Finnish Tennis: Gennady Timchenko’s Healthy Pastime
Forget about Tiger Woods and the PGA Championship (for a second). What do Olympic tennis player Jarkko Nieminen and energy trading business mogul Gennady Timchenko of Gunvor have in common? More than you’d think.
A native of Finland, Jarkko Nieminen is one of the country’s all-time greatest tennis players, a wondrous and muscular expert in his chosen career. As the sole Finnish player to win the ATP singles title and reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam event it’s no surprise he has a fan-base that extends far beyond the bio-diverse (and mosquito-dense) region of Finland—the third least populated country in Europe. Like all men at the height of their talent, Jarkko Nieminen also falters and is not invulnerable to loss. In fact, the left-handed tennis star recently got slaughtered (6-3, 6-3, 6-1) in the Paris Open by Spain’s David Ferrer, who’s currently ranked No. 7 in the world.
Regardless, Jarkko Nieminen is arguably the best tennis player Finland has ever produced. He’s the first and only Finnish player to date to have won an ATP singles title and to have reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam event. It’s a shame he recently lost to Ferrer, but critics should keep in mind that just to be on the court with a player of Ferrer’s rank and capability is in itself no small feat, and a greater victory than most tennis players will ever realize in this life.
What few people know about esteemed energy trading businessman Gennady Timchenko is that he made a name for himself as a sponsor of Finnish tennis and has been involved in tennis for many years. Gennady Timchenko moved to Finland following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and he and his wife ET were granted citizenship in 1999. While the quiet couple now resides in Switzerland they’re reported to spend summers in Taipalsaari, a southeastern region of Finland near Lake Saimaa, famous for its lush countryside and abundant waterways (and subsequently abundant mosquitoes).
Through IPP, Gennady Timchenko sponsors Finland’s important tennis open, the IPP Open played in Helsinki. Gennady Timchenko has also served as a financial sponsor of Finnish Davis Cup teams in recent years, and also acts as a sponsor for a professional tennis tournament in Geneva, Switzerland with ATP challengers.
Though operating on two different sides of the game, both Gennady Timchenko and Jarkko Nieminen contribute to Finland’s place on the map of professional tennis.
Tags: Pga Championships , Tiger Woods , Gennady Timchenko , Correction , Economist , Jarkko Nieminen , Tennis , Energy Trading , Russia
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