The Cincinnati Masters attracts tennis pros from around the globe. The Marriott in Mason, Ohio, is the official hotel of the tournament. It also happens to be next to an Applebee’s. Culture shock–and eventual understanding–ensues.
5. There are no mopeds in Mason, according to American athlete John Isner.
“I always say Carrabba’s has great Italian food to a couple of the Italians, and they look at me and laugh,” he said of another restaurant in Mason. “I still stand by that. I don’t know, I think it’s easy. Everybody has their own car, it’s easy to drive here. You’re not fighting awful traffic and mopeds and all sorts of the stuff in Rome.”
4. Despite the lack of mopeds, Cincinnati and its suburbs are still world class.
“I’m super comfortable; I think most Americans are,” he said of staying in Mason. “I prefer Cincinnati, personally, over a tournament like Madrid or something. For me, it’s better. There’s a lot to do here, in my opinion.”
3. Former player and Croatian, Ivan Ljubicic, thinks Applebee’s is a Japanese restaurant.
“Especially coming from Europe, when I eat my first meal at Applebee’s, I feel. …,” Ljubicic said, puffing out his cheeks and holding his arms out to indicate the width of a sumo wrestler. Then he added, “But the desserts are fantastic, it has to be said.”
2. Maria Sharapova doesn’t get it. “It’s really slim pickings here, in terms of the healthy options,” said the highest-paid female athlete in the universe. She rents her own house and supposedly cooks her own food.
1. Latvian Ernests Gulbis gets it better than anyone.
“But throughout the years, and I’m not joking, I start to love this place,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to come here. I don’t know. It feels somehow — even this Marriott where we’re staying, the atmosphere there, the Applebee’s next door — you know what you’re getting yourself into.”