Sunday, July 26, 2009

Nick Lachey to perform at tennis tourney celebration


Cincinnati’s own Nick Lachey will be the feature performer at a new opening night celebration Monday, Aug. 10, to kick off the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters & Women’s Open which also will include a reunited Team Lachey, the winners of NBC’s “Clash of the Choirs”, and Blessid Union of Souls.

The 2009 Western & Southern Financial Group Masters & Women’s Open will be held Aug. 8 to 23 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.

The opening night celebration is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. with Lachey singing the national anthem prior to the first match of the evening session, which is slated to include Kim Clijsters, former world number one.

“This year, the women’s event has been significantly upgraded and we’re bringing a new format to tennis fans in the Midwest by having the best in the sport play back-to-back,” said Bruce Flory, tournament director. “This event on Monday night is our way of highlighting those improvements and kicking off what will be two great weeks of tennis.”

Prior to Lachey and Clijsters, Cincinnati’s own Blessid Union of Souls will perform a medley of its most famous songs. Blessid Union of Souls has created a platinum-selling CD, “Home”, and has recorded six songs which spent time in the Billboard Top 20. Two of their most famous songs, “I Believe” and “Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me For Me)” both spent several weeks on the Billboard Top 100.

Team Lachey, the choir hand-picked by Lachey and the winner of NBC’s “Clash of the Choirs” in 2007, also will hit center court to perform together for the first time in more than a year.

The Kings Firecrackers, a jump-rope team which has performed for crowds at 10 different universities, the Chicago Bulls and the Harlem Globetrotters in this year alone, will perform its jump roping routine on center court.

The celebration is scheduled to start at 7 p.m., followed by the first match of the women’s main draw at 7:30. Tickets to the event cost $18 for adults and $9 for children 14 and younger. Tickets may be purchased by calling (513) 651-0303 or visiting Tickets also are available via TicketMaster at (800) 745-3000 or

Lachey also is scheduled to appear at a reception prior to his performance at the Lindner Family Tennis Center on Monday, Aug. 10. To purchase tickets to that reception, or for more information, fans may contact Hank Reed at (513) 604-4028 or

Cincinnati’s tennis tournament tradition started in 1899, making the W&SFG Masters & Women’s Open the oldest tournament in the nation still played in its original city. The men’s W&SFG Masters is one of nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, and the W&SFG Women’s Open is a Premier Level Event on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, and the only WTA event in the Midwest.