GTT is thrilled to have photographer/reporter Andrea Nay on site in Cincinnati this week. Enjoy! – FF
If having celebrity onlookers in the house defines the popularity of a tennis tournament, then the Western & Southern Open has arrived. Gavin Rossdale and son Kingston showed up in suburban Cincinnati for Roger Federer’s practice with Tommy Haas on Monday, while reigning US Open golf champion Rory McIlory turned out to support pals Caroline Wozniacki and Rafael Nadal.
Are the famous friends a distraction? Not according to Wozniacki.
“It’s always nice to have people around to spend time with,” she says. “When I’m on the court, I’m 100% focused on what I want to do, but when I’m off the court, it’s important to enjoy life as well.” Was the draw for McIlory a date or Ohio’s beautiful summer weather? Wozniacki laughs, “He heard Cincinnati is such a nice place that he wanted to come for a visit.” The two enjoyed dinner Sunday night. Other plans? “Kings Island one of the days would be fun,” she says. “I like roller coasters.”
SAT analogy time: Rafa is to Rory as Roger is to Tiger. “I love to play golf,” Nadal says. “I met [McIlroy] last year in the US Open. We keep in touch. . . . He’s a humble guy, very, very normal, very relaxed. I have a good contact with him, and yeah, he told me a few days ago that he going to come here and was a nice surprise.”
Under the lights on Center Court Monday night, Ana Ivanovic rolled past Alexa Glatch 6-0, 6-2 and racked up her eighth bagel in first matches this year.
Ivanovic was pleased to see the work she’s put into her serve and consistency showing through on the court. “No matter how the tournament progresses,” she says, “I’m very happy where everything is going.”
In the evening’s main event, Philipp Kohlschreiber def. Andy Roddick 6-7, 7-5, 6-1 after drama interrupted the third set. Roddick was warned after smashing a racket at the end of the second, then blasted a ball into the crowd when he double-faulted two games later. This time, a penalty was issued.
“As soon as I did it, I wanted it back,” Roddick admits. “I certainly accept what I did. I put [the chair umpire] in a bad situation out there.”
On the other hand, Roddick didn’t hide his annoyance at the stranglehold which Tour rules have put on players’ personalities. “We wonder why we lose a ratings battle to WWF Monday Night Raw,” he pointed out. “I understand where he’s coming from, but at a certain point, you hit a tennis ball into a stadium, someone goes home with a souvenir, and yet it pretty much ruins the match from there on. It seems counterproductive. . . . I’d love it if we got out of our own way.”
Andrea Nay is a freelance photojournalist based in Western Ohio. Although she lost part of her tennis soul when Safin retired, she now has more time to capture artistic shots of the rest of the ATP and WTA Tours. Find more of her work at AndreaNay.com.