was and hearing him say, “Meeting the mouse!”

Idol      Singing on the American Idol Stage. OK, it was the American Idol Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but still…I had to go through a blistering audition process, impress the production people and give the performance of my life in 90 seconds. Hands down that auditorium had the best sound system I have ever encountered and even though I didn’t take home the Golden Ticket, having some of my “fans” come up to me afterward and want their picture taken with me made me feel like a rock star!

Vika     Attending the Western & Southern Open. I am a tennis junkie. I admit it. I love the sport and there are a lot of top players worthy of watching. It had been years since I attended a live match so what better way to spend your birthday than to go to Cincinnati and see the top players in the world. Seeing Venus, Roger and Vika was so wonderful and having one of them wish me many happy returns was even better. Can’t wait to go back in 2014! (I’ve got my eye on you Andy Murray!!!)


Doctor Who2     Meeting “Doctor Who.” There is something truly exciting about helping your kid reach a goal of meeting one of his idols. It’s even better when you get to interview that idol as well! For my young “whovian” there was nothing as special as meeting Peter Davison even though when I asked him about his top moment of 2013…Doctor Who surprisingly didn’t make the list. LOL

book cover 2    Releasing FAMOUS FACES of WTTV-4. I am always honored and proud to release a new book, but this one was extra special considering that the subjects of the book were the television heroes of my childhood. I was thrilled when “Janie” came to the launch along with the Puppet Master Brian Reynolds, and Commander KC. We were able to Skype briefly with Peggy of the “Popeye and Peggy” show and the book has received some wonderful reviews on Goodreads!


FMOF     Signing the FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME contract. At long last my first novel is coming out and I could not be more excited about it. I am so appreciative of Rocking Horse Publishing for taking a chance on MonAmi’s madcap journey into manufactured superstardom and I can’t wait to beef up the buzz as we approach our 4/1/14 launch date!


As for what is coming in 2014? Well if you know me, there will be plenty of weekly book reviews and Fabulous Fridays. I plan to start an “Author Spotlight” feature and of course, don’t forget to check out MonAmi’s Tour Diary which is the companion blog to FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME and full of sneak peeks, deleted material and whatever MonAmi feels like sharing. I guarantee there will be plenty of the unexpected along the way and I can’t wait to share it all with you. Let’s rock the new year!

Julie Young

On the Web: http://www.julieyoungfreelance.com

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Twitter: @JulieYoung14


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Buy It, Borrow It or Bag It- The Outsider by Jimmy Conners

Conners   I know I said I liked this autobiography better than I did Rafa’s and technically, that is still true. However, I seriously regret the purchase. Though I have always admired Conners as a player and was thrilled to see him recently in Cincy…I have lost a lot of respect for the man based on his catty attitude and blatant revelations in this book. Yes, it was his book (as he mentioned a number of times) but some things aren’t meant to be shared and sometimes you don’t have to make other people look bad in an effort to make yourself look good. (It really doesn’t work that way…you only end up looking more like a jerk.)

Yes, Jimmy did a lot for tennis, and by God he makes sure you know about it in this book, but it really did not gel with me at all. I was very disappointed

Bag It.

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