Food & dining

Serena Williams uses jolt — of espresso — to win tennis match

Serena Williams of the US hits a return against Flavia Pennetta of Italy during their third session women's singles match on day two of the Hopman Cup tennis tournament in Perth on January 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / TONY ASHBY IMAGE STRICTLY RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USETONY ASHBY/AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images
Serena Williams at the Hopman Cup tennis tournament in Perth on Jan. 5, 2015.

After losing the first set, 6-0, Serena Williams took a seat. Tired and weary playing in a tournament in Australia, she looked up at the chair umpire.

“Is it illegal to order an espresso?” she asked. “I mean, I don’t know if it’s allowed. Is it allowed? I’m tired.”

Someone came over and told her it would be OK. He asked what she would take with it.


“Black,” she said. “As black as it gets.”

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

When it came in a paper cup, she gulped it down.

It must have done the trick.

She won the next two sets, 6-3 and 6-0.

“I am a coffee drinker,” she told reporters after the match. “I didn’t have mine this morning and I was just feeling it, so I just had to get some coffee into me.”

Matt Viser can be reached at