In the game of tennis, nothing should be taken for granted and your next opponent or comrade may bring you defeat or success. Bethanie and Lucie blended for the success part.

She came from a large family back in Rochester, Minnesota of two brothers – Chad and Andrew, a younger sister Alison and of course, her twin sister Sania. By the age of five, her dad Tim, an accountant started enriching her life with tennis when she rallied her interest in this racquet sport. But Bethanie loved all sports and was highly competitive, quite ‘tomboy-like’, giving the Mattek family encouraging hopes of having a tennis personality in the family. She turned pro at 14 and soon after created her niche in thinking ‘out of the box’ with her tennis court attire pushed her way into competitive tennis.

Whereas this little lady at the age of three took a interest in tennis and was encouraged by her family and sister, Veronika to dig into the game, if that’s what she wanted in the Czech Republic. Lucie Safarova was a rather quieter persona than her doubles partner but strong willed and determined to learn this sport well. She decided to ride the trails to being a pro and at 15 took the plunge.

Before Bethanie and Lucie came together in 2015 for doubles, just last year, they ahd other partners with Bethanie pairing with Coco Vandeweghe, Sania Mirza and a feaw others whereas Lufie Safarova partnered with friend and WTA’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. But the history of the other partners wasn’t to be and last year Bethanie and Lucie joined talents and strategies to have immediate success. The 2015 Australian Open doubles title was very significant for it was the first doubles title they’d win together, the first Grand Slam and Lucie’s maiden doubles title. The Mattek-Sands/Safarova duo kept their spark alive and months later won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Doubles title in April in Stuttgart, Germany over the tough Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci legendary team. The following month they became hot on the red clays of The French Open to win their second Grand Slam, after being down a set over the duet of Shredova/Dellacqua. It seems that to win a championship you have to connect personally and professionally and Bethanie and Lucie had that quality. They hit the hardcourt season and out in Montreal won over the Caroline Garcia/Karolina Srebotnik team at The Rogers Cup, where their ATP contemporaries play their matches in Toronto, Canada.

But all of these peaks didn’t come to the ladies without some pits in their career. It was in 2012 that Bethanie started experiencing chronic fatigue, nothing like the usual when working on tour. She was examined and diagnosed as having severe food allergies to 26 items that she loved so dearly but had to give up. Then in 2014, while playing against Madison Keys, she developed a lumbar spine injury and had to retire from the match and tournament; later she endured hip surgery and a fractured left thumb before her successful stint in grabbing a title at The French Open with Lucie. Safarova unfortunately had a few pits of her own as she had an abdominal muscle issue and last year missd the whole of the ‘Asian Swing’ season with a bacterial infection that knocked her out and sent her to the hospital, getting IVs and rest as well as not being able to eat or drink at all.

The pair has had it good this year – 2016 and captured titles at the Miami Open, the US Open and the Asian Swing events of Wuhan Open and Beijing’s China Open. “We have fun on and off the court from the warm-ups to dinners and foot massages. We’re looking forward to comng back” each has said. Lucie is resting up while her partner, Bethanie is playing in the Hong Kong Open, spinning and dicing her way to perhaps a new singles level in China. They have to admit that it was a surprise the casual partnership has gone so long and been quite successful. They will continue their pairing to slice into the few WTA tournaments left, ending this lovely 2016 season on a pleasant and comfortable note!

by: BRAD KALLET August 18, 2016 –

The gold medalist didn’t have a ton on her fastball, but she reached the plate effortlessly. (AP)

On Wednesday night, Bethanie Mattek-Sands became the latest tennis player to throw out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game.

The doubles specialist, who won a gold medal in mixed doubles with Jack Sock in Rio de Janeiro last week, tossed the pitch at Chase Field in Phoenix ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 13-5 win over the New York Mets.

Mattek-Sands, one of the most interesting and eccentric characters on tour, was born in Minnesota, though she currently resides in Phoenix.

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There wasn’t much velocity on the 31-year-old’s fastball to D-backs infielder Philip Gosselin, but she reached the plate effortlessly. A generous umpire might have given her the high strike call.

It was more impressive than Patrick McEnroe’s first pitch earlier this season, but John’s bullet put it to shame. (In fairness, John could probably pitch out of the Mets’ bullpen right now.)



Learn more about Team USA’s doubles specialist Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
The United States’ Bethanie Mattek-Sands (born Bethanie Mattek) is a self-described “adrenaline junkie” with a flashy fashion sense, one that’s earned her a reputation as “the Lady Gaga of tennis”. But more importantly, Mattek-Sands is one of the world’s top doubles players. By year-end 2015, she was ranked World No. 3 in women’s doubles by the Women’s Tennis Association.

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Mattek-Sands was born in Rochester, Minnesota on March 23, 1985 to parents Tim and Heidi. She began playing tennis at 5 years old, inspired by her dad; Mattek-Sands says on her website she “nearly knocked [her father] over” with her powerful shots.

Mattek-Sands loved all sports as a child, and possessed a particularly fierce competitive spirit. She often practiced with her father and her golden retriever, Rocky, who would pick up stray tennis balls.

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Mattek-Sands is known for her eccentric fashion sense.
Mattek-Sands is known for her eccentric fashion sense. Credit: Susan Mullane/US Presswire

When not whacking tennis balls, Mattek-Sands also played piano. She has one younger sister, Alison (nicknamed “Tsiony”), and two younger brothers, Chaddy and Andrew (“Boom Boom”). Mattek-Sands also has a twin named Sania; together, they sometimes refer to themselves as “the Bryan Sisters” – a reference to tennis twins Bob and Mike Bryan.

A more detailed (and highly entertaining) biography is available on Mattek-Sands’ website. The athlete made her professional debut at just 14 years old in 1999.

Major competitions:

As of July 2016, Mattek-Sands has won 19 WTA doubles titles. However, she has also performed well at the Grand Slam tournaments’ singles competitions in recent years.

Best Grand Slam singles results:
Australian Open: Third round, 2015
French Open: Fourth round, 2013
Wimbledon: Fourth round, 2008
US Open: Third round, 2015

Best Grand Slam doubles results:
Australian Open: Winner, 2015 (alongside the Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova)
French Open: Winner, 2015 (alongside the Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova)
Wimbledon: Semifinals, 2010 (alongside the United States’ Liezel Huber)
US Open: Quarterfinals, 2007 (alongside India’s Sania Mirza), 2009 (alongside Russia’s Nadia Petrova), 2010 (alongside the United States’ Meghann Shaughnessy)

Best Grand Slam mixed doubles results:
Australian Open: Winner, 2012 (alongside Romania’s Horia Tecau)
French Open: Winner, 2015 (alongside the United States’ Mike Bryan)
Wimbledon: Semifinals, 2015 (alongside the United States’ Mike Bryan)
US Open: Final, 2015 (alongside the United States’ Sam Querrey)

Olympic experience:
The Rio Games will serve as Mattek-Sands’ first Olympic experience.

Off the court:
Even while competing, Mattek-Sands has a very distinct fashion sense that has earned her the nickname “America’s Tennis Rock Star”. She often dyes her hair and wears knee-high compression socks.

In 2008, Mattek became Mattek-Sands when she married her “best friend … and Brett Favre lookalike” Justin “Bubs”. They have a huge South African Boerboel Mastiff dog named Ruger.


Her hobbies include cars, shopping, cooking, hiking and watching the Green Bay Packers. She was selected as the first pro athlete “Glass Explorer” by Google.

Top quote:

“I feel like my style on court helps me be a better player, because it’s me, it’s who I am.”
Bethanie Mattek-Sands to The Daily Mail