NEW YORK, NY, USA - Wildcard duo Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jamie Murray became the first team in 37 years to defend a US Open mixed doubles title on Saturday after taking down top seeds Chan Hao-Ching and Michael Venus in the final, 6-2, 6-3.
Even more special, it’s also Mattek-Sands’ first Grand Slam title since undergoing a second knee surgery in February, after suffering complications from her 2017 injury at Wimbledon.
“It's a journey. That's why I enjoy these moments so much: you don't know what's going to happen next week, next year,” Mattek-Sands said in the pair’s post-match press conference.
“I fell in love with tennis again, so I appreciate the competition, I appreciate the stadium matches.
“For me, I've been here three weeks, since before quallies. I had such a great team here. It's those moments that it's about. Obviously the trophy ceremonies, they're amazing, will always be remembered.”
Mattek-Sands admitted after the final that she had lost track of the score - not realizing the pair had arrived at match point - but the team had put in a dominant performance across both sets leading up to it.
They took an early lead, breaking the Venus serve at 3-2 and then reeling off the last five games in a row to take the opening set 6-2. The defending champions found themselves locked into a close battle in the second, trading breaks twice as Chan and Venus fought their way back, 2-2.
But Mattek-Sands and Murray were right back in control as they combined for a break at 4-3. They continued to charge ahead, claiming the last four games of the match as Mattek-Sands sealed the victory with a screaming backhand winner down the line.
“So I didn't know it was match point,” Mattek-Sands admitted afterward, laughing. “Actually I was really far off. I actually thought it was 3-2 in the games.
“I got way too far ahead of myself, which is a bummer. Last year I knew it was match point. I had all these amazing match point jump and celebration shots. I had nothing this year, so…”
“Jamie played awesome,” she added. “I think when you play doubles like that, it's just so much fun. Even though I didn't know it was the end, that's good, I was having fun out there. I was going to keep going.”
With the victory, Mattek-Sands and Murray became the first mixed doubles team to defend a US Open title since Anne Smith and Kevin Curren’s double back in 1981 and 1982.