With the final tennis Grand Slam event taking place in New York City, the world’s best are looking for one last run at glory before the season ends.
One such player was veteran Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Sands, at 28-years-old, has been a tennis professional for half of her life, reaching as high as No.30 in the world in 2011.
In the tennis world, Sands is known as a fierce competitor. She’s known for her ever-changing hairstyles and colors, her high knee socks, and there was even a period where she wore eye black on court.
Even though Mattek-Sands is not a widely-known name outside of tennis, she is particularly known to one household in the Wyoming Valley. Malcolm Conway has been treating her for many years and can be seen at Conway Clinic on Pierce Street, Kingston.
Conway is a trained chiropractor, but over the many years of research, he has become a sports injury specialist. He also teaches athletes better ways of developing strength, explosion, speed and endurance without the risk of injury. Conway accomplishes this through an accelerated rapid relief treatment treating patients with all types of sports injuries, including some of the top names in sport, like Sands.
“Even though I’ve been formerly trained as a chiropractor, I’ve always been interested in sports,” Conway said. “When I was treating people, I knew there was more, so I started my research.”
At Conway Clinic, an athlete is trained to properly absorb force effectively reducing injury. Once this is mastered, the athlete can then increase strength, speed, and endurance.
“The neurological system is the key to it,” Conway said. “We can test an athlete to see what muscles are turning on and turning off. A muscle is designed to absorb force, if it can’t absorb force, it’s going to translate into the joint and it’s going to cause inflammation so that’s where the pain cycle starts. If we can get to the neurological problem, that’s where we found the key… we can unravel everything.”
The Who’s Who list of professional athletes Conway has treated includes more than three-dozen professional athletes, including Reggie White, Jerome Bettis, Cris Carter, Deion Sanders, Kordell Stewart, Shannon Sharpe, Ray Lewis, Jamal Lewis and Elvis Grbac to name a few from the NFL, as well as Grant Hill, Scott Burrell and Monte Williams from the NBA.
Conway has treated local residents and former pros Joe Amato and Andy Ashby, along with Raghib and Qadry Ismail.
Sands’ history with Wyoming Valley goes deep, as Qadry Ismail was her brother’s track coach. It was Ismail that was responsible for pointing her in the direction of Conway.
“He’s another mentor, a fellow athlete that has walked through the fire and gone through a lot of different things,” Sands said of Ismail. “I really respect him as a person and as an athlete.”
In addition to treating athletes from around the world, Conway is a bit of a matchmaker, although he would disagree.
“He actually was responsible for introducing us,” Sands said, speaking of how she and her husband met. Justin Sands was being treated for injuries that occurred while playing football at the University of Albany.
“I think I was 19-years-old and Bethanie was 17,” Justin said. “He’s our mentor, our second dad, our best friend, he’s everything.”
Conway was on-hand for this year’s Open, leaving Kingston a few days before the event began in New York City. Mattek-Sands played Mathilde Johansson in the first round, taking her out of the tournament 6-3, 6-1. Sands fell in the second round, losing to the No.24 seed, Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-4 last week.