Is "SwingPopupMenu" the actual mapped item for what you're working with? Is it marked with "Extended Find"? What it sounds like is that there is an object recognition process going on where it's taking some time to actually get the popup to come up. I'd start looking at the object mapping of the menu and making sure it's optimized.
Why automate? I do automated testing because there's only so much a human being can do and remain healthy. Sleep is a requirement. So, while people sleep, automation that I create does what I've described above in order to make sure that nothing gets past the final defense of the testing group. I love good food, good books, good friends, and good fun.