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January 29, 2012

Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Horia Tecau


6‑3, 5‑7, 10‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  So how does it feel?  First Grand Slam victory for each one of you.
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:  Feels awesome.  I mean, first finals obviously, and, you know, it was a cool feeling.  You know, I wasn't too nervous.  I just kind of trusted my partner and felt good out there.
Elena and Leander are good doubles players.  They came back in the second set, but we fought it out in the tiebreaker.
So it feels pretty good to have a trophy.  Get our picture up in the hallway next year.  So it's pretty cool.

Q.  Talk about that second set for a second.  Did the closure of the roof and the little interruption play with you guys a little bit?  Was that a problem?  Did that throw you off your games?
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:  I don't know that that was it.  You know, I think Elena came up with some good volleys, because in the beginning we were kind of picking on her at net and she was missing a few.
I think she made a few good shots and I didn't serve well on my first service game.  I don't think I made one first serve, so that never helps in doubles.
But, you know, I think we just needed to get some bugs out.  They played good.  I mean, kudos to them, because they're good doubles players.  We weren't quite penetrating, especially me with my first serves.  You know, that I think kind of was the turning point when I lost my service game.

Q.  Does this feel different for each of you than you expected, being a slam champion now?
HORIA TECAU:  It's an amazing feeling.  It's very hard to win those.  I played two finals before, and really happy to break through and get my first one.
Little rush right now because I have to go to the airport soon, but this will take a little time to sink in.  I'm going to try to enjoy these few moments that we have now.

Q.  I heard you have a flight in half an hour; is that right?
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:  Yeah.  It's like, Yay, we won.  I have to go to the airport in half an hour.
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:  We had champagne in the women's locker room, so we're going to have a little celebration.  (Laughing.)
HORIA TECAU:  (Indiscernible.)  The women's locker room...
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:  There's no other women in there unfortunately, but, you know...

Q.  You guys played together here last year, but then not thereafter.  Was there any reason for that?  Why did you pair together once again?
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:  I actually didn't play mixed doubles after Australian Open last year.  It's tough to play singles, doubles, and mixed.  It's a lot.
At Wimbledon you're playing out.  It's not even short sets in mixed doubles or anything.  So, you know, the matches get long.  The men play best of five there for doubles.
But it was mainly, you know, I just couldn't play mixed.  I was a little bit hurt at Wimbledon and US Open.  You know, I had hurt my shoulder.
So, you know, that was a little bit tough.  But, you know, I lost early singles here and the sign‑in was after that.
So, you know, I love playing mixed.  My body just kind of fights me a bit when I'm playing all three events.

Q.  How does it feel to win your first Grand Slam in an event you almost didn't sign up for?
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:  I don't know.  We were just talking about that.
HORIA TECAU:  Yeah, I mean, over the two weeks we had some‑‑
HORIA TECAU:  Yeah, some good moments and some matches where, especially that day when I lost my semifinal in the doubles and then I had to come and fight for the place in the semifinal of the mixed.
But Bethanie helped me a lot to stay, you know, positive and fight through that match.  It was just those moments like I came through in the first match, and then this final which was amazing.
Leaner and Elena, they are two good players.  They had to change it up in the second set because they saw that we have the momentum and things weren't going well for them.
They had to do some changes, and that's how they got back into the match.  So it's a good feeling to win it like this, the hard way.

Q.  That's got to be pretty gratifying given that coming into the season with the shoulder you weren't quite sure what was going to happen, and now you walk away with the slam title.  Talk a little bit about that.
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:  Yeah, it gives me a lot of confidence.  Literally, you know, I didn't even start serving until two weeks before I came to Australia.  So it was that close, you know, whether I was going to be able to play.
The shoulder has held up good.  Obviously I have been sore because I haven't played a lot of matches last year, so coming into this year I definitely was feeling it after a few of my singles ‑ especially Hopman Cup.  I was pretty wrecked.
It gives me a lot of confidence even just being in that moment being able to close it out.  I think that does a lot for me.
You know, I have been in a couple singles finals in WTA events and haven't been able to close it out.  So I think finally closing one out feels awesome.

