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Bethanie Mattek-Sands: a Grand Slam Champion … and More?

January 29, 2012

Bethanie Mattek-Sands has officially joined the elite company of Grand Slam titlists.

The mixed doubles title at the Australian Open went to the American and her partner Horia Tecau as they beat Elena Vesnina and Leander Paes in the final. Now, Mattek-Sands–best known for her wardrobe–can say she’s a Major winner.

That’s not a bad title to have, “Grand Slam champion”!

The year hadn’t really gotten off to a great start for Mattek-Sands as the Hopman Cup was a rough run for her in the singles and mixed, partnering Mardy Fish. Then she lost that three-setter in the first round of the Australian to Agnieszka Radwanska. Perhaps she took something from that loss, pushing one of the game’s hottest players to the brink. Whatever it was, she and Tecau did well to come through a draw that included scores of Grand Slam champions.

It’s not like Mattek-Sands, though, and Tecau don’t have their own set of bona fides: She’s emerged as a top-flight doubles player and he’s a two-time Wimbledon finalist. And the pair was seeded eighth.

It will be interesting to see what this win does for the two, but perhaps, her moreso. Currently, she’s in the top 70 but was playing some of the best tennis of her career last year before a shoulder injury took its toll. She hasn’t had surgery, but if it holds up with rest, Mattek-Sands will be able to show what she’s capable of–and she got off to a good start doing that in Melbourne with her first Major title.

Maybe that will translate to the singles court as well.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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