Ons Jabeur was so gripped by nerves in her Wimbledon third-round clash with Garbine Muguruza that she was sick in the corner of Centre Court.
The Tunisian, who became the first Arab woman to win a WTA title when she triumphed in Birmingham last month, has lost a gruelling first set but rallied to bring up match point more than an hour later.
The 26-year-old looked to be going to use her towel to mop away the sweat but then bent over and vomited in the corner of the court.“It bothers me probably with the stress, fatigue, everything,” Jabeur said.
“Sometimes when I drink water, the water doesn’t go through any more.
“That’s why I get sick. Honestly, I don’t want to interrupt the players, so I try to get rid of it and just continue playing.”
Muguruza seemed unperturbed and insisted afterwards that she was not distracted.
“I was facing match point, so the fact that she was feeling like that… I was concentrated in other things, how to play the point and how to keep myself in the match,” Muguruza said.
“I have had many things during matches. I also throw up, I have been with cramps and you go through everything. It was a tough match, long, and the heat was there, and she felt it, I guess.”Jabeur lost the subsequent point but then sealed the match two points later, falling onto her back on the baseline in celebration of her best ever win at Wimbledon.
“This is the best day of my career,” Jabeur said on court after reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon for the first time.
“I was a bit nervous today. She plays unbelievable on grass, it was difficult in the first set but after that I stayed more calm.
“When I play loose and good everything gets better.”
Jabeur will rise to at least No 22 in the world when the rankings refresh after Wimbledon, adding her run at SW19 to reaching the fourth round at the French Open earlier this year.