Bethanie Mattek-Sands scored her first singles win of 2019 in memorable fashion by beating Venus Williams, 6-7 (4), 7-3, 6-1 on Tuesday in San Jose.
It was Mattek-Sands' first win over the seven-time Grand Slam champion in five attempts, and they hadn't faced off since 2012. The 34-year-old has dealt with knee injuries, with a ruptured patella in 2017 setting her back for nine months and another knee surgery taking her off the tour earlier this season for five months.
Thirteen years after their first meeting, Bethanie Mattek-Sands notches her first victory in five attempts over Venus WIlliams Tuesday evening in San Jose—her first win on the singles court since 2018 Roland Garros. https://t.co/G9KCwppyWq— TENNIS.com (@Tennis) July 31, 2019
The former doubles No. 1 is back with a vengeance and a lot of personality.
"I smelled some grilled cheese sandwiches at the end," she said. "That's really what got me through the finish line there."
Despite the grind of the match, Mattek-Sands enjoyed herself, and it showed.
"Listen, I whiten my teeth for a reason, I've got to smile out here," she said.
The world No. 674 will face Carla Suarez Navarro on Wednesday.