Former WTA doubles No.1 Bethanie Mattek-Sands announced a planned return to tennis at the BNP Paribas Open alongside longtime partner Lucie Safarova; the American has been off the court since a traumatic knee injury required surgery last summer.
David Kane
February 13, 2018

PHOENIX, Arizona - Bethanie Mattek-Sands is one step closer to returning to the court after a harrowing knee injury ended her 2017 season; the American announced on Facebook and Instagram Live that she and longtime partner Lucie Safarova will take to the California desert at the upcoming BNP Paribas Open.

"We're getting the band back together!" Mattek-Sands said on Tuesday. "I'm excited for my first tournament back. It's weird to think I haven't played in seven months. As much as I like to train and practice, I like matches. That's why we're out here. But Lucie's ready to go, and we're planning to play Miami and Charleston after that. Some of my favorite tournaments are in this swing, and it was a goal to be ready for these events."

Mattek-Sands last played at Wimbledon - shortly after wresting the top doubles ranking from friend Sania Mirza - where she incurred a debilitating knee injury during a first-round singles match against Sorana Cirstea.

The American was forced to have surgery and has been off the court ever since, though not too far from tennis, working as a commentator for Tennis Channel and ESPN.

"If anyone was listening to commentary at 3AM, you would have heard me!"