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June 22, 2011

Bethanie Mattek-Sands


M. DOI/B. Mattek-Sands
6-4, 5-7, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Bad luck, Bethanie.

Q. You came back, and then seemed to just slip away at the end.
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Yeah, no, she played tough. Obviously it's a disappointing result for me, but not much I can do about it now.

Q. We heard on the TV or something, were you questioning that last point?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Yeah. (Laughing.) I thought it looked in. Obviously you're in the heat of the moment, so that was just my opinion.
But that was -- obviously there's no challenge on that court, so it wasn't going to happen.

Q. Is that why you chose not to shake the umpire's hand?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Yeah, you know, it wasn't -- I don't even know actually. I was just upset over that call. I thought it was a lot closer than it really was, so wasn't too sure.
Obviously she has that line, so I guess it's up for grabs.

Q. Can I ask what might happen to the jacket now?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: I actually haven't even thought about it. I don't know. I'll have to ask Alex Noble if he wants to do something with it.
It was actually very cool working with him, hopefully I'll be able to do it again.

Q. Was it leather?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: It was felt. It was actually almost tennis ball material. It was pretty sweet actually.

Q. There was a lot of photographers around when you arrived on court. Do you think that made you lose a bit of focus at the beginning?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Um, no. I mean, I prepared the best I could for that match obviously, physically, mentally.
And, you know, things like that, it's a couple minutes. I mean, if that's going to deter me from winning a match, I don't think I need to play professional tennis.
But, you know, it is what it is. It's disappointing, but I'm still lucky to be here. You know, the worst thing that could happen was I lost first round, and I'm still here and I'm okay. I'm still confident in my game. I'm feeling good.
That's that.

Q. At the beginning we heard you say, Oh, don't worry, I'm going to take it off. I'm not going to play with it. Do you think there were people that were actually worried you would play with that jacket on?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Oh, I don't know. Pam, one of the WTA supervisors, has probably seen a lot of my crazy outfits, so she had a look of worry on her face.

Q. Did you realize she was going to be that good?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Yeah, I mean, she's tough. Obviously grass really suits her game; she's low to the ground; she played good.
I'm disappointed a little bit with on big points where I was coming up. But it's tough when every shank she hits goes in. (Smiling.) So kudos her. I mean, she mentally fought it out.
At the end, that was the difference.

Q. Does it feel different coming in as a seed this time? I know that was a pretty big change.
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Not really. I mean, at the end of the day, this is the worst that could happen, and it could always happen. Even if you're seeded or not seeded, I'm disappointed to lose and happy to win.
Seedings and stuff is great and it was a goal of mine, but it's not the be all, end all.

Q. Is it a hard act to do all the outside stuff - the promos and the clothes and stuff - and keep your tennis where you want to it to be, knowing you have to take advantage of your moments both publicity-wise and tennis-wise?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Um, you know what, for me personally, I've started playing better when I'm relaxed, enjoying myself, and having fun. You can't really visualize and focus 24 hours a day.
So as far as me being focused on tennis, that's obviously my first priority. I'm a huge competitor. I always want to win. I did everything I could to be prepared my best for this match, and it just didn't pull through for me.

Q. Was it hard to wait, to start out so late in the tournament when everybody else has almost played a match or two?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: You know what? It's Wimbledon, and you got to expect that. I think we got lucky the last couple years that there's been some good weather. You knew one of these years it was going to catch up to us.
It's just something you got to roll with here in London.

Q. Talking about style and what you bring to the court, you talked about how monolithic it is otherwise. What do you think the tour misses like when the Williamses aren't around?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: You know, I think they bring a lot originality to the game. Look at Venus's outfit here. I think it's great. I actually got to see it a little more today because I was watching the match during the rain delay.
You know, I think that makes the game exciting. Obviously it's tough for tennis players to kind of show who they are off the court other than clothes or something they might say on the court.
So I think it's a good way just to kind of get women's more exposure. And, you know, I'm glad to see the Williamses back, because I think they add a lot to the game.

Q. If could take a step back and try and describe her outfit, how would you describe it?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Very '70s, and '70s are in right now. So the high-waisted shorts are cool. I really like the back of it, the open back. I've always loved that.
I have to ask her if the flowy sleeves kind of affect her hitting, but it didn't look like it. Everything seemed to stay. I thought it was a really cool outfit, and I think it was one of my favorites.

