Bethanie Mattek-Sands - Tennis Career - 2011


In January 2011, Mattek-Sands got the biggest win of her career off of World No. 7 Francesca Schiavone. Mattek-Sands teamed with John Isner for the USA, and they reached the Hopman Cup Teams Event Final – Belgium V USA, which they won 6–1, 6–3 (Belgium: Justine Henin and Ruben Bemelmans).

Bethanie's good form continued into the 2011 Moorilla Hobart International where she reached the semi-finals without dropping a set defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Ayumi Morita, Angelique Kerber. In the semifinals Bethanie lost the opening set Peng Shuai but made a strong recovery winning 4–6, 6–1, 6–1 to reach her third career WTA singles final. She lost to Jarmila Groth in the final in straight sets.

At the Australian Open, Mattek-Sands lost to qualifier Arantxa Rus in the first round. She reached the quarterfinals of the women's doubles with partner Meghann Shaughnessy and made the semifinals of mixed doubles. Her next scheduled event was a Fed Cup tie vs. Belgium in Antwerp, Belgium. She faced Yanina Wickmayer in the opening match, losing 1–6, 6–7(6). Next, she lost to Kim Clijsters in three sets, 7–6(10), 2–6, 1–6.

At the indoor tournament in Paris started off with a strong start defeating Carla Suarez Navarro 6–0, 6–3. In her second round match, she took on Stephanie Cohen-Aloro who was playing in her final WTA tournament. Bethanie won in 2 competitive sets, 7–5, 6–3. In her quarterfinal match, the American would take on Andrea Petkovic who had defeated her in a tough 3 set loss in the second round of the US Open in the fall. Bethanie played a dazzling show of gutsy points and the German gave her all but eventually was outplayed and suffered a 7–6(4), 2–6, 6–3 loss. Mattek-Sands would advance to her second semifinal in her third WTA event of the season. In the semifinal, she lost to eventual champion, Petra Kvitová. Bethanie and partner, Shaughnessy made the finals of the doubles event without dropping a set and defeated the team of Dushevina/Makarova 6–4, 6–2 to win their first doubles title as a team. It would be Bethanie's 9th career WTA doubles title.

After her success in Paris, Bethanie rushed off to Dubai where she suffered an opening round loss to Peng Shuai in 3 sets. From Dubai, it was off to the 2011 Indian Wells Masters for Beth. In her opening round match, she defeated Vera Dushevina in straight sets, 6–4, 6–4. In her second round match, she lost in a three set thriller to 10th seeded, Shahar Peer after winning the opening set. Pairing with Meghann Shaughnessy, the American duo made it to the doubles finals of the 2011 Indian Wells Masters, by defeating Alisa Kleybanova and Yan Zi (round 1), Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears (round 2), Liezel Huber and Nadia Petrova (quarterfinals), and Victoria Azarenka and Maria Kirilenko (semifinals), but lost to Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina in the finals. In Miami, Bethanie defeated Sofia Arvidsson 6–1, 6–4 in her opening singles match. She then lost to world number one, Caroline Wozniacki in the second round in straight sets.

After Miami, Beth was off to Charleston where she made an impressive transition to the green clay by defeating fellow American and former Wimbledon semifinalist, Alexandra Stevenson 6–2, 6–1 in the opening round. She then lost to Russia's Elena Vesnina in the second round in 6–4, 7–6(6) after squandering leads in both sets. Mattek-Sands/Shaughnessy made the finals of Charleston in doubles but were once again defeated by the team of Vesnina/Mirza. Bethanie entered a small clay event in Estoril where she was the 5th-seeded player in singles, she suffered a stringing 3 set first round upset to Monica Niculescu. It was at that point, Bethanie sat down a formed a strong strategy for her game so she could come back even stronger in her next event.

At the 2011 Mutua Madrid Open, Mattek-Sands caused an upset in the first round when she defeated former French Open champion Ana Ivanović after coming back from a set at love, 0–6, 6–4, 6–4. Bethanie posted an impressive second round win over fellow American Vania King winning 6–0, 6–2. In the third round, she defeated another French Open champion, Francesca Schiavone, to make the quarterfinals and it was also Bethanie's second career top 10 victory. She was defeated by Li Na in the quarterfinals, 3–6, 6–3, 4–6 after squandering a 4–2 lead in the third set.

Bethanie faced Italy's own Flavia Pennetta in her opening round match in Rome. In the final match of the day, the fighting fashionista took to the courts against Pennetta in a match before a group of loud and boisterous fans cheering on for their countrywoman. In a hard fought, dramatic match filled with momentum shifts, emotional outbursts from players and fans, the American stunned the home crowd hero a three-set thriller; 6–4, 4–6, 6–3. Mattek-Sands lost to Jarmila Gajdosova in the second round 2–6, 4–6.

Mattek-Sands played in the French Open and faced Spain's Arantxa Parra Santonja in the opening round where she scored a 3 set victory; 2–6, 7–6(5), 6–3. Bethanie kept her outfit simple wearing a slanted cut black skirt, with matching black knee socks and black wrist bands. She also dawned a fashionable yet casual pink top, all clothes by Under Armour. She also dawned her now, infamous warrior paint which consists of one thick black line under each eye with her signature B in the middle. In her second round match she took on fellow American, Varvara Lepchenko who she defeated once again in 3 sets; 6–3, 2–6, 6–3. She reached the third round and faced fellow fashionista and good friend, Jelena Janković, whom she promptly lost to, 2–6, 2–6. Mattek-Sands dazzled the crowd in an all black ensemble, black socks, shoes, wrist bands and her signature slant cut skirt but also wore a one strapped, jeweled top which resembled a warrior Queen. However, due to cold conditions, Mattek-Sands put on a long sleeve, white top with a gray design on it.

In Wimbledon 2011, Mattek-Sands (then ranked 30th) faced her first round match against then ranked 133rd Misaki Doi from Japan, and lost 6–4 5–7 7–5. One notable moment in the match occurred at the end, when Mattek-Sands ranted at a line call made against her, and then refused to shake the umpire's hand.

Bethanie had to withdraw completely from her heavily scheduled USO Series events due to a shoulder injury. She made one last heroic effort to make a return at the US Open where she lost to Polona Hercog in the open round 1–6, 3–6. The most notable part of the match was Bethanie keeping true to her fashionista persona and wore a lovely one long sleeved top, a navy blue skirt and American flag socks. In the Women's Doubles competition, she partnered up with a new partner due to the retirement of Meghann Shaughnessy. She played with Australia's Jarmila Gajdošová and they reached the third round before they lost to the team of Huber/Raymond. After the U.S Open, Mattek-Sands ended her season and is committed to continuing her rehabilitation on her shoulder and getting in shape to return at the 2012 Hopman Cup where she will attempt to defend her title with Mardy Fish.

Read more about this topic:  Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Tennis Career

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