This week many American tennis fans will venture to Cincinnati for the Western & Southern Open, a final preparation event for many pro players before the main event in Queens. Known for its chili, professional theater and professional sports teams, Cincinnati isn’t a typical tourist destination, but there’s plenty to do in Ohio’s third largest city. As part of our Tennis Tournament Tourism series, MyTennisLessons picks the no. 1 seeds when it comes to players to watch, where to dine and what to do.
Serena Williams takes the 1 seed slot, but it should be interesting to see how far Agnieszka Radwanska progresses considering she defeated Venus Williams in the finals of the Rogers Cup. (Venus lost her first round in Cincinnati Tuesday.) Defending champion Victoria Azarenka withdrew due to a knee injury, but another player to watch is unseeded Svetlana Kuznetsova, who will play Eugenie Bouchard in the second round tonight. Kuznetsova won the Citi Open, her first time winning a tournament since 2010, while Bouchard, the no. 7 seed, was upset in the Rogers Cup last week.
Although Novak Djokovic is the no. 1 seed, keep your eyes on Marin Clinic, who defeated Feliciano Lopez in the first round as well as John Isner, who lost to Nadal in the finals last year. Of course, Roger Federer and Andy Murray also have a great chance of taking the title. Both were knocked out of the Rogers Cup by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who made an early exit in Cincinnati after losing to Russian player Mikhail Youzhny.
Food: Cincinnati Restaurant Week
Through Sunday, more than 25 Cincinnati restaurants will offer three-course meals for $35. Some of Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Tasha Stewart’s picks include Zula Restaurant and Wine Bar and Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse. What are both of these eateries serving up this week? Looking at Jeff Ruby’s special menu, I’d choose the heirloom tomato salad, 8 oz. filet mignon and chocolate torte with fresh raspberries. At Zula, decide between three tasty entrees: pan-seared black tiger shrimp, moroccan-scented crispy-skin airline amish chicken breast or prime grade beef top loin.
Music: Bacon, Blues and Brews
Although there’s a wide range of concerts in Cincinnati throughout the duration of the Western & Southern Open, including Chicago and REO Speedwagon, Drake and Lil Wayne, and Steely Dan, my pick would be the Bacon, Blues and Brews Music and Art Festival in nearby Batesville, which takes place Aug. 15-17. Hear a mix of bluegrass, jazz, rock, and folk musicians and enjoy local beers and bacon morsels (like chocolate bacon on a stick). Buy a one-day ticket here starting at $20.
Museum: Diana, A Celebration
Until Aug. 17, the Cincinnati Museum Center will display Princess Diana of Wale’s life and work through her heirlooms and belongings. The award-winning exhibition, which began touring in 2003, will make its very last stop in Cincinnati before Diana’s possessions are returned to her sons, so this is your last chance to see it! The 150-piece exhibit showcases her famous 1981 wedding gown, two diamond tiaras and 25 designer gowns as well as more sentimental items including the score to “Candle in the Wind” (which Elton John rewrote in 1997 as a tribute to Diana) and the original text of her eulogy.