In the first round of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, Bethanie Mattek-Sands recorded her first singles victory since last year’s Roland Garros by beating Venus Williams for the first time in their five career meetings.
Rocking the Tie Back Tank and Print Hi-Pleat Scallop Skirt from Lucky in Love’s Super Girl collection, Mattek-Sands won the battle of American wildcards under the lights in San Jose, taking 27 of the last 31 points in the final set to triumph 6-7(4) 6-3 6-1 at her first tournament since the 2019 Australian Open.
I’m glad I had an answer for some of the knee pain I had in Australia. I thought I could play through it, I’ve played through a lot, but at some point you have to listen to your body. Really, if there was no answer, I didn’t think I was going to be playing tennis after that. So I got a bit of a second life with this second knee surgery.
Williams was the first to take charge with a 4-2 lead, and even though Mattek-Sands leveled to 4-4, the seven-time Grand Slam champion prevailed in the first-set tiebreak. Enjoying a second life, as she herself describes her career after the knee surgery undergone in February, the world No.674 Mattek-Sands won the first four games in the second set, which lead her to her first set won against Williams in over a decade.
In the decider, Mattek-Sands dropped serve once, but broke her opponent three times to ensure a dominant score in the third part of the match and her first singles victory on hardcourts since the 2017 Miami Open. The former doubles No.1 used dropshots, serve-and-volley game, as well as the I-have-nothing-to-lose mentality to trick Williams and produce winners when a short ball was expected.
For a place in the San Jose quarterfinals, Mattek-Sands will face Carla Suarez Navarro.
This is the second straight tournament that Venus is exiting in the opening round, as at Wimbledon she was shocked by youngster Cori Gauff on Day 1. When it comes to style, at the start of the 2019 US Open Series, Williams introduced her EleVen Bonita collection, in particular the Avail Tank and Elevate Swing Skirt, and accessorized it with braids and hair jewelry.