Serena Williams shoots coffee to overcome Hopman Cup bagel

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Desperate times call for desperate measures and Serena Williams was certainly forced to do something out of the ordinary in her Hopman Cup singles match with Italy's Flavia Pennetta.

The tournament, being used by some of the world's top stars as an opportunity for a warm-up ahead of the Australian Open, is taking place in the boiling-hot Perth and pits top talents from different countries against one another.

Williams and teammate John Isner are leading the USA charge in Group A and they defeated their European challengers, but it wasn't all plain sailing.

Shot back to life

The world number one female player found herself staring down the barrel of an annihilation when her lower-ranked opponent Pennetta had taken the first set 6-0, much to the shock of the Australian crowd.

However, the 18-time Grand Slam champion had another trick up her sleeve - but it wasn't anything she did on-court that started a comeback. No no, Serena demanded a shot of coffee after the first set after checking with the umpire that it was allowed in the rules.

"I didn't have mine this morning and I was just feeling it, so I just had to get some coffee into me"

Like Popeye reacts to spinach and Scooby-Doo to Scooby snacks, Serena burst into life and did what she had to do.

The 33-year-old was buzzing from the off in the second sets and the wide-eyed superstar went on to level up at 6-3 before inflicting her own whitewash, 6-0, in the deciding set.


"I'm so jet lagged and Flavia played really, really well and yeah, everyone needs coffee every now and then," Williams admitted following the win.

"I am a coffee drinker. I didn't have mine this morning and I was just feeling it, so I just had to get some coffee into me.

"I just asked them to get me a shot of espresso. I asked them if it was legal, because I've never done it before."

Miracle coffee

Serena's "miracle coffee", as she also later described it, helped the USA to a 3-0 win over Italy. Isner beat fellow male competitor Fabio Fognini and all four met contestants took part in a mixed doubles macth; also won by the Americans.

Elsewhere in the competition, Andy Murray and Heather Watson won victory for Great Britain in their Group B match - thanks largely to their mixed doubles win after Murray had also beaten Benoit Paire in their singles match. Last year Murray was paired with Laura Robson. 

These matches provide valuable practise in tempretures similar to those that they will face in Melbourne at 2015's first Grand Slam. The likes of Eugenie Bouchard, Agnieszka Radwanska and Jerzy Janowicz are also taking part.

Serena is looking for her 19th major title and her sixth Down-Under. However, she hasn't won the tournament since 2010. In fact, since her last win, Serena has failed to pass the quarter-final stage. Last time around sh exited at the hands of Ana Iavnovic. 

This year's action will kick-off in a fortnight's time.

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