Confessions of a Bleeding Heart: Tennis (Editorial)

by Jason Dean

Judging from the front covers of two of Cincinnati’s popular free weekly papers there’s a buzz of excitement in the air, it would appear that Western & Southern are hosting a multimillion dollar tennis tournament in one of the wealthy suburbs north of 275.

Growing up in England, Wimbledon was the tennis mania each summer, but I never really was quite able to get into it despite one summer actually purchasing a cheap racquet and playing (or rather losing against) friends. There’s a subtle skill to hitting that little green ball with all that force and yet all that precision; I was good at the former, but failed to master the latter. Even though I don’t care for tennis I can appreciate that people get a thrill from watching two near-equally matched opponents battle it out on the court. But would the game be as fun to watch if one player had all the skill and the equipment and the other had next to nothing?

That’s the other Western & Southern match that I got to watch last Wednesday. It was not a court in Mason, no, this court was downtown in Room 560 of the Hamilton County Courthouse; Judge Nadel was the umpire. Those other papers didn’t mention this contest in their coverage of the Western & Southern Open, but it packed out Judge Nadel’s courtroom with an audience on the edge of their seats (those not standing or sitting on the floor) waiting to see the underdog prevail.

I read that there’s $5.2 million in combined prize money at the Western & Southern Open, but that’s not even half of what the Anna Louise Inn stands to lose if Western & Southern wins this match.