Serena Williams has suffered a stunning straight sets defeat in her latest Hopman Cup tie against the dangerous Eugenie Bouchard of Canada. Twenty year-old Bouchard may be the current world number six and a finalist at Wimbledon last year, but few could have predicted the manner in which she demolished the world number one in Perth, losing just three games in an amazing fifty minute display of Tennis. The Canadian woman took their singles’ match 6-2 6-1 to establish the early lead for her nation over the United States’ pairing of Williams and John Isner.

The American legend had initially seemed equally out of sorts during her victory over Italy’s Flavia Pennetta earlier in the week, losing the first set in that match to a bagel (6-0), but perked up to come back for a three sets win then. There was to be no similar improvement in her game this time though, as Bouchard set about remorselessly clinching the second set to close the game out.

Williams looked sluggish throughout and stated afterwards: “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I’m so tired”, pointing to the need to get her feet moving in the games. The powerhouse was giving thirteen years to her younger opponent, but the explanation may have more to do with the conditions in Perth, where temperatures have been into the 40Cs in recent days. It was a worrying experience for the multiple Grand Slam winner as she looks ahead to challenging for the upcoming Australian Open, especially if the conditions cause her similar issues there.

Bouchard was ebullient afterwards, cheekily suggesting that her older opponent had perhaps missed the espresso moment she had been granted in the Penetta match. It was a confidence boosting experience for her, as she had never previously taken the scalp of the top seed.

Her partner in the American team faired no better, as Isner lost to Vasek Pospisil 6-3 7-6 to make the mixed-singles’ match irrelevant, as Canada had already clinched the best of three rubbers tie. Williams and Isner did restore some pride for the Americans, however by winning the doubles’ match 6-3 7-5, but Canada were overall 2-1 winners.

In the other game in the group, the Czech Republic were too strong for Italy with a 3-0 victory. America play the Czechs in their last group game on Thursday, when Williams is due to play her singles match against Lucie Safarova. It will be intriguing to see if she can remedy her form in that match. 
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