The first days of the Wimbledon 2021 kicked off in style as a few of the big names, including Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Garbine Muguruza, all played their first matches at the Grand Slam. However, it was someone else who got the loudest cheer at London SW19 5AE.
Professor Sarah Gilbert, who developed the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccination for Covid, and the workers of the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom received a standing ovation on the first day of the Grand Slam.
Individuals and representatives of organisations that have significantly contributed to the nation’s reaction to the pandemic and made the tournament possible, according to the announcer, have been invited to the exclusive Royal Box at the Centre Court for the next fortnight.
“Today they include leaders who have developed the anti-Covid vaccine, NHS," the announcer said as the audience started applauding. The claps kept getting louder as people gradually got on their feet. Seated in the Royal Box, Professor Gilbert is seen smiling in the video tweeted by Wimbledon’s official handle.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 28, 2021
The narrator went on to list NHS clinical trial leaders, as well as individuals involved in critical care, nursing staff, and community workers.
Captain Sir Tom Moore, who won hearts with a Covid fundraising drive before succumbing to the virus in February, was also honoured on the occasion.
“He was a national inspiration, raising 33 million pounds for the NHS when he challenged himself to walk 100 laps of his garden as he approached his 100th birthday. He sadly passed away in February this year but we are delighted to have with us today one of the daughters of Captain Sir Tom Moore," the announcer said, as the audience broke into another round of applause.