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Biofile with Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Publication Date: 
Apr 13, 2011

Status: Member of U.S. Fed Cup Team. Finished 2010 ranked #59.

Ht: 5-6 Wt: 145

DOB: March 23, 1985 In: Rochester, MN

First Tennis Memory: “I’ll give a good memory of tennis. I was in Minnesota still. I was practicing and I heard an ice cream truck coming around, like it was a little bit aways. And my dad was like, No, you have to make ten more shots. I think I missed a couple and I started panicking, Oh my God, I’m gonna miss the ice cream truck, I want to get this ice cream. I remember I finally made it. It was about to pass. So I somehow run, wipe out, like on my racquet, I’m like bleeding. I’m like limping to the ice cream truck, but I got my ice cream [laughs]. For some reason that memory has always stuck in my head.”

Tennis Inspirations: “Monica Seles. I hit with her when I was little. I was about 9-10. She was one of the first ones to be super aggressive. She had the loud grunt, she took the ball on the rise. I play a little bit like that. She was always someone I looked up to.”

Last Book Read: “Blink by Malcolm Gladwell.”

Favorite Movies: “Confidence and Shawshank Redemption.”

Musical Tastes: “Pink, Eric Chruch, AC/DC, favorite genre is probably country right now.”

First Job: “Tennis.”

Current Car: “BMW.”

Pre-Match Feeling: “Relaxed.”

Greatest Sports Moment: “I actually hit, won a point, Federer-esque, by hitting a tweener in doubles in Indian Wells. That’s been on my tennis bucket list forever. I practiced that shot. I finally won a point. I mean, the match wasn’t done and I was like, I mean, I thought it was. That was it. But I had to focus two more points. That’s probably a big highlight for me (vs. Spears/Kops-Jones).”

Most Painful Moment: “When I found out I had to get hip surgery (2008).”

Favorite Tournaments: “Stuttgart, Germany, Indian Wells, Melbourne, Hopman Cup in Perth.”

Closest Tennis Friends: “Sania (Mirza). Megan (Shaughnessy). Benesova. I’m actually friends with a lot of people [laughs]. Kimmy. Kim Clijsters. I’ve become a social butterfly, friends with a lot of people.”

Funniest Players Encountered: “Francesca (Schiavone). Even on the court she is a super competitor and we were watching a video when I was at Hopman Cup, I was playing her. I guess she turned around at one point. And talked to my side – Justin (Sands, husband) and my coach – she’s like, She’s playing too perfect! In the middle of the match. I won that match. It’s one of my best wins. She’s a great competitor. I think she’s great for the sport.”

Toughest Competitors Encountered: “Kim. Francesca. Who fights…Shahar (Peer).”

Favorite Players To Watch: “Roger of course. But my favorite player…Nicolas Mahut from France. He’s the one who went against Johnny Isner. So he’s a character. I played with him at Perth. He’s awesome, he’s hilarious.”

Embarrassing Tennis Memory: “Ice cream story is kind of embarrassing [laughs]. (Asks Justin) Have I done anything embarrassing since you know me? (Justin answers: Yell at me.) Well, that doesn’t count. I’m not really embarrassed by that [laughs]. The most embarrassing I think is when you go to the wrong side. And you opponent comes over on your side. Other than that, people would say some of my clothes that I’ve worn were embarrassing. But I’m not embarrassed. But I know people have been embarrassed for me [smiles].”

Strangest Match: “I would have to say the most interesting match I played…I actually played a girl at U.S. Open qualies, she has two forehands. She had a lefty forehand and a righty forehand. I never played someone like that.”

Favorite Sport Outside Tennis: “I like to watch football. Big NFL fan – Green Bay Packers fan. I grew up in Wisconsin. To play – I actually like squash.”

Best You Ever Felt On Court: “I would have to say, right now I’m playing my best tournaments. I think my win against Fransesca (in January) was kind of the start of it. I lost to Justine (Henin) in Perth as well but it was a great match. She’s another that is one of the best competitors. She won’t give you anything for free. The whole year has been great. I’ve been playing good. It started in Perth.”

People Qualities Most Admired: “I like confidence, honesty.”

Scoop Malinowski www.tennis-prose.com