Where Are They Now?
Talking With Jesse Levine
by Harry Cicma
, 18 April 2011
Special from NBC Sports
|Share: || || |
If you've followed American junior and college tennis over the past few years, you probably recognize the name Jesse Levine.
standout Jesse Levine
courtesy, Florida Athletics
After a stellar junior career, Levine played college tennis at Florida
. In his lone season playing No. 1 for the Gators, Levine was named National Rookie of the Year
by the ITA
while leading the Florida team to the round of 16 and fighting through to the quarterfinals in both singles and doubles.
Since leaving Florida, Levine has been playing on the ATP tour. Harry Cicma of NBC Sports recently sat down to talk with Levine after he reached the second round of the Sony Ericsson.
Questions and Answers
Harry Cicma (HC): How is life on the ATP Tour going?
Jesse Levine (JL): Life on the tour is going really well. A lot of traveling - and a lot of tennis. But that's what I signed up for.
HC: What has been your most memorable experience on the Tour?
JL: That would have to be making the third round of Wimbledon and beating Safin. I grew up watching him on TV, and then suddenly I saw him on the other side of the net. That was a surreal experience.
HC: How did your experience at Florida help prepare you for the top level of tennis?
JL: My experience at Florida was amazing. Coach Jackson and Coach Bayon are two of the best coaches out there. Playing there helped me really prepare for the big leagues.
Florida was an amazing atmosphere. It not only helped me mature as a tennis player on the court - but off the court as well. And it was a great time to be a Gator... I was there when Florida won national championships in football and basketball during the same year!
HC: Many players chose not to go to college. What lead to your decision to attend Florida?
JL: Deciding to go to Florida was pretty simple. I saw that Coach Jackson and Coach Bayon had a program to help develop players to continue onto the pros. They supported me in playing pro tournaments while I was in school.
HC: The SEC is one of the most competitive conferences in NCAA tennis. How did the competition differ from ATP level players?
JL: Every match in the SEC is tough. Everyone can play. The biggest difference between college tennis and the pros is the mental aspect of the game. The pros are obviously a lot tougher upstairs than college players. There are more demands physically as well.
HC: You and John Isner have been great friends on the tour. Tell me about that friendship.
JL: John and I are really good friends. And we have that Georgia - Florida rivalry... or should I say Florida - Georgia. (Laughs) He is a great guy on and off the court, and we always joke around when Florida plays Georgia in any sport.
HC: If you had to give advice to a young American player looking to make it in college tennis, what advice would you give?
JL: I would say go to college and at least experience it. It really is the opportunity of a lifetime. Don't look at it as if you can't go pro. I mean, look at a lot of the pros now - lots of them have gone to college, and they are proving that it is can be a great stepping stone.
About Haviland Tennis Academy
We are honored to have
Haviland Tennis Academy
as the presenting sponsor of our
Where Are They Now?
article series at TennisRecruiting.net.
Haviland Tennis Academy
is a new junior academy located in Greenville, S.C. We have a beautiful
new tennis center that boasts 4 clay courts, 3 fast hard courts, and 3
slow hard courts. Additionally, all courts have lights for night play.
Our facility is dedicated to our junior program, unlike academies that
are run out of membership clubs or parks, so there are never members
occupying courts or getting in the way of our training sessions. We
pride ourselves on having one of the most elite coaching staffs in the
world, as our coaching staff is comprised of former Top 10 world
ranked juniors, Junior Orange Bowl Champions, Junior Grand Slam Champions,
College All-Americans, and formerly-ranked - as well as
currently-ranked - ATP pros.
We offer all this while remaining one of the most affordable
academies in the United States. Students at Haviland Tennis Academy
can attend academy training sessions for 3 hours a day 6 days a week,
have weekly private lessons, and get tournament coaching several times
a month for a fraction of what it costs to attend just the academy
training sessions at the majority of academies around the country.
With top-notch coaching, a collection of world class players to train
with and spar against, and extremely affordable prices, Haviland
Tennis Academy offers everything an aspiring player needs to take his
or her game to the highest levels.
Connect with Haviland Tennis Academy on
- or on their
Leave a Comment
More "Where Are They Now?" Features
Q&A With Former Vanderbilt All-American Chris Groer
In 1996, Chris Groer became the first All-America tennis player in the
history of Vanderbilt University. He was also Vandy's first Academic
All-American in tennis. Tennis remained a constant in his life -
playing on the ATP Tour for a few years and now playing recreationally
at a high level. We caught up with Groer to talk about his college
tennis memories and his thoughts on the college game and its players
Conversation with Trinity Star Scott Levy
Scott Levy played tennis for Trinity College in Connecticut back in
the early 2000s, where he was a big contributor for the Bantams.
During his senior season in 2004, Levy posted a 14-2 record in singles
and - with partner Jimmy Ames - a 10-3 mark in doubles. Levy graduated
with career marks of 49-27 in singles and 22-9 in doubles with Ames.
Harry Cicma of NBC Sports chatted with Levy about his experiences with
junior and college tennis...
Q&A with Utah State's Clancy Shields
At age 28, Clancy Shields is a rising star among men's tennis head
coaches. His Utah State team, which went 9-16 in Shields' first season
last year, finished 2015 with an 18-9 record and a second-place finish
in the Mountain West Conference. It was only ten years ago that
Clancy Shields was literally one of the original blue chips - ranked
No. 3 nationally among high school seniors in TennisRecruiting.net's
first-ever rankings. We caught up with Shields toward the end of the
About Harry Cicma
When it comes to college tennis, Harry Cicma is your man. Cicma
covers tennis and other athletic stories for
writing articles and producing video segments.
He is co-founder and host of World Tennis
a weekly tennis show on NESN, and host of of Tennis Live Radio's
Cicma competed as a junior in USTA/New England and went on to play
college tennis at Rutgers University. As a professional, Cicma
competed at the ATP Newport tournament and the San Jose Siebel Open.
He reached a career-high #75 in the ATP doubles team rankings and
#1262 in the ATP Entry System.
In media, Cicma has run the gamut. He has worked for NBC, CBS, ABC,
ESPN, FOX Sports Net, the Tennis Channel, and World Team Tennis.
Cicma has announced NCAA sports as well as the US Open Tennis
Championships on both TV and radio.