Mattek-Sands won seven consecutive games to take a 5-0 lead in the final set after the second rain delay of the match. She served out the victory with the sun shining and rain falling, and became the fourth U.S. woman to reach the third round.
There were moments, as recently as last year, when a body that would not stay healthy and on-court results prompted Bethanie Mattek-Sands to wonder whether it was simply time to call it a career after more than a decade as a professional tennis player.
The Spaniard survived an early scare Monday and successfully began his bid for an eighth title at Roland Garros by rallying past Daniel Brands of Germany, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-3.
Serena Williams had to earn two doubles victories with older sister Venus at Wimbledon on Wednesday, a day before her singles semifinal against Victoria Azarenka.
American women are 10 for 10 so far at the French Open, giving the country its most representatives in the Grand Slam tournament's second round since 11 made it in 2003.
Decked out in a Lady Gaga-inspired jacket festooned with real tennis balls, Bethanie Mattek-Sands stepped onto Court 14 at Wimbledon and noticed a tour official, walkie-talkie at the ready.
Time and again after losing a point, Venus Williams rolled her eyes, slumped her shoulders and let out a shriek of dismay that echoed through Centre Court, reverberating off its roof.