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

The American legend had initially seemed equally out ofsorts 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 backfor a three sets win then. There was to be no similar improvement in her gamethis time though, as Bouchard set about remorselessly clinching the second setto 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 gether feet moving in the games. The powerhouse was giving thirteen years to heryounger opponent, but the explanation may have more to do with the conditionsin Perth, where temperatures have been into the 40Cs in recent days. It was a worryingexperience for the multiple Grand Slam winner as she looks ahead to challengingfor the upcoming Australian Open, especially if the conditions cause her similarissues there.

Bouchard was ebullient afterwards, cheekily suggestingthat her older opponent had perhaps missed the espresso moment she had beengranted 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, asIsner lost to Vasek Pospisil 6-3 7-6 to make the mixed-singles’ matchirrelevant, as Canada had already clinched the best of three rubbers tie.Williams and Isner did restore some pride for the Americans, however by winningthe doubles’ match 6-3 7-5, but Canada were overall 2-1 winners.

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