Q&A with Bethanie Mattek-Sands
Currently the best American woman without a Williams surname,
In a recent interview with SI.com, the 24-year-old discussed her time at the
After that, I did well in some challengers. I had to qualify for the French, played Sharapova there and got a set off her. Since last March, it has gone up. A couple of years ago, I was literally just going on the court and hitting the ball. I'd think, "Here's my forehand. OK, I am going down the line.' If it's my backhand, I'll drop-shot." It was tough to be consistent that way. Once I sat down and did plays in a notebook like football with X's and O's, I said, 'OK, I'm going to go crosscourt and this is what I think they're going to hit." It started working and I was really surprised.
I just started working with a coach two months ago. It's more of a part-time thing as he is
Another reason in the U.S. is that there are so many other opportunities out there. If you're not top 30-50 in the world, you can go to college, get an education and make just as much money. For anyone with some common sense, it can be a situation of take it or leave it, whatever the better option is. In terms of other countries, for some it is the only way to get out of the country they are in. Even some of the Russians I trained with went to college. It's a mental game -- a lot play eight hours a day, and it's a struggle if you get injured and cannot play again.
Tennis tourneys are normally in a big city, but it's fun to get away. I actually have to give longitude, latitude to the WTA and ITF for my drug-testing updates. There's no address where we go sometimes, and they need to know where I am pretty much at any time. Not sure they could find me. It's important to keep the sport clean. I think it's a little overboard. It's a pain to really be consistent with where you're going. If you're not where you said you were, you get a failed test. I guess they're doing what they have to do.