MASON, Ohio - As the Western and Southern Tennis Open gets underway, the doubles team of Vladka Uhlirova from the Czech Republic and Natalie Grandin from South Africa needed an extra challenge: beating news reporters and anchors from WCPO 9 News on the tennis court.
As daunting as that challenge may have seemed, the finalists from last year's tournament rose to the challenge. They even graciously split up their team to help the less seasoned tennis players, 9 News Anchor Tanya O'Rourke and 9 News Reporter Kendall Herold.
Uhlirova and Grandin say they enjoy the Western and Southern Tennis Open in Mason because the people are so friendly and are true fans of the game. In addition, they try to take in a few sights each year. Last year, Uhlirova, who grew up in a communist Czechoslovakia, went to the Voice of America site. She says growing up, Voice of America was her only connection to the world outside of Czechoslovakia.
Considering the doubles team was in the finals of the Western and Southern Open last year, just a few months after they formed their partnership, they are hoping to claim to the top prize this year.