Prince Hot 100 List - February '13
by Amelia Thomas, 18 February 2013
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Although winter vacation may have been a break for tennis for some, junior players dove straight back into their busy tennis schedules in January. We check in with a few of these high-performing players - with the Prince Hot 100.
The Prince Hot 100 lists are published each month, and the February Hot 100 lists feature the one hundred boys and girls who most improved their ranking during the month of January. You can find out more about the Prince Hot 100 - and how the lists are calculated - by reading here.
The latest lists, published earlier this week, are now available:
We checked in with a few of these top performers...
Jesse Levitin (Manhasset, N.Y.)
Unlike many top young players, three-star sophomore Jesse Levitin was never forced into playing tennis by his parents. In fact, his parents left the decision to play up to their son.
"Jesse loves the game in a way that most other kids his age do not. We never pushed him to play tournaments or to work hard. It always came from within him," said his parents, Joel and Michelle Levitin. "He has always played tennis because it is his passion, and it is what he loves to do - not because we told him to do so. This has resulted in Jesse having a fondness for the game that is purely his own."
Jesse Levitin's passion for tennis certainly shows through on the court. He describes his style of play as a "grinder." "My opponent always has to work for every point," Levitin said. "I don't mind hanging back behind the baseline and forcing my opponent to miss, but I will not hesitate to move in and take control of the point."
Levitin demonstrated this determination at an Eastern Designated in a match against four-star sophomore Eric Wagner. "I was a little bit nervous starting off and went down 5-2 in the first set," Levitin said. He came back to win the tiebreaker, but Wagner took the lead again in the second set.
At this point, Levitin's fighting attitude played a large part in cinching the win. "No matter what the score, I fight for every point as best as I can. I don't consider myself out of a match until the final point has been played," he said. He won the match, 7-6; 7-5. "This was my first win against a four-star opponent my age," Levitin said.
The Manhasset-native also competed in the Sportime Schenectady Easter Designated. His results in these two tournaments earned him a 7-4 record for the month of February, and he leapt nearly 60 spots up on the Athletic DNA College Recruiting List.
Levitin's recent success has him considering the future of his game, and he hopes to play in college. "My dream schools are Duke and Stanford," he said. "Playing on the team at one of these schools is a goal that I hope to fulfill."