Q.  Were you feeling nerves on your serve late in the second?  You got broken twice late in the second.
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:  You know what?  I think I just rushed a little bit actually.  You know, my serve has been tough because I had to change my technique a little bit based on my injury from last year.
So, you know, I haven't had much time to practice it, but it's a quicker motion.  I think I just rushed it a little bit, because my next service game I made all my first‑‑ I think I missed one ‑‑ but I made most of my first serves and I just slowed it down.
I think that was the difference on that one.

Q.  Then in the super‑tiebreak, the shot around the post crashing into the line judge had to give you some confidence.
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:  You know what?  I didn't even see the ball, because I hit it and I was worried I was going to trip over the lines judge.
I didn't hear a crowd reaction or anything, so, you know, I to Horia, and I was like, Was it in?  He's like super calm.  He's like, Yeah, yeah, it was in.  I'm like, Okay.  I guess that wasridicu ‑‑ okay, I'll roll with it.  Next point.
But it was tough, because I didn't get a reaction from‑‑ I kinda looked at people's faces and nobody was giving me anything, whether it was in or out.
HORIA TECAU:  Everyone was trying to make sure you were okay first.
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:  (Laughing) I almost dove into the crowd.
But, um, yeah.  I just wanted to go for it.  I played aggressive the whole match.  I was going for my returns.  That's how I play.
You know, Leander is great at net, but I still was trying to go at him a little bit just to keep him honest, because I know he likes to cross a lot.
So that's just my game.  I like to go for it.

Q.  What do you guys take away from the experience of winning?
HORIA TECAU:  It's great to break the ice and have the first Grand Slam title.  And winning a Grand Slam final, because I have been in two of them, I know how tough it is.
From now on, we just gonna build on that experience.  I mean, you can'tsubstitute this experience with any other talk or any other matches.  You have to go on the court and win those Grand Slam finals.
It feels great.  Hopefully from now on it's gonna be more to come.
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:  Horia wanted to stay on the court.  He was gonna have security drag him off.  (Laughter.)  He's like, I'm just gonna stay here.

Q.  Can you tell us about your outfit choice today, one sleeve, no sleeve?
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:  Um, the outfit actually was courtesy of my husband.  He cut one of my sleeves off.  It was just to show the tattoo on the right side.  I had done that at Wimbledon, as well.
But it was just something different.  So I came out with the Pat Cash ‑‑  it was a little sunny the beginning of the match, otherwise I would have played the whole match in the Pat Cash headband.  But that was bringing me luck, too.

Q.  Obviously this is different from what you do most of the year, but where does this rank among your achievements?  Is this the top line?
HORIA TECAU:  Yeah.  It's a Grand Slam title.
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:  It's a Grand Slam title.  (Laughing.)  Yeah, it's top.

Q.  Did you guys have match points in that quarterfinal when it was 13‑11?  Were you down a match point ever?
HORIA TECAU:  No.  They saved a few match points, and then I think we converted our third one.  But we didn't save any.

Q.  Horia, you had such a heartbreaking loss in the semifinal.  Is it validating for you to then come back and...
HORIA TECAU:  Yes.  It's very rewarding to win the mixed title after losing that semifinal.
But even though, it was a very good tournament for me, even in the men's doubles, and I'm going to keep going forward from here.

Q.  Are you happy or sad that you don't get to celebrate with this crew tonight?
HORIA TECAU:  I'm gonna celebrate next time we see each other.
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:  We'll just have to do it again.  That's the plan.  Get more time.

Q.  Do you have big plans with Justin tonight?
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:  We have big plans of packing.  I go home tomorrow for a day and a half, and I fly to Paris for my next tournament.
That's the tough part about it.  You win such a monumental title, but you really don't have that much time to celebrate.
You know, I guess in a way, it's good because you just gotta enjoy the moment and then it's time for the next moment.
But, yeah, I'm sure ‑‑ my coach never drinks ever, so I'm gonna get him to drink a little bit.  And then, I don't know.  I think there was a bet I think if we won the title.  I think they have to do mohawks or something.  I don't know.
I've got to talk to them.  We had a bet going for women's doubles, but I'll apply it to mixed.

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