Re: The Queen's Palace: Queen Bethanie in 2010
Q. Just talk about the match. Obviously you can sort of play a little bit freer when you come into the draw like that.
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: Well, I lost already, so I might as well just go for it. But I played Vania last year; my last tournament of year and I beat her. We're pretty good friends and I know how she plays, so I went out there pretty relaxed and played my game.
She can be very consistent. Good volleys. Obviously very good doubles player. My goal really was to stay aggressive and not let her kind of take the aggression out on me.
Q. What's it like being the lucky loser? I mean, when did you find out? Where were you when you found out?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: Well, I was here. I mean, you have to basically sign in before all the matches start in the morning, and you gotta stay here all day. So I was here all day Sunday; no word. And then yesterday I came, and I was actually the second lucky loser. The first lucky loser didn't sign in yesterday because she was sick. So she decided not to sign in yesterday.
And then Peng Shuai pulled out yesterday with an illness, so I found out. And lucky enough she pulled out yesterday and I had another day. Normally it's 30 minutes, someone pulls out, and you're on.
So, yeah, it was pretty cool. Just the way I lost in quallies was very tough for me. Just kind of a second chance.
Q. You've sort of been on the comeback trail the last few months. Talk about what's been going on with your game.
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: You know what, I'm feeling really confident in my game. I've been playing aggressive, playing my style. Really been mixing up a lot of shots. I've even surprised myself how many dropshots I've hit or how many slices I've mixed in, and swing volleys.
So I really feel that my whole game is coming together and I'm making better decisions on which shots to play.
Q. You're still in Arizona?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: Still in Arizona. Haven't been there in a little while actually. Probably after Indian Wells I went back for a little bit.
But, um, going back after Wimbledon, so I'm here for another month.
Q. I want to ask your opinion as a fashion maven on tour. What do you think of Venus Williams' outfit?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: I like it. I mean, the pink one she has of that dress, I actually wore a really similar one, I think want to say two years ago at the US Open.
And, um, I think it's cool. I mean, I know she's going for the illusion with the bottoms being brown. But I think it's cool. I know she's gotten a lot crap for it in the media, but, you know, I think it's different. Good for her.
Q. You obviously have a little bit of history with this as well. Refresh my memory about what you've been fined and where the line was drawn. As you understand it, what's the line that they've kind of drawn?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: For clothing? It's really hazy, actually. I think the book says, "proper tennis attire." That could be depends who's the supervisor, what tournament you're at. I mean, obviously some are more lenient than others on what you can wear.
But I've pushed the line a few times. It's really a hazy line. So I think it's cool when people push it, though. I like it. I think it brings more interest. I mean, obviously everyone is talking about it, so it's great. Tennis is getting in the news. It's on the front page when I open up my browsers and everything just because she's we are something different.
So I think it's great.
Q. How many times have you been fined and how much and when?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: Um, I was fined ten grand for wearing a hat at US Open like five years ago. I was fined I think for a shirt that was like sheer, two grand. I think that's it.
For a while I actually had to bring my clothes in and get them approved. That's how they prevented me from actually, like, wearing something that I shouldn't on the court.
Since this last year I've been a little more conservative as far as the clothing goes.
Q. Has anyone told you at least if it's not written down what they expect? Can't be sheer? Can't be this short? Whatever.
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: You know what, the thing is it changes all the time. It's not like this length is inappropriate, because obviously when someone serves the whole dress comes up. I mean, you can't say it's okay for Maria to do it when she has pictures like that, but Venus can't.
I mean, so again, it's such a hazy rule and really an opinion of someone.
Q. I won't harp on it, but you sound like you're in favor of people expressing themselves through clothing.
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: Definitely.
Q. Why is that?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: I think it makes it interesting. I mean, I think it puts tennis a little more out there. It's a different sport as far as we don't have to wear a uniform. We can kind of wear whatever we want.
