Bethanie Mattek-Sands is so much more than a successful professional tennis player. But we do want to brag on Bethanie just a bit. This woman has won multiple titles (over 20!) in the U.S. Open, Australian Open + French Open, 5 Grand Slam titles and even took *gold* in the Rio Olympics. Her power is evident on the tennis court (have you seen her serve?) and her positivity extends far past the net. Her bright personality perfectly complements her colorful fashion sense and her fans absolutely adore her. This babe is the real deal. And we can’t wait to dive deeper and discover even more about Bethanie.
You began playing tennis at such a young age! Take us back to the beginning, Bethanie. What drew you to the game and how did you get started? Was this a dream of yours from day one or something that grew over time?
So I was a such a sporty tomboy when I was growing up and LOVED being outside and competing in any kind of sport. I started with gymnastics when I was 3 and competed in soccer, volleyball, basketball, track & field, AND tennis. My dad was the one who got me started on some public courts close to our house and noticed from the first time I had a racquet in my hand that I might have a natural talent for the game. I started focusing solely on tennis from the age of 12 when I moved down to Florida to be a part of Chris Evert’s Tennis Academy. I would definitely say this is a passion that grew over time but by the time I was 14 I knew tennis was what I wanted to do! By then I had already met my idol Monica Seles and played in my first pro tournament!
What is one of your most memorable moments on the tennis court? And off the tennis court?
I’ve had so many amazing on court experiences but one that really stands out is when I stood on the podium in 2016 at the Rio Olympic Games and had a gold medal placed around my neck. Seeing the American flag go up and hearing the National Anthem play was a really emotional moment for me! Besides getting married to my best friend 10 years ago, I’ve really had a lot of fun building my brand and figuring out what fuels my fire OFF the court. What I would do once I was done with tennis was a scary thought only a couple of years ago, but since then I’ve collaborated with Lucky In Love for my first fashion line, started my BMS charity Foundation, and worked as a TV broadcaster for ESPN! Oh and I’ve walked on the Great Wall of China, bungee jumped in Queenstown New Zealand, played tennis in Switzerland on the worlds tallest glacier, sped through Germany’s autobahn in race Porsches AND had a complete hair makeover from the one and only Ted Gibson!
Achieving all you have in your life is no easy feat. What were some challenges or obstacles you faced in your tennis career? How did you overcome them and stay the course?
Challenges are something that we all have popping up in our life. For me, I’ve already had 4 surgeries that have taken me out of the game for months at a time. I’ve learned a lot about myself through all these moments and have always come out stronger and wiser on the other side. We don’t have to let our circumstances or other people affect our OWN attitude and once you start realizing this and making this thought a habit, you realize how powerful and strong you really are!
In a sport that can seem so competitive and even individualistic sometimes, how do you cultivate community? What does community look like for you and how has it played a role in your success?
A lot of my success has come from playing doubles where I’ve partnered with some of the strongest and most inspiring ladies that I know! The friendships that I have with my doubles partners have a HUGE impact in the success of the team because no matter what the score is or how you are playing, you have someone to talk to, inspire you and that has your back through the ups and the downs. Even though tennis is such an individual sport I have an amazing team around me that is there for me no matter what my results are. My fans are like my fam because they have celebrated with me during my wins and loved me through my losses. I’m still amazed at the inspiring messages and energy I get from them whether they are watching me live in a stadium or on tv at home.
Your genuine personality radiates in all you do – your message is so positive, you’re adored by your fans and your fashion is SO fun! How do you stay true to who you are and maintain your sense of authenticity in the spotlight?
I’ve learned that being true to myself is the most energizing way to be. I have so many different passions and interests and I love sharing them with all my followers and fans. I think it’s invigorating to be around people who are genuinely themselves and I believe that we all attract the energy that we give out. I know not everyone is a spotlight kind of person but I really do love it, and I hope I can inspire others to be their own unique and wonderful selves!
You’ve been using Primally Pure Skincare for awhile now and we’d love to hear which products have become a staple for you! Do you have any other self-care or wellness rituals you incorporate into your daily routine?
I’ve used natural skin products for a long time now and even used to mix up my own oils and toners in my bathroom! So when I found Primally Pure and read their story I was immediately all in! Saying that, I’m in LOVE with PP’s all-natural Blue Tansy Deodorant and for that matter really ANYTHING with the Blue Tansy scent has become a favorite of mine. I ALWAYS have the Everything Spray with me in my purse or gym bag and when my skin is feeling really dry the Fancy Face Serum is a must! I think we all are more aware of what we put IN our bodies but it’s just as important to know what we are putting ON our bodies as well!
We know time on the court isn’t the only thing you focus all of your heart and soul on. What are some passions or endeavors you’re pursuing when you’re not playing tennis?
I’m really excited about getting my Bethanie Mattek Sands Foundation off the ground. I have been involved with a lot of charities and positive causes throughout my career and want to continue to bring attention to the ones that are close to my heart. The foundation’s mission statement is “Inspiring and empowering others to realize their own greatness.” Besides that you should know by now that I’m a pretty adventurous kind of girl so if I’m not out exploring the world you can find me working on my next designs for my tennis fashion line called BMSxLuckyInLove, scoping out my next Foodie spot in town, or enjoying a sip of Kimo Sabe Mezcal at home by my pool. Of course, there’s online shopping but we don’t have to tell my husband about that!
Bethanie, you are such an inspiration and your presence is so influential. Who or what has been your greatest motivation? And as we say goodbye, we’d love it if you would finish off our time together with a final word of motivation for our readers.
Inspiring people to find their OWN power within! We already have greatness inside of us and don’t have to go about working to “change” ourselves. There are so many positive and beautiful women out there that are impacting and changing the world for good and you can be one too! So often we look around to see if there is somebody that can do something about that and I’ve started saying “I am Somebody!” Be the change you want to see in the world! It doesn’t matter if you are making an impression on one person in your day or have a platform to impact millions… it’s exactly the same and just as meaningful!
Photography by Stefanie Johnson