Wimbledon (video): Wozniacki hit with flying ants as seeds fall

Caroline Wozniacki during her match against Ekaterina Makarova.
Caroline Wozniacki during her match against Ekaterina Makarova.
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Second seed Caroline Wozniacki was angered by flying ants as she crashed out of Wimbledon.

For the second year running the All England Club was hit by an invasion of the insects, with Wozniacki’s match against Ekaterina Makarova on Court One bearing the brunt.

At one stage Wozniacki asked for some repellent spray and was heard telling the umpire, “You want to focus on playing tennis and not eating bugs”, as the ants buzzed around her.

The clearly flustered Dane, who won the Australian Open at the start of the year, eventually lost 6-4 1-6 7-5 to Russian world No 35 Makarova in their second-round match.

She said: “I just asked if they had some repellent, insect repellent. There were a lot of them at one point. All of a sudden it kind of died down.

“I don’t think it had any impact. But it was definitely a first for me here.”

I just asked if they had some repellent, insect repellent. There were a lot of them at one point. All of a sudden it kind of died down.

Caroline Wozniacki

Last year, during the phenomenon known as ‘flying ant day’, Britain’s Johanna Konta claimed she had swallowed some of the bugs during her match against Donna Vekic.

A Wimbledon spokesperson said: “As we experienced at the championships last year, the natural seasonal appearance occurs once a year when ants embark on what is often referred to as a ‘nuptial flight’, which should otherwise be thought of as a mating ritual.

“It happens roughly on the same day across the country, with some regions following a day or two afterwards.

“According to the management at the Zoological Society of London typically they appear at the end of the month, however they have appeared earlier this year.”

Wozniacki’s exit means half of the top 10 seeds have already been dumped out in the opening two rounds. She follows Sloane Stephens, Elina Svitolina, Caroline Garcia and Petra Kvitova on her way home.

Makarova said: “Caroline is always a very tough opponent and we have played so many times.

“It’s only the second time I have beaten her. It is tough to face her but I am so happy.”

Serena Williams believes her performance level is heading in the right direction after moving through to the third round.

The seven-time champion made her first playing return to Centre Court since 2016 and eased past Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova 6-1 6-4.

Williams is still working her way back up to full speed following the birth of her daughter last year, but is already looking a threat at the tournament.

“There’s so many things that I want to improve on, but that’s kind of how I always feel,” she said.

“I feel like I’m going in the right direction. This match was better than my first round.

“I just hope every match is better.”

Karolina Pliskova won the battle between former world No 1s against Victoria Azarenka on Centre Court.

Venus Williams overcame a scare to book her place in the third round, as she came from a set down to beat Alexandra Dulgheru 4-6 6-0 6-1.

Madison Keys celebrated Independence Day by beating Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum as she recorded a 6-4 6-3 victory.