WAITING FOR MONICA
ACT 1, SCENE 1
Curtain opens to reveal a floor covered by a sheet of infernal red clay. This is Tennis Limbo, where everyone—agents, administrators, players, fans—waits for a character who may or may not appear. People act and speak in strange ways. The sky spits rain. On the clay a parade of rich young men and women—Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Mary Pierce, Gabriela Sabatini, a Van Gogh look-alike called Becker—flail around waving tennis rackets, then exit stage left.
Austrian he-man Thomas Muster stomps about, wild-eyed and favoring one leg. Everyone fears him. "You feel like a small moth against a big elephant," says Yevgeny Kafelnikov.
"He might be out there trying to eat my boat and eat me as well," says Michael Chang.
Muster crushes Kafelnikov like a moth. Then he eats Chang's boat.
Steffi Graf steps onto a podium on Court Central and speaks into a microphone. She has just won her 16th Grand Slam singles title, ending a long drought with a stirring triumph over body and mind. She is handed a trophy. She has tears in her eyes.
The crowd waits eagerly for her first words. Graf, grasping a microphone, apologizes because she can't speak French. She says, haltingly in this foreign tongue, "The only thing I can say is..."
Anticipation rises in 16,626 Gallic hearts.
"...mon chapeau estbien."
(Stage goes dark.)