Centre Court Murder*


“What can he get out of it?” Tim Henman says.  “Probably eight games and Federer’s shirt as a souvenir.”

Marcus Willis, the twenty five year old from Slough, is about to play Roger Federer in the second round at Wimbledon.  Marcus is number 772 in the world and bounds onto the court, grinning – determined to enjoy his moment on Centre Court.  He’s sporting a Roger-style-headband and isn’t this what Wimbledon is all about.

“He’s undefeated at Wimbledon,” Tim points out – this is Marcus’s second match here.  Ever.  John McEnroe, Sue Barker and Tim are enjoying the spectacle.

Cheers from the crowd as Marcus takes Roger to 30 all in his first service game.  Roger makes it out of that game and now it’s Marcus to serve and he takes the seven-time champion up to deuce and saves a couple of break points but Roger prevails.  

And suddenly Marcus has a break point on the champion’s serve, which Roger saves but they’re having fun out here – laughing and joking with each other.  It’s great to see.  3 – 0 to Roger though: Marcus hadn’t yet made it onto the scoreboard.

5 – 0 to Roger.  Let’s just admire the fluidity and grace of his movements, the elegance with which he sweeps the ball down the line.  He seems to have all the time in the world to set up each beautiful shot.  He takes the first set 6 – 0.

“Marcus storms to his first game.”  1 – 1 in the second set.  

This time last year I was so happy: watching Roger with Seb and my brother.  And now Seb has gone and I miss him so much and my brother is in Abroad but Roger’s still here: a year older but still producing magic.  It’s a privilege to watch him.  Even the panther seems spellbound: he lies next to me in the nest, staring at the television,his amber eyes fixed on the screen.

Arg I miss my Seb, I think, and tears run down my cheeks.  

The attached photo is today’s gym outfit.

Happy Wednesday everyone!
*1951.  By Bernard Newman.  Detective novel.

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