London: Plagued by an invasion of flying ants at Wimbledon, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga admitted the insect attack had got up his nose.
Tsonga was bothered by the annoying bugs throughout his 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 victory over Simone Bolelli in the second round on Wednesday.
Several other players were also seen swatting away the ants, but French 12th seed Tsonga had an especially intimate encounter when one flew up his nose and another into his ear.
"That was strange. I had a few experiences in the United States sometimes. With the light at night sometimes you have big bugs. Or in Australia also you have these kind of things," he said.
"But this was a little bit different, because these ones was very small but a lot. So it was special sometimes, it was in my nose and in my ear."
Tsonga's third round opponent is Sam Querrey, who admitted he was close to asking for play to be halted by the ant infestation in his 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 win against Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Querrey, the American 24th seed, spoke to the umpire when he felt the insects were distracting his game, but was told to play on.
"Never seen that before. It was going on for 30 or 45 minutes," he said.
"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.
"I brought it up to the umpire. He kind of laughed. The flowers, the bugs, they're happy. Something like that.
"He kind of shrugged it off. Like, 'these are just bugs, we're going to play through it'."
Querrey, who shocked Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon last year, admitted he was extra frustrated because he lost the set when the ants were at their worst.
"I lost a set when the ants came. If I had won that set, probably wouldn't have bugged me as much." he said.
"If it had gotten worse, maybe they would have done something. If it was bees or something, I'm sure they would have stopped."
Asked if he thought about carrying an insect repelling spray in his racquet bag, Querrey gave a dead-pan response.
"No. First time it's ever happened," he said.
Japan's Kei Nishikori also had a close encounter with the bugs on Court One during his 6-4, 6-7 (7/9), 6-1, 7-6 (8/6) win over Ukrainian qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky.
"There were so many, they were hitting my face all the time. It wasn't easy but I kept my focus," said the World No 9.
Published Date: Jul 05, 2017 22:14 PM | Updated Date: Jul 05, 2017 22:14 PM