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TN Q&A: Bethanie Mattek-Sands – Tennis Now


By Richard Pagliaro | Tuesday, July 28, 2020


 

Bethanie Mattek-Sands


“Doubles for me is all about energy and chemistry,” says Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Photo credit: World TeamTennis

Smash spirit bubbled within Bethanie Mattek-Sands before she began this unique World TeamTennis season.

Happy hour comes every minute the 35-year-old Mattek-Sands steps on court.

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Partnering former Wimbledon finalist Genie Bouchard, an energized Mattek-Sands has helped the Chicago Smash light it up in the expansion franchise’s World TeamTennis debut season at the Greenbrier this month.

Genie Bouchard

Photo credit: World TeamTennis

Coach Kamau Murray’s squad, which features 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens, Rajeev Ram, Evan King and Brandon Nakashima, has locked up one of four WTT playoff spots. There’s more than bragging rights—and match play in preparation for the US Open at stake—the team that hoists the King trophy awarded to the league champion on Sunday will split a bonus prize of $500,000.

Former world No. 1 doubles player Mattek-Sands plays tennis with the passion of one who’s both inspired and intoxicated by the competition and can’t get enough of either buzz.

Mattek-Sands knows what it’s like to suffer horrific injury in a the space of a split step—and how to sustain a positive spirit on the long journey back to the pro circuit.

At the 2017 Roland Garros, Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova swept Aussies Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua, 6-2, 6-1, to claim their fifth major title.

The top seeds won 12 of 13 sets en route to their third major title.

They were aiming to win Wimbledon and complete the career doubles Grand Slam when Mattek-Sands slipped split-stepping and crumpled to the court suffering a gruesome knee injury, including dislocating her patella and rupturing her patella tendon.

Following multiple surgeries and arduous rehab, Mattek-Sands has made an inspired return playing her familiar brand of dynamic all-court tennis predicated on sharp court sense, her skill hitting the ball on the rise and the fine feel of a pick pocket she exhibits closing at net.

Tennis Express

Last September, after successfully defending her US Open mixed doubles title with Jamie Murray, Mattek-Sands reflected on her road back to major success—and how her gratitude for the game grew deeper during her injury-imposed absence.

“I’ve been through it before. I’ve been through worse,” Mattek-Sands said. “I was going to keep my head up. I knew I was going to be back out on the court. When, I didn’t know…

“It’s a journey. That’s why I enjoy these moments so much: you don’t know what’s going to happen next week, next year. I fell in love with tennis again, so I appreciate the competition, I appreciate the matches.”

We caught up with the two-time reigning US Open mixed doubles champion for this interview as the Chicago Smash pursue the WTT championship.

Mattek-Sands talks her successful WTT partnership with…



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