Serena Williams made herself sick after experimenting with dog food, just a few hours before beating fellow American Christina McHale in straight sets and progressing through in the Italian Open.
Williams took the need for athletes to have special diets a little too seriously as she took to sampling her pet dog’s dinner.
In a video posted hours before the third round of the tournament, the world number one tried a tempting salmon and rice dish, offered on a ‘doggy menu’ at her hotel.
She told fans on Snapchat: “I ate a spoonful. Don’t judge me.”
However, Williams found it disgusting almost instantly after the bite.
“It did taste weird,” she said. “I force-swallowed it. It tasted kind of like house cleaner. I don’t know what they put in these dog foods, but Chip liked it.”
“I don’t think it’s consumable for humans. They should have wrote that!” noted Williams, who followed up the experiment with an urgent trip to the toilet a few hours later. “So now I feel really sick. It was just a spoonful but I don’t feel so good.”
But the incident did not once broke Williams’s stride in the tournament. However, she did appear to slow down a little against in the first set against McHale, before eventually blitzing through in the second, wrapping things up at 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.
Her performance earns her a place at the quarter-finals in Rome. She will play Svetlana Kuznetsova, who also progressed through by defeating fellow Russian Daria Gavrilova.