Swarms of flying ants become the main stars on Wimbledon’s Court One on Wednesday as the mating insects irritated No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki, who said she came here to play tennis, not eat bugs.
Once a year, millions of flying ants across Britain leave their nests and search for mates from other colonies. And for the second year in a row, the so-called ‘Ant Day’ coincided with the Grand Slam championship, played at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London.
This process may be necessary for the reproduction of insects, but it turned out completely incompatible with tennis. And one of the tournament’s favorites, Wozniacki, learned it the hard way, as she was visibly irritated by the bugs during her second-round match against Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova.
At some point the Dane lost her patience and called on the umpire, saying: “They’re in my mouth and in my hair and everywhere – we need to do something. Is there a spray? I want to be here to focus on tennis, not eating bugs.”
Wozniacki eventually applied repellent, which appeared to help repel the ants, but wasn’t enough to save the match, as she shockingly went down to Makarova in three sets, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.
“It’s frustrating because I feel like I could have gone and done something really great here,” the No.2 seed said after the game. She stopped short of blaming the insects for the defeat, but said that their appearance “was definitely a first for me.”
Wozniacki’s struggle, of course, couldn’t have gone unnoticed by the internet, and there weren’t many who felt sorry for the Dane.
Looks like flying ants have descended on #Wimbledon – Wozniacki not happy, but what can the umpire do? Great slow-mo shot of her trying to bat away one which seems intent on exploring her ear.
— David Cann (@drwhofan194) July 4, 2018
— D J Stevenson (@djstrasse) July 4, 2018
Breaking news: Wozniacki just sued an ant family after her match in Wimbledon. Waiting for updates on this case. pic.twitter.com/HQPiseFegv
— LorenaPopa🕵️♀️ 🏆🥖👑 (@popalorena) July 4, 2018
I totally understand Wozniacki’s annoyance at the flying ants. I despise them too. Frickin’ horrible heatwave #Wimbledon
— Jamie Summers (@jamiesummersbks) July 4, 2018
England’s World Cup game against Tunisia in Volgograd on June 18 was also plagued by swarms of tiny bugs, which are common in riverside areas in Russia this time of year. The English players were even doused with anti-insect spray before kickoff and cruised to a narrow 2-1 win in the end.
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