Wednesday was the hottest day so far at the grasscourt tournament which started on Monday, with the thermometer hitting just over 34 degrees Celsius (93 Fahrenheit) at 11 a.m., then cooling down marginally in the afternoon, according to Britain's Met Office.

Australian Bernard Tomic, the 27th seed, needed treatment after toiling under the blazing sun during his second-round match.

"I was very dizzy out there. I didn't sleep well yesterday and the day before. I was fatigued and starting to get dizzy out there with the heat hitting me," he told reporters. Women's fourth seed Maria Sharapova, however, was unconcerned.

"It's much much warmer in my hometown in Longboat Key, Florida," the Russian told reporters. "Just being a little bit smarter out there is important."

Toni Nadal, uncle and coach of twice champion Rafa Nadal, said the heat was not a major issue for the players. "It's really hot but it's not a big problem," Toni Nadal said. "The key is playing tennis and not thinking about it."

But if the players are not falling over, some spectators are suffering and a ballboy had to be wheeled off Court 17 after collapsing during a match. The St. John Ambulance charity which handles emergency calls at Wimbledon said it had treated 96 people on Monday and 173 on Tuesday.

Most of those were for complaints of feeling faint or suffering from slight dehydration and headaches, the charity's press officer Bijal Patel said. "We are really busy on the ground and they just have to prioritise treating people," she said.

"There's been a lot of kind of awareness-raising of what people should be doing but I don't know if people are going to take that advice," she added. To judge from the large number of umbrellas used as shades and people slathering themselves with sunscreen and wearing hats, the message was getting through.

Luke Resch, 22, had managed to make three sailor-style sunhats out of a broadsheet newspaper. "We used our origami," he said. "And we got our hats for the price of a paper."

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