World No. 1 Serena Williams needed a shot of coffee to regain her best form during her opening match at the mixed teams Hopman Cup at the Perth Arena on Monday.
Perked up by a cup of coffee at the end of the first set, Williams recovered from a disastrous start to defeat Flavia Pennetta as the United States beat Italy 3-0 in their Group A tie.
Williams had her hands full with 12th-ranked Pennetta in the early stages of her first singles match of the New Year. Pennetta raced through the first set in just 19 minutes, winning 6-0. After the fifth game, a weary Williams asked an amused chair umpire if she was allowed have an “espresso” coffee delivered to her courtside.
At the end of the set, Williams received the coffee and it had an immediate impact, as she broke the drought by winning the first game of the second set. Williams then kicked into gear, rattling off the last 10 games of the match in an early-season reminder of her brutal power.
The American won 0-6, 6-3, 6-0 and said she needed something to perk her up, having only arrived in Perth on Saturday. The 33-year-old praised the “miracle” of coffee after the turnaround.
“I am a coffee drinker and I didn’t have mine this morning and I was just feeling it so, I had to get some coffee in me,” she said.
“I told them to just give me a shot of espresso. I asked if it was legal, I was like ‘is it legal to have espresso’ because I never did it before, but I needed some espresso and I needed to wake up, it’s the jet lag.”