Roy got up at seven and weighed himself nude: 13 stone four. He took a shower, put on a white wash, ate an orange for breakfast, moisturised, clipped his nostril hairs, drove to Croydon, parked, bought a Telegraph but made himself ignore the sport. He’d been alone for 18 days. It was time to get a grip.
The weather was a little better, so Roy took a detour to Reeves Corner where the original House of Reeves furniture store had stood since 1867 until it was razed during the riots. The shop was not be rebuilt, but it refreshed Roy to see that the smaller, companion store across the road was fully refurbished and going from strength to strength.
He went to his office, put the shredder to work with zeal and after two hours of solid labour decided to go home to watch the start of Wimbledon.
Djokovic, the defending men’s champion, was first on the centre court. Roy found the Serb’s machine-lean physique disturbing, his black hair so thick and firm it might have been fixed there at a robot factory. He watched Djokovic dismantle the Spaniard Ferrero, a former grand slam winner, in three sets. It was depressing. The champion looked unbeatable.
The top seed lady Sharapova was on next: stern, blonde, trim, earrings, groomed, a beauty, an ice queen, producer of the loudest, weirdest effort noise in the game. Roy found her confusing: so poised, so composed, yet seemingly unable to hit a tennis ball without emitting a whooping shriek like the call of some absurd tropical bird.
Sharapova demolished her opponent in two swift sets and gave a post-match interview in a part-smiley, half-shrugging, hot-cheeked, see-saw tone that seemed both guileless and schooled at the same time.
An email arrived from Kristie in Singapore: “Are you watching the tennis?”
Roy replied: “Wish I was. Everything OK?”
Kristie: “All fine. How’s the sorting out?”
Roy: “Making progress.”
He went up to the landing, climbed up to the loft, brought down a box of stuff and earmarked going through it as his first task for the following day.
All previous instalments of Roy’s Summer of Sport are HERE.
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