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Record Crowds At W&S Open; Fans Soak Up The Experience

Ann Thompson
Campers from a tennis camp near Chicago wait in line for autographs in Mason.

With the Western & Southern Open in full swing, the Mason tournament says it is seeing record crowds. Monday broke a record, and officials are looking for equally big crowds Tuesday night with Roger Federer and Serena Williams taking Center Court.

Many in the audience are out-of-towners and are making a week of it. Stan and Shelly Zalewski drove down from Michigan with their son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. "We all love all the players," Stan says. "We watch them all the time. In fact, we just got done watching them in Toronto."

Sharon Testerman and her husband Ted were in line to see the players enter the Lindner Family Tennis Center. She explained her tennis themed shirt. "I love tennis and I have played so I know, 'Love Does Hurt,' " she jokes. 

Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
Tim and Sharon Testerman from Florence enjoy spending time at the Western & Southern Open.

Taking pictures is part of the experience and Lavern Norton and her cousin Rocelle Patrick couldn't quite get the timing right. "There's Nick (Kyrgios) again and we never have our camera ready!" the say. However Norton considers herself lucky, already flipping a coin to start matches for Serena Williams and Roger Federer. Patrick has flipped a coin for Venus.

Chicago's Tyler Buchinger was comparing his serve to people like Federer. He clocked his serve at 95 miles an hour in a practice booth for fans. That was a lot worse than the day before when he hit 116. He joked he needed a bit more practice.

The week so far hasn't been all work for the players. Check out Andy Murray and Nick Kyrgios at Kings Island.

A post shared by Andy Murray (@andymurray) on Aug 10, 2018 at 11:04am PDT

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.