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The mystery of tennis linesmen

Hey you! Did you see was it in or out?
With no disrespect, but who the hell wants to be and how one ends up becoming a linesman in tennis! Is it a career, a punishment, a calling or something that just happened when you were waiting a bus next to a sports complex? Do they like the game or the lines? Seriously, I was troubled to understand who these people are but they surely are liable for a very bad posture.

Alright, this unfair outburst doesnt give a real picture of my tennis fanatism and knowledge (or lack of it). I am very much fond of the game.

I have often wondered do I have something in common with every other athlete. After all, I do eat like a sumo wrestler and stretch biceps as often as curling players. Still, most sports seem so dissimilar by activities, requirements and methods no matter how much I try to look at, try to learn and understand them. This week I had plenty of inspiring opportunities.

The NHL ice-hockey at Globen was a starter of my cross-sports scouting which was now followed by Stockholm Open in Kungliga Tennis Hall. While living at Wimbledon I saw Roger Federer to win his first grand slam title and he is special. So it was a disappointment when he last week withdrew from Stockholm tournament. My other favourite tennis player, Anna Kournikova, was obviously not playing either, but I went to watch the tournament anyway. It was great!

I have recently become a fan of quite a many athletes from different sports. Bit worrying really as I have not really had any idols in football. What has made me to admire these people is not any specific skill or their superiority in sports – although they obviously all are highly successful athletes – but who they are as persons and how they carry themselves. More than successful athletes I like good people. Finnish all time best tennis player, Jarkko Nieminen, is definitely both. After watching him play, talk with his fans (including me) and have conversations with punch of other people (including me) I can without a doubt state that he is a guy and athlete worth of his salt.

Being over five years a top 40 player in the world is something special from a Finnish tennis player. It needs a ridiculous amount of work and determination. Nieminen is a good player and a good professional. Like now after the game, when his fitness coach instructs him how to do a warm down after the game he adds some elements to it. If he had been a footballer he would first moaned does he need to do it and then probably dropped the boring bike off it. Nieminen is an athlete and a person for anyone to learn from. Maximum respect.

I recommend:

1. Stieg Larsson: Girl with a dragon tattoo

- I have bit over 100 pages left and I don’t even care if they can solve who murdered what 45 years ago because the writing and characters are priceless

2. Finnish Journalists Associations meeting in Stockholm

- I had not much expectations but left with inspiring ideas and feedback on important issues

3. Helsinki Cup –youth football tournament in Finland

- It is going to be huge, great and fun next year

I do not recommend:

1. Parking deprivation around tennis

- I know tennis is an upper class sport but how the hell it is justified to take 180SEK for any time frame parking in outer skirts of Stockholm, especially with the long labyrinth walking task from the arena

Aki Ivanisevic

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