News & Features
Canadian Levine Remains a Gator
by Marcia Frost, 14 March 2013
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Jesse Levine was a top U.S. junior who was on the cusp of turning professional when he decided to give college tennis a whirl. He brought his talent to the University of Florida with astounding results. In his freshman year he went undefeated in dual match play and was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Rookie of the Year.
Right after that season, Levine left school and joined the pro circuit, a decision he sticks by. "It was the right time for me," he says." I felt like I was ready. I'm really glad I went to school first, though, I wouldn't change that one bit.
"College tennis is an amazing experience that you can't compare to anything," he continues. "You mature as a player physically and mentally and mature as an overall person."
Everything about Jesse Levine spelled U-S-A, but the truth is that he spent his childhood in Canada, where he was born, and he moved to America as a teen. The training he received in Florida has led Jesse through juniors, college and professional tennis (he's currently ranked 97 in the world by the ATP). Now, however, he has decided to play for his birth country.
The decision has been controversial, but not sudden according to Levine, "It had always been on my mind. I was born there and lived there until I was 13." He gave the choice a lot of thought before announcing the change. "I finalized my decision towards end of [the 2012 season]," he explained, "but I didn't want to announce it until the season was finished."
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