Mattek-Sands stuns Li in Paris
Originally published on: 31/05/13 00:00
The American claimed one of the biggest victories of her career as she stunned the 2011 French Open champion 5-7 6-3 6-2.
Mattek-Sands dropped out of the world’s top 200 earlier in the season as she struggled with injuries, including back, hip and foot problems. However, having reached the semi-finals in Stuttgart last month, the world No.67 played an aggressive brand of tennis, firing 32 winners to book her place in the third round.
"That's one of the best wins of my career," Mattek-Sands said. "I knew she wasn't going to give it to me. She's a champion, and I had to play some of my best tennis ever to beat her.
"She takes the balls on the rise. It always seems she's putting pressure on you. So I was ready for her to do that today, and I wanted to give it back to her, because that's my game, too. So it was kind of a battle of who can take control of that middle court.”
It was Mattek-Sands’ fourth win over a top-ten player, and her second this season after toppling Sara Errani in Stuttgart.
"It's a big thing that I'm healthy," Mattek-Sands said. "I think that was always a tough one in the past. Even if I did have good matches in the past couple years, it was tough to build on my momentum because I would get hurt pretty often. But now I'm feeling healthy.
“I'm more mentally focused on the court. It's a combination of also having a good game plan – I'm an aggressive player and I'm going to go out there and play my game, win or lose. It has all helped me play better tennis this year."