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February 23, 2013

Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Sania Mirza


6‑4, 2‑6, 10‑7

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ That was gutsy, wasn't it?
SANIA MIRZA:テつ Yeah.テつ When you play a final, it's not really just about tennis when you play a final.テつ It's a lot about nerves and it's about trying to keep positive.
You know, because always it's not the best tennis in the finals, you know.テつ It's the ones that are gutsy, you know, or more gutsier than the others at that given point of time, come through.
I think, you know, we were just trying to attack more when we lost the second set.テつ When we went down 4‑Love, I think we went a little passive and defensive.テつ When you play people like Nadia and Kata, you have to be offensive.テつ They're both 6' tall, to start with.
So, yeah, in the super‑tiebreak, anything can happen.

Q.テつ Bethanie?テつ How did it go for you?
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:テつ No, it was ‑‑like she said, we were just trying to be aggressive.テつ For me, I was trying to get to net, you know, with that lucky off‑the‑net‑cord on the first match point, but, you know, that was the play.テつ We knew she liked her backhand down the line.テつ So we set up that point to go that way so I would have a forehand volley.
You know, it was good tennis.テつ You know, we got the win.

Q.テつ How do you bounce back from like two back‑to‑back first‑round losses in tournaments and then you come back and you do so well?テつ Do you think at all about the past, or mentally how does it work?
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:テつ No, I mean, we played some good matches.テつ We played Stosur and Raymond.テつ That's not a slouch team, by any chance.テつ You know, they have more titles and slams than we do.
It's just really about us every day.テつ It's a long season, there's a lot of tournaments, and we're playing good.テつ I think every win we get and every tournament we play together we get more confident.
SANIA MIRZA:テつ I agree.テつ No, I mean, it's the same thing that I said yesterday:テつ In tennis you have to peak every week and you can't.テつ I mean, you physically can't do that.
Of course, we don't want to lose first round and win the next tournament.テつ That's not really the plan.テつ But I'll take the tournament win over a first‑round loss (laughter).

Q.テつ Obviously with the net cord and it then becomes Sania's second serve, they then have two serves thereafter, and what a way to finish it.
SANIA MIRZA:テつ Yeah.テつ And I even said ‑‑I think we discussed I'd go kick to her backhand, so that was my kick.テつ I had 170‑plus.
I mean, I just said we'll try to get the first serve in.テつ In moments like that you've got to make them play.テつ They're tight, too.テつ They just lost six points in a row.テつ They get a net cord and win one point, so you have to try and get it in.
I don't know what happened to me when I went there.テつ I was like, oh, the worst that you can happen is you lose the point and then we have another match point.
That's really what I thought.テつ It was like, Okay, let me go for it.テつ That's what I think gutsy really is is taking those chances.テつ I think that more often than not you'll come through.テつ There'll be times when you won't and maybe you'll hit a double‑fault, but then, hey, you did the right thing.

Q.テつ You guys mentioned that you really want to win a slam together this year.テつ Obviously you have won two titles.テつ Do you feel that you're building momentum towards the next slam, for example?
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:テつ Yeah, I think so.テつ I mean, you know, again, there's tough teams out there, and, you know, they can ‑‑anybody can have their day.テつ All we can do is, you know, the match in front of us and play that day.
I mean, you can't really speak for too much of the future, but we have put it out there that that's our goal.

Q.テつ Sania, how does it feel to win on adopted home soil?
SANIA MIRZA:テつ Home away from home.テつ I have said that even before I ‑‑this was my base.テつ You know, the crowds that come out, you know, to watch, it's amazing, you know, to play.テつ We have played, I think ‑‑well, except one, we played all our matches on center.テつ I don't think that happens very much for doubles, which is really good, as well, for women's doubles.テつ I think it gets a lot of attention.
You know, in matches like this, I mean, the excitement is what the people come for, and I'm glad we could put up a good show.テつ Someone had to win a tough match like that, and I'm glad it was us.

