MELBOURNE, Australia — After reaching her first Grand Slam final, the big question for Bethanie Mattek-Sands is what to wear for the occasion?
The 26-year-old American, known for her sometimes outlandish fashion sense, and Romanian partner Horia Tecau advanced to the mixed doubles final at the Australian Open on Friday with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi of India.
They'll play the winner of the other semifinal between Roberta Vinci and Daniele Bracciali of Italy and Elena Vesnina of Russia and Leander Paes of India, which was being contested later Friday.
Tecau has been in this situation before — he's reached the men's doubles final at Wimbledon the last two years, losing both times. For Mattek-Sands, it'll be her first Grand Slam final of any kind.
"It's a huge one, obviously, being in any slam final no matter what one it is," she said.
Mattek-Sands has made a statement with her outfits at many Grand Slams in the past. Last year, she wore a Lady Gaga-esque white jacket decorated with real tennis balls on court for her first-round match at Wimbledon. She once wore a scandalous, low-cut leopard-print number at the U.S. Open, complete with a leopard-print visor.
She already has some ideas if she makes the U.S. team for the London Olympics, too. "I wanted to do some gold, either get a gold racket or gold shoes or something," she said.
So what's she got planned for Sunday's mixed doubles final?
"Actually I might go shopping," she said with a laugh. "It's tough when you pack. I can only pack so much. I'm already over all my baggage limits."
NO MORE TEARS: Roger Federer doesn't want any sympathy after being bundled out of the Australian Open by his rival Rafael Nadal.
"I haven't lost in five months or something, you know," he said following his 6-7 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (5), 6-4 semifinal loss on Thursday. "It's not that bad. Don't feel too sorry for me."
Federer hadn't lost a match since his epic semifinal against Novak Djokovic at the U.S. Open in September when he held two match points before going down in five sets. He picked himself up and won titles in Basel, Paris and then the year-ending ATP World Tour Finals.
Federer is hoping for a similar recovery this time. His next assignment is likely a Davis Cup tie against the United States in Fribourg, Switzerland, beginning Feb. 10.
"(What is) important is the reaction from now," he said. "Where do I go from here? You know, start planning other trips. Start planning the preparations, and, again, have a good reaction like I showed after the U.S. Open."
Still, the loss to Nadal means that Federer, once the game's dominant force, hasn't won a Grand Slam title since the 2010 Australian Open and has only reached one major final in that time.
The 30-year-old Federer, coming off his 13th straight Australian Open, stonily rejected any suggestion that he might be approaching the end of his glittering career.
He said he would keeping coming back to Melbourne, "I hope often."
Federer remains a fan favorite. The Swiss star sits second on a Social Leaderboard designed by the Australian Open's official website to gauge players' popularity by counting 'likes' on the tournament's Facebook page and hashtag mentions on Twitter.
He's currently way ahead of Maria Sharapova in 3rd place and Novak Djokovic in 4th. The only player ahead of him is, of course, Nadal.
FIRST TO FOURTH: Caroline Wozniacki, who ensured she'd lose her No. 1 ranking when she was defeated in the Australian Open quarterfinals by defending champion Kim Clijsters, will drop to fourth on Monday when the new rankings are announced.
The WTA said Friday that regardless of the winner of Saturday's final — Victoria Azarenka or Maria Sharapova — Wozniacki will drop three places. Azarenka or Sharapova will become the new No. 1.
Wozniacki, who spent 67 weeks at the top of the women's rankings but has yet to win a Grand Slam title, is training in Dubai ahead of WTA tournaments in Doha, Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami.
She's also taking some time to pamper herself a bit.
"Having a foot massage in the lounge in Dubai airport. Feels amazing after a 14 hour flight!:)" Wozniacki tweeted Friday.
AP Sports Writer Caroline Cheese contributed to this report.