AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Madison Brengle had managed to win one game in her first encounter with 22-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams before taking her on last night at the ASB Classic and, in her own words, "surprising her with how bad she is."
The American found herself locked in a tense match with the World No.2 when she called down Nicole Melichar, a fellow player whom she designated as her on-court coach. The two began by talking the ins and outs of the match but ultimately dissolved into giggles as they discussed the absurdity of the situation.
"The thing is, she's at a disadvantage because she has to hold serve," Melichar says.
"Well, she's doing a good job!" Brengle answers.
Later, the pair attempted to uncover the best return strategy, only for Brengle to realize a little reverse psychology might be in order.
"Do you feel like if I played even uglier on the return, it would be a good idea? Because, when I'm actually hitting it right, she's like, 'Oh, God, this is nice,' and then she hits a winner.
"So maybe it needs to be even worse, because I think she's surprised how bad I am. She hasn't seen this level."
Whatever her level, Brengle did what she had to do to clinch a career-best win over Serena, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-4, and advance into the quarterfinals.