Wimbledon players called out for plundering free food

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Wimbledon - PA
Wimbledon - PA

Wimbledon stars have been told to stop plundering the tournament for free food after maxing out on their allowances.

Organisers have emailed players asking them to show restraint and make sure they leave some food for others.

Competitors are given a personal daily allowance of £90 to spend on food and drink in various dedicated restaurants, and one coach per player is allocated about half that much.

The system - integrated with accreditation tags - is intended to make sure that those preparing for big matches do not need to worry about bringing their own nutrition to the south west London grounds.

However, it has emerged that numerous competitors have been treating the allowance as more of a target than a cap, with restaurants at times running low on certain products as a result.

One coach walked away with 27 probiotic yoghurts in order to use up his £90.

The situation has prompted the All England club to contact all players - including legendary stars such as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic - asking them to show consideration for their colleagues.

The email appeals to players to be more “judicious” in their use of the allowance.

It is understood the warning was put out not in the interests of cost-saving, but so that the players’ outlets do not run out of stock.

The Australian Open has experimented with offering players unlimited food, but the policy was abandoned after it was feared to have been exploited.

Competitors and coaches at Wimbledon can pay for food simply by scanning their accreditation pass.

There are in total six different outlets players can use, including two sandwich bars, two restaurants and two coffee shops.

Competitors at Wimbledon typically gravitate towards the Players’ Lounge, situated next to Centre Court, which comprises a range of sub outlets, such as a sushi bar.

Of the top players, Djokovic is arguably the most famously careful with his diet, which is made up mainly of vegetables, beans, white meat, fish, fruit and nuts.

Preferring to eat gluten-free foods, the Serb required special deliveries to the hotel in which he was detained during the Covid vaccination controversy at this year’s Australian Open.

He reportedly ordered a personal chef during the debacle.

Nadal might also struggle were he to rely solely on the Wimbledon restaurants.

Seafood is known to make up a majority of the Spaniard’s diet, with steamed fish and shrimp dumplings among his favourite dishes.

Both are a good source of protein for the famously gym-dedicated player.

Organisers are not currently planning to change the cap.

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