Instructions for hitting Kim’s Signature Shot:
Do all of this in one fluid motion
- Sprint all-out wide to the forehand side for a ball you cannot quite reach.
- 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.
- Extend your racquet arm out wide as far as possible.
- 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.
- Splay both legs out into the classic splits. (It helps if your mother’s a champion gymnast like Kim’s.)
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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!