Jarkko Nieminen: Pelaamisen lumo [The fascination of the game]

20 August 2009 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Jarkko NieminenPelaamisen lumo [The fascination of the game]
Helsinki: Avain, 2009. 175 p., ill.
€ 38, hardback

Tennis is a curious game, as everyone who plays it knows – and even those who don’t, which is why it is such a popular sport. Although Jarkko Nieminen (born 1981), a professional player since 2000, has not yet won a Grand Slam event for Finland, in 2006 he was ranked no. 13. (Unfortunately, this spring Nieminen injured his wrist and missed the top matches of the season.) In this book (edited and published by his sister Anna-Riikka Carlson, who founded the publishing company Avain in 2003), Nieminen tells the story of his athletic career. ‘In Japan my visa said I was an “entertainer”,’ he recalls as he describes what it’s like to walk out on a court filled with thousands of spectators. Tennis is a gentleman’s game, a polite duel (or double), and Nieminen is certainly a gentleman par excellence. His personal story is designed to be strictly informative, as he chooses to keep his family life private, for example (his wife Anu, née Weckström, a Finnish multiple badminton champion, is referred to once). There is no doubt, though, that the reader will be convinced of Nieminen’s happy choice of an athletic profession.

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