Tag Archives: Victoria Azarenka

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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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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Fabulous Fridays-What I did over summer vacation

Most people have a favorite year in their lives…mine was 1986. I graduated from the eighth grade. I was 13. I went to my first rock concert by myself (and a few friends…but no parents, making it a totally awesome experience.) I fell “in love” for the first time, got mono and had an incredible summer trying to find loopholes in my convalescence program.

However, 2013 blew 1986 right out of the water. Somehow I knew it would. The number 13 has always been magical for me so if the summer I was 13 was special…surely any summer with the number 13 would be even more so, right? Even though it seemed shorter as far as summers go, I can’t believe the incredible things I was able to pack in. So today class, I am going to use my Fabulous Fridays post to talk about “What I did over Summer Vacation!”

book cover 2   1. My sixth book was published. Only a few more and I will be neck and neck with JK Rowling! This book was truly a wonderful labor of love for me and I have been amazed by how well received it has been. I have the best readers, friends, fans and family in the world and I couldn’t do any of this without you!


cat4    2. I held a baby tiger. Seriously! How cool is that? While on a day trip for a story that appeared in Indianapolis Senior Life, I was able to get into a tiger hutch and hold a baby tiger. No, the mama was no where near me and this is not something the average guest gets to do, but if you have never been to the Exotic Feline Rescue Place near Brazil, it is definitely worth checking out!

heart crop 2    3. I met Ann and Nancy Wilson and saw their Heartbreaker tour with Jason Bonham. How ironic is it that the people featured in the afore mentioned concert above would be the same people I would see nearly 20 years later? Even more amazing, they sound just as good if not better. Meeting my idols was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience (or twice in a lifetime considering I had met Nancy once before) but it was a moment I will never forget. The 30 minute Led Zeppelin encore was amazing and Ann’s rendition of “Stairway” brought me to tears!

Venus        4. I saw the best of the best in the world of tennis at the Western & Southern Open. I have not seen professional tennis since the days of the Indianapolis Clay Courts and this year I decided that for my birthday, I would do something that my father and I would have enjoyed together, were he still alive. In one day I saw Victoria Azarenka, Sloan Stephens, Roger Federer, David Ferrer, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and the legendary Jimmy Connors.

Doctor Who    5. WHO is that? Well that, is Peter Davison…aka the “Fifth Doctor” in the famed BBC series Doctor Who. When The Boy Who Lived found out that a “doctor” was coming to town he was quick to mention it to his Whovian little brother  who went wacky for a trip to the west side to meet the man who not only played Doctor Who but is also the real life father-in-law of 10th Doctor David Tenant.

It’s going to take a while to top this sumer, and I am not sure I would really want to try. Some things like 1986 can’t be recreated or duplicated…but every once in a while a lucky number comes through for you and you have a summer you’ll never forget!


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Glo Column September- Quiet on the Court

(Author’s note: This column was written BEFORE I traveled to Cincinnati where I met Victoria Azarenka and found her to be a very nice…if “loud” individual who wished me a Happy Birthday and made my trip worthwhile. Vika, you ROCK!)

IMG_7684           It is the most annoying sound in sports history. It is worse the harsh tone of the shot clock buzzer that grates on my auditory nerve. It is more irksome than the timbre of the late Howard Cosell’s cadence and it is more irritating than the South African Vuvuzelas that are trumpeted proudly during the World Cup.

It is the ear-splitting grunt made by Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka every time they hit a tennis ball.

If you haven’t heard it, then consider yourself lucky but if you have, then you feel my pain. It’s not the kind of vocalization born out of fatigue during an extended rally and emitted by the likes of Serena Williams and other top ceded players, but a 101 decibel, high-pitched “Whooo” that is so much a part of every tournament it might as well be featured on the Grand Slam soundtrack.                                                                  MS1

From the start of the French Open, through the fortnight of Wimbledon and into the US Open in New York, I can count on my summer being peppered with a litany of one-note chants that sound like a novena to the patron saint of tennis. Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad if it was only one player that does this but when it is two top-caliber athletes who are constantly featured on televised matches, it’s a little overwhelming. My biggest fear is that they will end up playing each other in the Gold Medal match at the next Olympics and I will have to listen to them in stereo.

Don’t get me wrong. I know they are not the only ones who do it (right, Venus?) and I understand that these matches can be long and intense. I don’t have a problem with the occasional utterance, but this is something different. It is a noise designed to psych out the opponent, mask the sound of the ball being hit and evidently cause the viewing audience at home to go stir crazy. Sometimes Sharapova even waits to do it until after she hits the ball, which in my opinion, defeats the purpose and only makes her sound like a Gibbon at the zoo.

It’s gotten so bad for me at times that I have literally caught myself typing to the beat. (In fact, if I were being honest with you…I’m doing it right now.) Bounce, hit, “Whoo”…Bounce, hit…Bounce, hit, “Whoo”…Bounce, hit…you get the idea. I am not kidding when I say that it takes 30 minutes after a match is over before that sound leaves my brain. Unfortunately I only have a brief reprieve before the next “Whoo girl” hits the court.

I suppose I could hit the mute button, but why should I? I like to listen to former greats like John McEnroe, Chris Everett and Martina Navratilova commentate the matches, and quite frankly, I’ve been watching tennis longer than these girls have been alive so I’m pulling rank on this one.


Lest you all think I am crazy, I’ll have you know that I am not the only person who’s noticed a problem. Last year, there was a concerted effort by the Women’s Tennis Association to crack down on the un-ladylike cacophony (kind of ironic for an organization founded by feminist Billie Jean King) but I guess Maria and Victoria were grandfathered in on the old system. Still, I would think that they could do something to curtail it a little. I mean come on gals, if you are already one of the best players in the world, do you really need it? I’m sure that there is a 12-step program for “heavy grunters” out there and if not, maybe you could be pioneers in the field. Just remember, the first step is admitting you have a problem.

For everything else, there’s duct tape.

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