MELBOURNE, Australia – American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Romanian Horia Tecau won the mixed doubles title at the Australian Open on Sunday, beating Elena Vesnina and Leander Paes 6-3, 5-7, 10-3.
It was the first Grand Slam victory for the 26-year-old Mattek-Sands, who is known as much for her eccentric on-court attire as her tennis. She didn’t disappoint in the final, wearing a lime, one-sleeve top, black skirt, black knee-high socks, purple streaks in her hair and her regular eye black on her cheeks.
Tecau, dressed more conservatively in a black T-shirt and shorts, also captured his first Grand Slam title. He has lost twice before in the men’s doubles final at Wimbledon.
The celebration for the two would be brief — a glass of champagne in the women’s locker-room — because Tecau was catching a Sunday night flight out of Melbourne.
“It’s like, ‘Yay, we won. I have to go to the airport in half an hour,'” Mattek-Sands said. “I guess in a way it’s good because you just gotta enjoy the moment and then it’s time for the next moment.”
Paes, a 38-year-old doubles specialist from India, was playing in his second championship match in as many days. He won the men’s doubles trophy with Radek Stepanek on Saturday night.
Paes and Vesnina got a boost in the second set when light rain forced the closure of the roof at Rod Laver Arena while they were trailing 2-4. The duo came back to win the next three games and force the match tiebreaker.
Mattek-Sands put her side up first in the decider with a forehand around the post that she hit on the full run, ending up in the lap of a line judge on the side of the court.
“I almost dove into the crowd,” Mattek-Sands said with a laugh.
Tecau then hit an ace and Mattek-Sands a soft drop volley to give the pairing a 3-0 lead. They were never challenged the rest of the way.
Mattek-Sands said she’d planned to wear one more accessory with her outfit — a black-and-white checkered headband given to her by Pat Cash — but it was too hot and she went with a baseball hat instead.
As for who designed her one-sleeve top, she gave credit to her husband, Justin Sands. “He cut one of my sleeves off. It was just to show the (arm) tattoo. … It was just something different.”