Q.テつ Sania, you guys seem to be having a lot of fun on court.テつ What is it about Bethanie that brings out the laughter in you and vice versa?
SANIA MIRZA:テつ We get asked this all the time.テつ We're generally pretty cheerful people, I think.
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:テつ Except in the morning (pointing towards Sania), early morning practices.
SANIA MIRZA:テつ Yeah.テつ So, you know, I think that that's what gets us through a lot of matches.テつ You know, we're great friends, of course, but I think more than that we enjoy it.
At the match point when she hit a net cord winner, we both looked at each and our first reaction was to smile at each, because we knew that there's nothing you can do about it.テつ There's no point getting down on yourself.
I think that kind of works for us.テつ Maybe it doesn't work for everyone, but it works for us.テつ We keep each other relaxed that way.テつ Even though we know that we're smiling, we know that when we're going to play it's going to be intense and we're going to be right back.
Some people can do that; some people can't.テつ Fortunately I found somebody who can do that.テつ I like to smile and enjoy tennis and enjoy competing and live for moments like that.

Q.テつ Overall, it seemed like a pretty fun week.テつ Obviously you won the title, but you got to meet Maradona, you got to judge, I don't know, a women's outfit contest or something.テつ Overall do you feel it was a fun week?
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:テつ Yeah, no, this is my second time here in Dubai, and...
SANIA MIRZA:テつ It's always fun when you win (laughter).
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:テつ Yeah, it is.テつ We have had some good laughs along the week.テつ It's been ‑‑we have both been ‑‑well, you've been home, but I have been on the road since before Christmas.テつ You get a little punchy towards the end.
But it's fun.テつ We were able to focus today and get the job done on the court.テつ Once we're off the court, we don't have to be too serious.

Q.テつ Can you talk about the different feeling, the enjoyment between winning a championship in singles and doubles?テつ Do you guys also still have plans in singles?
SANIA MIRZA:テつ She's still playing.テつ I don't think there is any difference.テつ To me, winning a tournament is winning a tournament.テつ Winning a slam is winning a slam.テつ This is what tennis players play for is to try to win tournaments.
So, you know, I was fortunate enough to play eight years of singles and doubles at the highest level.テつ You know, sometimes you have to make some tough decisions, and I had to after three surgeries in five years decide whether I wanted to play for another year of singles/ doubles or play another few more years of tennis.テつ And I love tennis too much to let it go in another year.
You know, she's still playing singles.テつ That's why it's physically more demanding.テつ That's probably the only thing, because you have to sometimes play two matches a day if you're winning in both, you know, playing back‑to‑back every day.
So, you know, there is not really a difference in the feeling when you win.テつ You know, you enjoy that feeling.テつ You want to win every time whether you play singles, doubles, mixed doubles.テつ It doesn't matter.テつ You want to win.

Q.テつ Bethanie, yesterday Sara Errani was saying that the fact that she and Roberta play a lot of doubles, that's why they managed to make it in singles, to make the semis.テつ Would you agree that it helps your singles game?
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:テつ Definitely.テつ I mean, I have always said my whole career that playing doubles is better than any practice session you can do.テつ You're serving, you're returning, you're playing points, you're under pressure.
And just what Sania said:テつ physically is the issue.テつ You have to keep up and be able to play twice a day, week in and week out.
Obviously they have done a great job playing both singles and doubles.テつ You know, that's what we were trying to do too.テつ But I definitely think doubles impacts your singles.

Q.テつ Where are you going next?
SANIA MIRZA:テつ She is.テつ I'm going home.テつ My other home.テつ (Laughter.)
Q. The other day I noticed when you had your breakfast you were actually watching your own match on the television.
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:テつ Yeah.テつ (Laughter.)
Q.テつ When you did that, do you feel amazed how good you are playing?
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:テつ You know what?テつ It's funny because I'm working on looking at everything that I do well, because that's what I want to copy for myself.
Before I think we, as perfectionist professional tennis athletes, critique each other a lot.テつ I thought I played pretty darn good that match, so I was enjoying my breakfast (laughter).
SANIA MIRZA:テつ Which match was that?
BETHANIE MATTEK‑SANDS:テつ It was the first match.

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