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Wozniacki: No one to blame for Wimbledon exit but myself

By Eleanor Crooks

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 insect repellent. There were a lot of them at one point. All of a sudden it died down.

"I don't think it had any impact (on the defeat). But it was definitely a first for me here."

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."

A host of top names have fallen by the Wimbledon wayside but Serena and Venus Williams, with 12 titles behind them, moved ominously into round three.

Just as second seed Wozniacki was tumbling out, Serena was seeing off Viktoriya Tomova.

Serena (36), who is making her second Grand Slam appearance since giving birth to her daughter in September, was just too powerful for her Bulgarian opponent.

The seven-time champion raced away with the first set and although Tomova, ranked 135 in the world, hung around slightly longer in the second, Serena completed a comprehensive 6-1 6-4 win.

Serena, granted a seeding of 25 this year after maternity leave saw her slip down the rankings, commented afterwards: "It was better than my first round so I'm happy I'm going in the right direction.

"I didn't move a lot but I've been moving a lot better than I was in Paris (at the French Open). How close to my best am I? I'm getting there, I don't think I'm there yet but I expect to get there, not only at Wimbledon but other tournaments in the future."

Should they continue in the same vein, the American sisters could meet each other in the semi-finals.

Venus was once again a little slower out of the blocks, but soon recovered to join Serena in the third round.

The 38-year-old, who dropped the opening set in the first round against Johanna Larsson, was broken in the first game of her second-round match by Romanian qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru.

Venus was playing her usual aggressive game but found her powerful groundstrokes being sent back with interest by the World No.141.

Dulgheru took the opening set but Venus gathered herself before the restart. She promptly reeled off 12 of the next 13 games to wrap up a 4-6 6-0 6-1 victory.

Venus, who plays Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens in the next round, said: "I'm happy. I won, and as long as I walk away at the end with a win, that's the goal. I love winning here. I love winning everywhere.

"I don't know what exactly to expect (against Bertens) other than to continue to try to improve my game. I've done that in both my matches, just continued to play better and better throughout the match.

"I feel confident that I can do that. What happens on her side of the net will be out of my control.

"I mean, it's the third round now. I'm sure she has some momentum and will probably be playing well."

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