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2017 Year in Review: MATTEK-SANDS IS NO. 1

Ashley Marshall | December 05, 2017


Love-15: As 2017 draws to a close, USTA.com is taking a look back at the top 15 storylines, headlines and highlights from the year in American tennis. Up now: A look at Bethanie Mattek-Sands rising to become the No. 1 doubles player in the world.

 

After narrowly missing out on becoming the top-ranked doubles player in the world at the end of 2016, Bethanie Mattek-Sands reached the summit in early 2017 in what turned out to be a bittersweet season.
 

By lifting the Brisbane International trophy with Sania Mirza in January, Mattek-Sands leapfrogged her partner to the top spot in the rankings. In doing so, she became just the 34th woman to reach the No. 1 ranking and the first American to make her debut in the top doubles spot since the Williams sisters in June 2010.
 

Buoyed by her season-opening victory, Mattek-Sands went on to team with longtime partner Lucie Safarova to win the Australian Open and French Open women’s doubles titles in addition to claiming a clay-court title in Charleston, S.C. She also won the decisive match in the Fed Cup semifinal against defending champions Czech Republic with Coco Vandeweghe.

But hopes of a “Team Bucie” Grand Slam with Safarova, with whom she also won the 2016 US Open, were cut short when five-time major doubles champ Mattek-Sands suffered a season-ending knee injury against Sorana Cirstea in the second round of the singles at Wimbledon.
 

The 32-year-old, who won a mixed doubles gold medal with Jack Sock at the 2016 Rio Olympics, started rehab this fall and hopes to return to the tour in the first quarter of 2018.

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