The Olympics are in full swing in Rio, but here in the Queen City we are gearing up for our own behemoth of a tournament that starts today. With an audience of over sixty-seven million worldwide, the Western & Southern Open is the nation’s oldest professional tennis tournament played in its city of origin. The W&S Open, which began in 1899 at what is now Xavier University and is currently held at the Lindner Family Tennis Center just north of Cincinnati, has been a fixture of the Greater Cincinnati area for more than a century and has evolved into so much more than a celebration of tennis. Featuring local restaurants, retailers, musicians and artists, the W&S Open celebrates the culture of our beautiful city and the people brought together by the event.

For decades, the primary mission of the Western & Southern Open has been to give back to the community. The fact that they have given just under ten million dollars to the Barrett Cancer Center, Tennis for City Youth, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has been made possible by the 1,300 people from the Greater Cincinnati area and around the country who volunteer their time to organize and manage the event every year.

Entertainment at the W&S Open comes in all varieties both on and off the court. Musical entertainment will be abundant this year as over thirty multi-genre performances are scheduled including a lineup of local groups like Wild Mountain Berries, Young Heirlooms, and Marmalade Brigade.

Foodies will be happy to find freshly prepared cuisine from fifteen locally owned restaurants. There will be something for everyone from classic Cincinnati chili to sushi and everything in between. New additions to the mix this year include Jeff Ruby’s Carlo & Johnny. We’re also excited to see representation from Revolution Rotisserie & Bar, Polomino, and Baba Budan’s.
Foodies will also be overjoyed to see nightly cooking demonstrations from the 2016 celebrity chef lineup including Jackson Rouse, David Malone, Andrew Mersmann, Michelle Brown, Dana Adkins, and Jean Robert de Cavel.

To find a complement for the eclectic mix of Cincinnati cuisine, one must follow the W&S Open bar crawl from the Moet Champagne Bar serving the tournament’s official champagne, to the Robert Mondavi Private Selection Wine Garden. From there, hit Rhinegeist and Christian Moerlein Craft Beer Bars for Cincinnati brews, and don’t forget this year’s new addition, el Arco Tequila Margarita Bar for their signature margarita.

The entertainment doesn’t end there. On the tournament grounds sits a twenty-thousand square foot plaza with retail options for purchasing tennis gear, jewelry, gifts, accessories and more. Be sure to look for Rookwood Pottery Company as well as they happen to be the official trophy provider for the tournament.

As players take the court, a slew of festivities also begins. True to its community oriented, intimate atmosphere, the first day of the tournament offers a variety of on and off court activities for kids. On Sunday, high school students will be able to participate in an exhibition with ATP and WTA Stars. Throughout the week, there will be additional chances for community members to interact with the players, entertainers, and vendors.

Be sure to join Polly for ongoing coverage of the 2016 W&S Open throughout the week where we will cover tennis and food, music and drink, and everything that make this event a well-rounded mix of Cincinnati culture and community.



Highlights from past years of the W&S Open