Friday 18 October 2019

Nicola Sturgeon whacked on head by tennis ball in swingball game

The Scottish First Minister’s opponent, former MP Anne McLaughlin, said she was ‘playing to win’.

By Edd Dracott, PA

A convivial game of swingball became something of a headache for Nicola Sturgeon in Glasgow when she was whacked on the head with a tennis ball.

The Scottish First Minister picked up a racquet while on a visit to the Dennistoun district of the city, but faced perhaps stiffer competition than she expected in the form of Anne McLaughlin.

Serving to start the game, the former SNP MP struck the tennis ball hard and fast, swinging it straight into the back of the leader of her party’s head – causing hands to be clapped to faces in shock and amusement by the crowd gathered to watch.

Sharing a video of the moment, Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “Great time in Dennistoun today – until the moment @AnneMcLaughlin whacked me on the head with a tennis ball!

Ms McLaughlin responded to the video on Twitter, jokingly replying: “I play to win these days. And I did.”

The footage also drew reaction from Judy Murray, mother to Wimbledon winners Andy and Jamie, who Ms Sturgeon appealed to for some tennis tuition.

“So @JudyMurray it might be time for me to get some lessons,” tweeted Ms Sturgeon.

The tennis coach replied: “I would say so. Ready when you are.”

PA Media

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