The moment has been long overdue – two whole years have passed since the last time the spectators walked through the gates of Wimbledon. As the coronavirus pandemic continued to rage last year, it was a welcome relief that the 2023 Grand Slam could finally take place with fans in the seats. When the crowd rose on Monday to applaud vaccine developers and NHS staff who had the opportunity to watch from the best seats in the house, it felt magical.
There was great excitement in the air for Wimbledon after the pandemic. The People who were instrumental in the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic were invited on Tuesday to watch Wimbledon from the Royal Box. Dame Sarah Gilbert, the scientist who helped develop Oxford Covid vaccine, was honored on Opening Night Wimbledon 2023 in a touching and thoughtful gesture. Jack Draper was deafened as he won the first set before losing on Centre Court to Djokovic. Those in the Royal Box who made a remarkable contribution to the fight against Covid-19 were greeted with a standing ovation.
Recognition of healthcare and social workers
Last month, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club announced it would give 100 Centre No.1 court tickets a day to teachers, theatre staff and inspirational individuals in recognition of their services during the coronavirus pandemic. Not only that, but All England Clubs are giving away 100 tickets a day to Centre Court and Court One to show they are grateful. Tickets are for people who work for the NHS, Transport for London and more.
Cancellation of Wimbledon a historic event
The tennis world was shocked when on April 1st, 2023 the All England Club announced that the oldest Grand Slam tennis tournament would be cancelled because of coronavirus pandemic – the first time since World War II that the tournament had been cancelled for this reason. But for the first time since the tournament was called off, things are going up again. Wimbledon ended a two-year absence on Monday with a 50% turnout to the start, with a packed center-court of 15,000 for the singles final on 10 and 11 July, the latest sign that things are back to normal.
As one of the highlights of the sporting calendar, the government has approved a pilot event with a capacity increase of at least 50% to 15,000 spectators for the Men’s and Women’s Singles final on Centre Court. The tournament, which is part of the state’s Event Research program, will be held 50% on the grounds of the building, with a full capacity of 15,000 spectators on Centre Court last weekend. Organizers were expecting around 15,000 spectators on Centre Court for the two men’s and women’s finals over the next two weeks.
Commentator Castle, who has been with the BBC since 2003, says the decision demonstrates the government’s trust, even though some feel sports should not be a priority with restrictions in place.
“It is Unbelievable to be back,” said Andrew Castle with his interview with sports betting site Betway. Castle feels he is very privileged about watching the prestigious event from best seat in the house. Having all these tennis matches going on, He thought to himself, “It’s not fair I have to play golf when there are so many tennis matches.” It was fortunate for him that he was able to get on board with that by calling up a friend who actually covered Wimbledon.
Due to the relaxation of COVID-19 attendance restrictions by the All England Club, the two large tennis courts at Wimbledon were allowed to host the quarter-finals at the end of the tournament. Before the start of the tournament, the club announced that it would allow a full audience for the two singles finals. Seat capacity on Centre Court is expected to increase to 100 per cent for the semi-finals and final.
Covid-19 protocols were followed throughout the games
Fans coming to Wimbledon in 2023 have ensured they follow strict guidelines before being allowed into the stadium in the circumstances of the COVID 19 pandemic. Spectators must prove they have received at least two vaccinations and have tested negative for COVID, must wear a mask, not sit together and observe social isolation and a one-way street system on site and the All England Lawn Tennis Club has announced it will update the rules accordingly.
The All England Club said Sunday was the first full outdoor sporting event held in Britain since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the last year. The return of a 100 per cent audience marked the “first full outdoor sporting event” in the UK since the start of the COVID 19 pandemic. Wimbledon was cancelled because of the pandemic in last year, and the tournament this year has been held under strict Covid 19 protocols, with players biologically protected in bubbles.
The significant grass pitch in South-West London went untouched last year after one of the highlights of the sporting calendar for the first time in three quarters of a century “was cancelled” as a victim of the COVID 19 pandemic. The All England Lawn Tennis Championship (AELTC) announced on Sunday that 100 per cent of spectators would be allowed into the matches at Wimbledon 2023, with the quarter-final stage of the grass grand-slam on Centre Court and Court 1. Not much has changed since the tournament at Wimbledon has been at the center of the tennis calendar since 1877. The event, however, has instilled hope for many during these difficult times.
In the wake of many sporting events happening over the weekend, the world has been treated to a welcome respite from the severe depressive state of the pandemic. Wimbledon’s return and the Olympics in Tokyo are significant events in these unprecedented times. The sports community is overjoyed, and it seems like this will be the new normal for quite some time.