Tennis star Serena Williams took the sports world by surprise this week when she asked for a shot of espresso during a match of the Hopman Cup in Australia to help herself wake up.
“I was just feeling it, so I just had to get some coffee into me,” Williams said, according to ESPN’s SportsCenter. “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. I needed to wake up.”
Past research suggests that drinking caffeine before exercising can increase endurance, but it’s rather unusual for an athlete to ask for caffeine mid-match. The Mayo Clinic also says caffeine can protect against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver cancer.
Williams rallied and won the match against Italy’s Flavia Pennetta, with a final score of 0-6, 6-3 6-0, reports Time Magazine.
Whether the coffee played a role in the win remains to be seen.