Kim Clijsters’ Slice Forehand

Instructions for hitting Kim’s Signature Shot:

Do all of this in one fluid motion

  1. Sprint all-out wide to the forehand side for a ball you cannot quite reach.
  2. Plant your right leg on the inner side of your shoe, then subtly allow the leg to give way so it can slide up to a foot on concrete. 
  3. Extend your racquet arm out wide as far as possible.
  4. With your racquet arm held firm, chop or slice downward through the ball as if cutting a carrot or beet. Slice hard enough to produce underspin between 1000 to 2500 rpm. Add sidespin too if you are so inclined.
  5. Splay both legs out into the classic splits. (It helps if your mother’s a champion gymnast like Kim’s.)
  6. As a stabilizing balance for your splayed-out legs, set your non-racquet arm down between them as it metamorphoses into the third leg of a temporary tripod, touching down as lightly as a spacecraft might land on the moon.
  7. It also helps if you are good-natured, carefree. (Take some time off, have a child, like Kim Clijsters did before she came back to win her third US Open. Let your smile be a mirror for her smile. Help her develop her signature.) 
  8. If you hear ooohs and aaahs from the crowd, ignore them. The key as always in tennis is to recover quickly, prepare for the next shot.

Artist Bio: (from website at Chicane Pictures) Mark Winter is an award-winning New Zealand cartoonist, designer and film maker and his pen name, Chicane, signifies a deceptive bend. The extent to which the man himself is deceptively bendy is a matter for some head-shaking debate. Since his first ventures into cartooning, for the Otago University magazine Critic in 1976, he has refined his once-detailed style to something cleaner, sharper, and more confident, often juxtaposing visual and verbal ideas. Mark (or is it Chicane) is a former New Zealand Cartoonist of the Year, having won the QANTAS Media Award for the second time in 2008.

I would only add that Mark Winter’s wide-ranging autograph collection of tennis players–all with his own original sketches–is worth a couple of hours of anyone’s time. It also includes commentary on each player as well as a story about when and where he got each autograph. Definitely worth checking out!

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