Saturday, July 17, 2004

Winners and losers

Winner: Everyone knows that Wimbledon is the big name in tennis. But come August, Cincinnati will break out its best backhands and forehands and shine in its own tennis spotlight.

Every summer since 1899, the world's best players have come to Cincinnati to compete for one of the oldest and most prestigious titles in the sport. This year's Western & Southern Financial Group Masters is no exception, inviting tennis hotshots such as Andy Roddick, Roger Federer and longtime veteran Andre Agassi to come play here.

Cincinnati has every right to gloat - the Western & Southern Masters is one of the top 13 men's tournaments in the world and is mandatory for top-ranked players. The tournament is part of the ATP Masters Series, an elite group of nine tournaments and the four Grand Slam events.

Although traditionally a men's tourney, Cincinnati has broken the mold and decided to host the first women's tournament since 1988. The Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open, Aug. 16-22, will not be considered part of the U.S. Open Series, but aims to get the tennis ball rolling for up-and-coming stars such as Maria Sharapova to grace its courts in the future.

The Masters (www.cincytennis.com) will begin Aug. 2 at the ATP Tennis Center in Mason and hopes to draw crowds of 160,000 and 35 million television viewers. Tennis racket in hand, Cincinnati is an uncontested winner: 6-0, 6-0.

Loser: Perhaps the alledged actions of David Sharp belie his last name.

Police said that on Thursday, Sharp entered a bank branch in a Loveland grocery store and filled out an application for a $2,500 loan. Then, in a scene that might be played out on America's Dumbest Criminals, police said he approached a teller with a bank robbery note. He told her he wanted all the $50 and $100 bills, police said. The teller complied, but police arrested Sharp an hour later after a deputy spotted his vehicle. Yet, Sharp apparently wouldn't have been hard to find. Police said he filled out the loan application with all his correct information.

Winners & Losers

Send your nominations to assistant editorial editor Ray Cooklis at rcooklis@enquirer.com or call (513) 768-8525.

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