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Local Legends

Bethanie Mattek-Sands
Tennis Professional, Women's Tennis Association

Rochester native Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 31, won an Olympic gold medal in mixed-doubles tennis with partner Jack Sock at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Mattek-Sands and Sock defeated fellow Americans Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram to take home the gold. This Local Legends Q&A with Mattek-Sands was published in the 2014 issue of Experience Rochester magazine, published by the Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau (RCVB). The Local Legends Q&As are conducted with individuals from the Rochester area who have achieved significant athletic success.

Hometown: Rochester, Minn. 
Lives: Phoenix.
Family: Husband Justin Sands. And Ruger, our South African Mastiff. He weighs as much as I do.
Went pro: Age 14.
Life on the road: I see a lot of airports, hotels and tennis courts. I live by the 50-pound bag rule.
Memorable match: Winning the Australian Open Mixed Doubles title in 2011. My first Grand Slam title.
Net approach: I'm aggressive. I love to come to the net.
Wardrobe: It's a reflection of me on the court. All white is terribly boring.
Color scheme: My hair has been teal, pink, purple, fuchsia.
Most like to beat: Serena Williams. She's number one in the world and probably the best ever female player. I played against her years ago, at Wimbledon.
Stats: Don't ask me about stats or matches. I'm a person in the present.
Tennis hero: Monica Seles. When I was 9, her dad had to go to Mayo Clinic, and she came to the Rochester Athletic Club and I hit with her.
Tennis philosophy: The first step to getting back to confidence is to trust yourself.
Remembering Rochester: We lived near tons of bike trails. One of my best friends still lives in Rochester. We went to kindergarten together.
Sew creative: I knit and crochet. I sewed myself cargo pants once.
Guilty pleasure: Coconut milk latte from Whole Foods.
Off the court: I'm interested in fashion, interior design and drawing.
On Minnesota: People are genuine and it's cool to say you're from there. You know all your neighbors. It's not like that everywhere.
Secret love: Football. I'm a Packers fan.