By CHRIS LEHOURITES
AP Sports Writer
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Quick reactions are a hallmark of being a professional tennis player, and Jodie Burrage showed the Wimbledon crowd she could respond to adversity quickly.
The British player noticed a ballboy who was feeling faint on the sidelines during her match on Monday, then rushed over to make sure he was OK. She first gave him a sports drink, then some nutritional gel before a spectator handed over a bag of candy.
“Just tried to get him some sugar, gave him a Gatorade and a gel. The gel is not the nicest thing, so they managed to find some Percy Pigs somewhere along the line in the crowd, which he got down and then started to feel better,” Burrage said. “Hopefully he’s feeling better now.”
The match was stopped for about 10 minutes until the boy was helped off court.
Unfortunately for the 23-year-old Burrage, her heroics didn’t help her in the match. She lost to Lesia Tsurenko 6-2, 6-3 on the opening day of the tournament.
Burrage said she noticed the ballboy was in distress and wanted to help.
“I just reacted how I think anyone would. He was not in a good spot,” Burrage said. “I just tried to help him out as much as possible.”
More help came from the crowd in the form of the chewy candy.
“I definitely love a Percy Pig, that’s for sure,” Burrage said. “I was just like, ‘This kid needs sugar.’ He wasn’t liking the gel. I was like, ‘Yeah, definitely need something else.’ Someone just shouted on the side, ‘Got some sweets here if you want.’ They were Percy Pigs.”
Burrage made her debut at Wimbledon last year and also lost in the first round. But she’ll get another chance this year in women’s doubles. She and Eden Silva will play their first match later in the week.
“Really looking forward to that,” Burrage said. “Hopefully I can get over the line in that one.”
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