Wimbledon survives ‘attack of the flying ants’


Play at Wimbledon was disrupted on Wednesday by an invading army, but it wasn’t an army of over-zealous fans that drove the players to distraction – rather it was huge numbers of flying ants.

“Flying Ant Day” hit Wimbledon on Wednesday. It usually takes place in late July or August, but the ants decided to leave their colonies to mate earlier than usual this year thanks to the recent hot spell, causing irritation and distraction for many players.

American player Sam Querrey was one of those plagued by the flying masses.

“Never seen that before,” said Querrey, who beat Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili in four sets. “Luckily, it was 30 or 45 minutes. I don’t know what it was, but they seemed to kind of go away after a while. If it got much worse, I almost wanted to stop because they were hitting you in the face when you were trying to hit balls. All over the place.”

Twelfth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also fell victim to the winged menace.

“That was strange,” he said. “It was in my nose and in my ear.”

Britain’s Johanna Konta, who was out on court for more than three hours before finally overcoming Donna Vekic, said that she may have even swallowed some.

“It was interesting,” Konta said. “It kind of went in stages. At one point there was a lot, and then actually towards the end of the match, I don’t think there were that many. But I definitely have taken home a few both in my belly and in my bags.”

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