Q. You've had some interesting sleeves. Have you ever seen sleeves like that in a tennis outfit?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Actually, I played in one at the US Open that was similar to that. You know, she looks like she -- I mean, she can play with rings on, and that's something I actually can't do.
I think it's very cool. This outfit actually is one of my favorites of her's.

Q. Is Wimbledon the most special of the four slams, do you think? It's the only one on grass, and everybody still wants to be here. What about it for you makes it?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: I think it's the history of Wimbledon. Obviously you come to the grounds and it looks like you stepped back in time. The grass courts are pristine. Obviously a couple days into the event they get a little worn, but it really is a historical event.
I think every player really feels that way coming back here. It's tough, because we only have a short grass court season, so we've got to make the best of it with the weeks leading up and then just kind of wing it here.
Yeah, I mean, the grass season is short, so we've got to do our best.

Q. Are you into tennis history?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: I am. I mean, I should know a lot more actually. I love history in general actually. Actually that was one of the classes that I really loved in school. I really should know more facts about it. It's definitely something that interests me.

Q. Just wondering, you know, you've worked your way back up this year and then you're seeded coming in here, if this one stings a little bit more than other losses? Seems like you want to put it behind you pretty quickly.
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Yeah, you know, like I said, there's not too much I can do about it now. If I had a rewind button, I would love to do it and give myself a chance.
But you know what? At the end of the day, I tried my best. I tried a couple different tactics. She played too good. I didn't come through on the big points, and that was the difference, but...

Q. Did you think your last shot went in?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Yeah, I mean, I thought it went in. I'm running forward for pretty much a dropshot lob, so it's tough. It's a tight match. At that point, you know, it would have been deuce on my serve.
So I'm always going to fight, no matter what point it is. If I'm match point down, match point up, you know, I'm always going to fight.

Q. Did you ask the chair umpire about...
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Yeah, and she said it was out, you know, so there was nothing more I can do than that.

Q. Do you think a particular style fits in on grass? Probably more on the women's tour than on the men's you find these sort of crazy upsets. Is it just because of the short season, or is there a particular type of player that fits the mold more than others?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: You know, grass is tough, because like you said, there are some weird upsets. Some people feel comfortable on it, and others just don't.
I think you have to be really confident with your strokes. The ball flies through, and there are some awkward bounces every once in a while, and sometimes a slice and it's a really slow bounce.
So it's kind of tough to judge, and you have to be feeling really confident in your strokes to like the grass. If you're not and you're hesitating a little bit, you'll miss. It's a snowball effect. I mean, you've just got to go out there and rip it basically, so...
But it's tough. Three weeks make it tough. Obviously the clay court season and the hard court season are a lot longer so you can get more adjusted, practice time on it, so it's a little bit easier.

Q. Earlier this week, McEnroe apparently suggested that it would be good to do away with warmup before the match starts. On the surface of it, it does seem a rather quirky thing to tennis that you help warm up the person that's going to try to beat your brains out. Can you just talk about that? Do you ever think, This is kind of weird? Or is it just so second nature that you can't imagine not having that ritual?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: I think it's -- I guess it's interesting. I've never thought of it because I've done it since I started playing tennis. I'm not sure why McEnroe said -- the reason, was it taking too much time? It's five minutes. It's not really that big of a deal, I don't think.
Other sports you do get to -- I think tennis is tough because you don't know when you're on, so your previous warmup could be an hour before the match or three hours before the match, or you have none with a rain delay and a five-minute warmup.
Other sports, yeah, you could probably more on the court with your hitting partner and then go to the match. But, you know, I guess it's just -- I don't know. I'm not sure why he thinks that.

Q. If the tennis gods could chose between Wimbledon and the US Open playing the big match, either one or the other, which would you choose?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: US Open. I think the night matches there, winning one of those has always been my dream since I've been little. As an American, it's always fun playing there. The stadium is huge. In the U.S. we go big or we go home. You know, I can appreciate that. I love playing in the U.S.
But nothing to say that Wimbledon isn't special, because it is. If I had to choose, I would probably pick the US Open.

Q. Have you started to plan your outfit for the US Open yet?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: No. This one kind of came last minute anyway. I procrastinate a little bit. It'll be something colorful.

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