By Justin Ross
When it comes to doubles tennis, Bethanie Mattek-Sands is as good as they come. In addition to her world No. 1 ranking, the Minnesota native has 24 doubles titles. She’s been crowned a doubles champion at the US Open and the Olympics, but her singles career hasn’t been so hot.
Ranked at No. 158, she’s yet to win a singles title. She’s reached the finals of a singles event just four times, but it looks like her play at the 2017 Miami Open could have her primed for a shot at her first tournament win.
“I’m feeling good. It’s great wins over some great players. They’ve been playing confident this year, so I’ll take it,” she said.
First, it was a round-one win over world No. 37 Katerina Siniakova, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
Her next opponent was world No. 10 Elina Svitolina, who had already recorded two singles titles in 2017. Mattek-Sands won in straight sets 7-5, 6-4.
What could make the win sweeter? The victory came on the Minnesota native’s 32nd birthday, followed by a lavish dinner at Miami’s PM Fish & Steak House.
In her latest bout, she downed world No. 17 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russia, 6-4, 0-6, 6-3.
If people think age slows one down, guess again. Mattek-Sands says it’s all about letting loose.
“You need to enjoy it and have fun. If you’re not enjoying it, then there’s no reason to be out there,” she said.
And for the doubles champion, part of having fun means embracing a funky sense of style—a sense of style that evolved from a young age.
“When I was little actually, my aunt made my tennis clothes, so I’ve always had something different. I had a lot of unique stuff. She would just pick out the patterns and make me an outfit,” Mattek-Sands said.
She’s worn leopard print onto the court, dressed like a tennis ball at a Wimbledon party, and sported knee-high socks that are reminiscent of old-school basketball. Today, she rocked a cherry-print tanktop (photo above).
“It’s how I would be if I didn’t play tennis, so I like showing my personality on the court,” she said.
Her interest in fashion is so great that if she wasn’t playing tennis, she says she would like to be an interior designer or a fashion designer.
For the 32-year-old, each day is a new experience. Part of her mantra is embracing one moment at a time, whether it’s a big win on the court or a chance to let her personality shine.
With an 18-year career, she’s played her fair share of competitors, but her latest opponent will be a new foe. She will take on Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the round of 32. Lucic-Baroni is world No. 29, which is 129 spots greater than Mattek-Sands. The match is scheduled for play on Sunday.
Check out the full results here: http://miamiopen.com/live-scoring-2017
Check out the full schedule here: http://miamiopen.com/2017-draws-and-order-of-play
Tickets for the annual event start at $12 for youth and $15 for adults. A group rate of $7 is also available for 20 or more and grant access to all day session matches. Tickets are on sale now, for more information go to www.miamiopen.com or call the Miami Open ticket office at 305-442-3367.
The 2017 Miami Open is scheduled for March 20 – April 2 and will once again be the hottest ticket in town. With ticket packages starting at just $136 and individual sessions starting at $20 the Miami Open will be the place-to-be.