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June 27, 2008

Bethanie Mattek-Sands


B. MATTEK/M. Bartoli
6-4, 6-1


Q. How does it feel to reach this point at Wimbledon for you?
BETHANIE MATTEK: This is a pretty cool feeling. I mean, this is my best result in a Grand Slam by far obviously. You know, last year it was the first time I won a round actually, so this is a pretty amazing feeling.
You know, it was pretty cool being able to beat the finalist last year today. You know, she's a good player and she's tough on grass. I think it's one of her better surfaces. So, you know, I'm really excited.

Q. How about playing Serena next?
BETHANIE MATTEK: I haven't played Serena in a couple years. You know, again, she's a tough competitor. You know, I'll have to be on my A game, for sure. I think it will come down to serving big and then seeing who can break.

Q. You limited her to the same number of games that Venus allowed her in the final last year. That has to give you a lot of confidence.
BETHANIE MATTEK: I didn't know that stat actually. No, you know, you kind of forget about the score. I was just actually playing each point. A couple times I forgot the game score, and I'm glad they have them up on top. I had to look to make sure I went to the right side of the court to return.
What can I say? I just did my best.

Q. What were you thinking during her extended medical consultation? I know they were checking various body parts. You looked like it was hard to stay warm. Was that a challenge for you?
BETHANIE MATTEK: Yeah. Actually, for some reason that was when all the clouds came in. It dropped like 10 degrees, so I just had a bunch of towels. I was really just trying to stay warm.
Then they told me that, you know, she had two separate medical timeouts, so I knew I had like six minutes there.
So it was, you know -- it can be tough there because you can start to think. I was up 5-4, closing out the set. It was really tough.
I just focused on actually staying warm and just being busy doing something rather than just sitting there and thinking about my situation.

Q. It is suggested that if an opponent takes an injury timeout that the other player should be able to hit or talk with a coach. What are your thoughts about that as a possibility?
BETHANIE MATTEK: I think you're actually allowed to go hit serves and stuff. I just chose not to. And I know that in the WTA events you are allowed to talk to your coach in between.
Again, for me, it's not my personal preference. Almost talking to a coach kind of gets me out of my zone, so I'd rather just kind of be out there by myself and stick to my own game plan.

Q. It true you moved to Arizona?
BETHANIE MATTEK: True. I moved out to Phoenix. I started working out there after US Open last year. I took three months off and just did fitness, no tennis.

Q. What facility are you working out of?
BETHANIE MATTEK: It's actually called Ultra Fit. My trainer is Jay Schroeder out there.

Q. The last few weeks you played at a real good level, Birmingham and here. Had an okay Roland Garros, but not great. Apparently you separated with your coach. Take us through the last few weeks, what's been working for you.
BETHANIE MATTEK: I think, you know, the last couple -- even the last couple months I think I've stepped up a couple levels. It's really come down to me just being mentally tough in my matches. I think what's tough about me is I just make my opponents play every single point. Regardless if I hit a winner the previous point or if I miss the previous point I'll show up for the next point.
I think that's really what's carried me through a lot of these matches, especially a lot of the close ones.

Q. Are you late to that grinder mentality?
BETHANIE MATTEK: I think so. 'Cause before I played a really aggressive game. I still try and be aggressive, but I would find myself letting a few points or games go by. All of a sudden I'd be down 3-0 or something. So this year I really focused on not letting that happen, and just if I found myself in a funk just to take my time in between points, really think about my strategy, and then play the point, so...

Q. It's a little unusual, unless you're injured, to take three months off and just do fitness, not play tennis. Can you talk about that thinking, what you did, how much fitter you got.
BETHANIE MATTEK: Basically I was a little bit injured after US Open. I had some problems with my knees actually the whole year. I had pretty bad tendinitis. It just wasn't enjoyable for me to play. I couldn't run. That's kind of my game, as well.
I move pretty well. I'm athletic out there. And if I can't do that, you know, it's half my game gone. So I really wanted to get in shape. That's why I decided to take those couple months off. I thought it would be worth it. I actually got in a lot better shape.
Right now I've played, you know, I don't know how many matches in a row. If I would have done this last year I would have been in a stretcher going off the court.

Q. What kind of training did you do? Low-impact?
BETHANIE MATTEK: Yeah, you actually don't do any running, no cardio. Basically it's a lot of -- it's called ISO extremes. You hold positions for like five minutes at a time and stuff like that. It's really low impact, but you're training at a hundred percent all the time.

Q. Sounds like Yoga.
BETHANIE MATTEK: Yeah, exactly. It's a lot of Yoga stuff in there.

Q. You obviously have never been afraid to show your whimsical side to us. Have you come to a place in your career where you feel like you have to take yourself more seriously, and your career more seriously?
BETHANIE MATTEK: You know what, I don't think -- it's not that I didn't take my career serious, or even myself. I'm still outgoing, like to show my personality. But, you know, I really wanted to have my tennis come through. That's why I've kind of toned down some of my outfits for this tournament.
I get players coming up to me and they're all disappointed in me. I'm like, Guys! You know, it's still something I like to do. I still have a bunch of outfits. I have a clothing sponsor now. You know, it's just for right now I'm focusing on my tennis.

Q. Would you also talk about the early part of your career. Did you consider going to college? What were those first fewer years like for you?
BETHANIE MATTEK: After high school I actually did get a lot of offers from some colleges to play tennis, and it really was never in my scope to go there. I mean, like I said, I had the option, but it just didn't really fit with the goals I set for myself. That's why I decided to turn pro at such a young age.

Q. Do you regret that at all? It was a slog.
BETHANIE MATTEK: Not at all. You know what, I've had some great experiences. I talked to some of my friends that have gone to college. You know, at some points I'm like, Wow, I missed out on all the friends and all this stuff. At the same time I got to travel the world, meet new friends, do something I love. You know, I can always go back. That's something I will do after my career.

Q. Are you spending any time in Boca? What is your Boca connection now?
BETHANIE MATTEK: My parents actually still live in Boca. Any time I'm on the East Coast I'll go there, spend time with my family. I live literally five minutes away from Evert Tennis Academy. I have all that open to me.

Q. Djokovic said he's not going to do any more imitations. Are you telling the tennis world you may show up at the Open in a conventional outfit?
BETHANIE MATTEK: Djokovic said that? No way. Wow. I won't go that far. I still have some outfits. I still have some stuff in my suitcase that I can pull out, so...

Q. Has it been fun playing the fashion card?
BETHANIE MATTEK: It really has. I mean, I've gotten in trouble with it. I've not gotten in trouble with it. I've shocked some people, and then I'll come out wearing something preppy and I've shocked more people doing that, I think, too.
You know, again, it's something that's fun for me. Off the court, I'm the same way. I like to dress really funky and creative. It's just part of me, I guess.

Q. And the places that you got spanked the most for being a naughty girl and wearing something awful?
BETHANIE MATTEK: I think every tournament somebody said something bad about it. So that's fine.

Q. When you were at the Evert Academy did you work personally a lot with Chris? What kind of relationship do you have with her?
BETHANIE MATTEK: Actually, I did. Like I said, I haven't actually trained with the academy for a few years. But initially I went there for a few years when I was 12, 13, 14. Chrissy was actually on the court a lot. I was good friends with her. Even when I'll see her at the courts, we'll have a conversation. I think she's a great lady. You know, I think she's busy with her sons, though.

Q. Were you invited to the wedding this weekend?
BETHANIE MATTEK: No, I wasn't. I didn't even know.

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