You know, I've seen a couple matches, and this is one of the reasons I've done things differently. You see two girls, blonde hair wearing the exact same thing head to toe.
You almost can't tell 'em if I can't tell 'em apart, no way a fan's gonna tell 'em apart. So it just brings, you know, something unique to the game.
Q. So why have you toned it down?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: Well, I've switched it around a little bit. This year I'm wearing Under Armour. They're pretty conservative right now, but they're getting some cooler stuff and different cuts for the next year.
The high socks have kind of been my theme for this year. I've brought out different colors, and I'll continue to do so for the rest of the year. I've stuck to like the body art actually now. It's kind of my thing this year for this year.
Q. The what?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: The body art. The tattoos. So that's what I've added.
Q. Just the U.S. on clay. We've had our struggles here. Seems like at least for now we're getting a few more players into the second round. What's going on?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: (Laughing.) Well, we didn't get any more clay courts in the U.S., that's for sure. No red courts.
But, um, you know, I think the clay here plays pretty fast. I've played a couple of the warm up tournaments, and the clay is definitely slower. But, I mean, I like the surface here. I think as long as you can get the movement down on here, I think a lot have Americans can do well if they have an all court game.
Q. What kind of strings are you using?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: I'm using Luxilon Spin.
Q. Not a hybrid?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: No, I'm actually one of the only people that don't. A lot of people use gut. I think that's what Fed does. But I use the Lux, and I string it at 43 pounds, which is pretty loose.
But I love it. Gives me a lot spin, obviously, in the name. I was stringing at 70 with another string, and I kind of overexaggerated and went the other way and I haven't had any shoulder problems since then and I feel great.
Q. Do you feel that's the biggest change in the game in the last few years?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: For sure. Me picking up this racquet for the first time I was like oh, my God, why am I not playing with this now?
Q. When was that?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: It was actually like three years ago. I picked up a Babolat Lux strung at like 37, and I think I broke all my strings. That was kind of the defining moment. I think I didn't miss a ball, so...
Q. And you've use the same strings since then?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: I've switched. I've use Luxilon since then, but I was using Luxilon Alu Power Rough, and now I'm using the Power Spin.
Q. And you just find that it bites into the ball and gives you a lot more topspin?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: Yeah. A lot more topspin and a lot more spin. Yup.
Q. How many outfits do you bring to a tournament?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: Shoot. Well, on something like Europe it's tough because I got to pack for five tournaments. But I'll at least have five, six outfits. I know a lot of girls carry maybe four of the same outfit. But for me, I'll try and change it up every match. So I'll bring probably six different color shirts and then five or six skirts.
Q. And however you feel?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: Exactly. The mood I'm in, that's what I'll wear.
Q. How do you get them laundered?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: The French Open is actually great. They do it in the locker room. You just give it in. Some tournaments aren't the like that, but they do a good job here. You get it in two days later.
Q. Do you have to sew your name like summer camp or something?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: They've kept it organized. I don't know how they do it. They haven't lost anything here yet. I can't say that for other tournaments, but I've been tempted to get a Sharpie and write my name on. But they do a good job here.
Q. Coaching, who are you working with?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: I've been working with the same guy since Indian Wells, Adam Altschuler, and it's been great. He's really low key. You know, really just enjoying that. That's kind of my personality, so I've been pretty picky with a lot of coaches.
I've worked with the USTA a bunch as well. They were at my match today Owen Malquist, Jose Higueras.
Q. Adam is not here with you?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: Adam Peterson?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: Yeah, Adam Altschuler is here with me, yup.
Q. Is he based in Arizona?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: Florida, but now he moved he was in Arizona, and he's probably gonna move back.
Q. And Shahar Peer, just talk about that.
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: I didn't even know who I was playing. I played her in Indian Wells and lost in a tough match. I mean, she's always a fighter, so I'll be prepared to not for an easy match. She fights every point. Looking forward to it.