When people think of Memphis, a few things might come to mind. The Blues, Elvis, some of the world's best BBQ, and Federal Express might top the list, but for the No. 37 women's tennis player in the world, Memphis means titles.
In fact, it's the only city where Sofia Arvidsson has ever won WTA titles (2006, 2012) and now she's looking to be the only three-time champ in the events final year.
Last year, the Swedish No. 1 became a popular two-time champion when she defeated Marina Erakovic, 6-3, 6-4 in the finals of what was then, the Memphis International.
There is no doubt the crowd will be behind this 28-year old from Halmstad, Sweden and Arvidsson appreciates the support.
"I just love this place," she told the Commercial Appeal following her win last year. "It's my second home. There are great fans here and the tournament takes such good care of you. I just love it. ... There is something about me and Memphis. I just wanted to have another picture on the wall, I guess."
Referring to the pictures of past champions that dot the entrance leading to the stadium court.
Arvidsson will be coming into the U.S. National Indoor Championships on a high as she just led the Swedish Fed Cup team to a come from behind victory over Argentina in Buenos Aires.
Arvidsson has had so much success and is so popular in Memphis, that last year on the grounds fans were referring to her as "Queen Sofia." I guess since Memphis already has "The King' there is a need for a queen and Arvidsson would fill that void perfectly.
In the course of my travels, I speak with tournament directors, linespeople, and even ball kids and universally when asked who the nicest players are on the tour, Arvidsson ranks at the top of the list.
"People volunteer their time to allow us to play a sport, and the least I can do as a player, is thank them for what they do," Arvidsson told me in 2012.
Arvidsson should be the top seed when the draw is made this weekend, but there is tough field lurking in Memphis looking to unseat the queen.
Sabine Lisicki, an improving Heather Watson, and upstart Americans like Jamie Hampton and Madison Keys are all worthy successors to wear the crown.
Based on the way Arvidsson finished up her 2012 campaign and the way she's come out in 2013, it doesn't appear she will be looking to relinquish her throne in this, the last of the Memphis WTA events.
"I think I'm going to buy a house here," Arvidsson told the crowd in her victory speech last year.
After all, it's only natural for royalty to be close to their subjects.
The U.S. National Indoor Championships run Feb 16-24 at the Racquet Club of Memphis.