AUSTRALIAN OPEN SCENE: No sleep for Mattek-Sands’ relatives

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Bethanie Mattek-Sands had relatives in about five U.S. states wide awake watching as she and Lucie Safarova won the women’s doubles title at the Australian Open on Friday.

The match started about 4:30 p.m. locally, just after midnight on the east coast of the United States, and finished well into the overnight hours.

By the time she and Safarova accepted their trophy after their 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over Chan Yung-jan of Taiwan and Zheng Jie of China, it was really getting late.

Asked if they were dancing in the streets of her hometown of Neenah, Wisconsin, Mattek-Sands said she wasn’t sure.

”But I know a lot of my family was up,” she said. ”I just Face Timed them all. It was 3 in the morning, 4 in the morning there and everybody was up in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Arizona, Florida. So it was pretty cool.”

By Dennis Passa —

SOME PAES MAGIC: It’ll likely go down as one of the shots of the tournament, and a big hit on video sites everywhere – Leander Paes’ incredible behind-the-back volley during an Australian Open mixed doubles semifinal Friday.

The Indian player’s shot came in the eighth game when he and partner Martina Hingis were in the latter stages of a 21-shot rally with Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan and Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay.

Hsieh hit a ball to the left of Paes, who was standing near the net, and it seemed destined to be a winner. But the right-handed Paes flicked his racket behind his back and somehow kept a volley in play during a point that he won with his subsequent shot.

That leveled the opening set at 4-4 and Hingis and Paes went on to win the match 7-5, 6-4.

By Dennis Passa —

Australian Open Scene follows tennis’ Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne as seen by journalists from The Associated Press. It is updated throughout the day.