Flying Ants Invade Wimbledon Tennis Courts

Flying Ants Invade Wimbledon Tennis Courts

On Wednesday, huge numbers of flying ants invaded the tennis courts at the All England Club, where the second Grand Slam tournament of the year, the Wimbledon, is currently taking place. The annoying insects not only irritated the players and the fans, but even stopped some matches. Actually, this phenomenon is common and well-known by the people of the area. Around this time of the year, ants leave their colonies to mate. This period of time is known as the “Flying Ant Day”.

Flying ants disrupted play at Wimbledon

Usually, ants start flying out of their colonies around the end of July and beginning of August. However, the recent hot temperatures made the ants start this process earlier than expected. American player Sam Querrey was one of the most affected by the annoying ants. During his press conference, he said that he has never seen anything like that before. For 30 to 45 minutes it was almost unbearable because the ants were hitting the players’ faces when they were trying to hit the ball. Querrey admitted that if it went any longer, he would have asked for the play to be stopped. The American won his match against Georgian Nikoloz Bashilashvili in four sets.

The Royal Society of Biology is saying that around this time of the year, one single nest can have as much as 15,000 ants in it. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the French player also said that something similar happened to him at the Us Open but this time was worse. He said that the ants were getting in his ears and nose while he was trying to play.

Johanna Konta from Great Britain, who played a very long match that lasted about three hours joked that she might have even swallowed some of the ants. Another British player, Aljaz Bedene was also very bothered by the flying insects.

Image source: wikimedia

 

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