Friday, April 23 – Bethanie Mattek-Sands
At the Botanical Gardens today, I tried to bring a little spontaneity to our team pictures after the draw ceremony. In one picture we wore our shirts backwards so you could see ‘USA’ and we put some flowers in our hair. It was definitely hot, we were standing up there sweating in our uniforms and as soon as the press conference was over, everyone kind of stripped down and was in a fun mood.
Tomorrow I play Elena Dementieva in the second match. I have not played her in awhile. The last time I played her was last year on clay and I feel the hardcourt suits my game. I am excited for it. It is always fun to play against a top-ranked player to see how you fair against her.
It does not matter to me whether I play the first or second match. I have played both in Fed Cup. I can’t really think of how Mel did in her match before me because the only thing I can control is how I play in my match so you really have to push that thought out of your mind.
I am also scheduled to play doubles with Liezel. In today’s press conference she said I was the most ‘free’ person she had played with and thanked me for a life lesson! But she is more free than she lets on She is definitely spontaneous in her fakes and quirks on the court, which make her a great doubles player. I am a little more structured than she is making it out! But I think with doubles, because you have two people, one at net, there is more room to be creative and just spur of the moment moves. I think that is what makes a good doubles player. For me it is fun to be that way anyway!
In doubles, most of the time, at least the first few shots are planned but outside of that you can’t really control what the other team is going to do. If they come up with a lob, your poach does not really matter because you can’t touch the ball. I think doubles is a lot of spontaneous shots.
On the WTA Tour, I have playing doubles lately with Yan Zi. We won the title in Ponte Vedra Beach and we are going to play in Europe and see how it goes. We have actually only played four tournaments so we have not played that much. I am looking forward to playing the big tournaments together – Rome, Madrid, French Open – and see how we can do against top teams.
I am also debuting a new tattoo on the court tomorrow. It is five days old so it is still a little fresh. A bunch of people will see it on Tennis Channel during the match. It actually though is not even finished. I spent two and a half hours in the chair and I still have another two and a half hours to go on it.
I had a tattoo done last November that are bees flying on my right forearm because my nickname was Killer B when I was younger. The new one is lotus flowers on the inside of my upper right arm. I have a few more hours in the chair to fill in the colors so I will finish it up after Wimbledon in July!