Lucie Safarova reached the third round in singles and is into the quarters in doubles. (AP)

This time last year, the future of Lucie Safarova and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, aka "Team Bucie" was in jeopardy. Playing her second-round singles match, Mattek-Sands suffered a catastrophic knee injury on the All England Club grass, and was out of commission indefinitely. 

At the time, Mattek-Sands was the No. 1-ranked doubles player in the world. She would, against all odds, make her return from knee surgery earlier this year in Miami.

But just as the American's career was restarting, her friend Safarova's season was put on hold. The 31-year-old Czech picked up a serious virus in February and missed three months of the spring season. 

Wimbledon would, quite fittingly, be their first tournament back together. 

All of that adversity is behind Team Bucie now, as they get set for their quarterfinal on Wednesday against Gabriela Dabrowki and Xu Yifan. Mattek-Sands and Safarova had to save two match points on Monday to beat Barbora Strycova and Andrea Sestini Hlavackova, 2-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4. 

Safarova and Mattek-Sands have now won nine matches in a row together—with the lengthy hiatus factored in—dating back to last year's French Open, which they won. Wimbledon is the only major missing from their career Grand Slam together.


Back in action again tomorrow! ???? #TeamBucie ????‍♀️ #Wimby

A post shared by Bethanie Mattek-Sands (@matteksands) on

"I have this special connection with Bethanie," Safarova said. "It doesn’t matter how long we don’t play—once we are on the court it just clicks. It just goes very easy. I think what's important is we are really good friends on and off the court."

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