J. Levine Interview - 24 June
Tuesday, 24 June 2008
Jesse Levine def. Donald Young 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4
Q. Can you kind of go through your match, what happened after the first set, and then the fourth?
JESSE LEVINE: First set I came out to a flying start, was up 3 0, and then I think my body finally realized where it was (laughter). I wasn't really sure where I was, and nerves obviously played a little factor, and he came back and played a very good first set.
And then mentally I knew that there was a long way to go still obviously. It's best out of five. Really took my time and was concentrating on winning that second set. Once I won that second set, I felt like I kind of rolled onto the third, as well, and was really playing well and attacking and coming to the net when I could.
Then fourth set got off to a really good start again and then kind of let him back in. He started making a lot of balls, and I got a little nervous and was either not going for it or going for too much. So I was happy to hold serve to stay in it and then break him and then hold it to close out the match. I was pretty happy with that.
Q. Do you think maybe you started thinking, like, oh, my God, I'm going to win a match here?
JESSE LEVINE: I'm not going to lie, it crossed my mind, but I was trying not to think about that. I wanted to just focus on one point at a time and not worry about the outcome, you know, trying not to focus on that, like wow, I might win a round at Wimbledon. I was trying not to think that.
Q. You said about your body didn't really know where it was at the beginning. Was it when you walked onto the court and everything and you're at Wimbledon? What kind of things went through your mind?
JESSE LEVINE: You know, obviously it was kind of I got a little nervous going out to the court, walking out to the court. You get like shivers on your arms because I was so pumped to go play out there. It's Wimbledon, and this is my first Wimbledon, and I was definitely pumped to go out there.
Like I said, the first three games really I was just out there playing and don't really remember them that well. I came out on fire and was just playing. But luckily my mind settled with my body and I was able to keep it going there at the end.
Q. Is it possible to eat kosher in London?
JESSE LEVINE: I believe so. I believe it is. I think there's plenty of kosher restaurants here somewhere.
Q. You think or you know?
JESSE LEVINE: I think.
Q. You won't be trying to locate them?
JESSE LEVINE: I'm going to stick with my routine, Wimbledon Village.
Q. Where have you been dining here?
JESSE LEVINE: Italian, and then a French restaurant actually. I've been going back and forth, so I'll keep that routine going for sure.
Q. How do you think you match up with Melzer just from what you've seen of him?
JESSE LEVINE: Obviously another lefty. He has a very, very good serve, and I know for a fact he likes to really throw in the drop shot. I don't know how much on grass, but I've seen him play on clay when I was a hitting partner at Davis Cup. I watched him play Andy, and he definitely disguises that drop shot really well.
You know, he's very solid from the back. I think I'm not going to be able to wait and stay back with him. I'm going to try and attack it like my game plan was today and to try and keep it going like that.
Q. Is Wimbledon what you had envisioned? I mean, you probably think in your mind as a kid about playing here, first match and all that. Did it live up to your expectations?
JESSE LEVINE: Definitely. Obviously as a kid you dream of playing on stadium, so that's the next step is trying to get on stadium. I've played here before in juniors. Obviously it's not quite the same, but it's the same atmosphere and everything like that, so it wasn't completely new. But best out of five at Wimbledon, it's obviously a great experience.
Q. Where is Michael Shabaz now?
JESSE LEVINE: Michael Shabaz actually texted me before my match today.
Q. Did he?
JESSE LEVINE: He is at the University of Virginia, and he's doing great and playing well, and hopefully he can come out here and play and we can get back to playing some doubles again.
Q. They let Americans play at the University of Virginia?
JESSE LEVINE: Yeah, I mean, it was close to home, so he's kind of an in state kid. So obviously it's easier for him. But he's a great guy, we keep in touch all the time.
Q. What he did he say in the text?
JESSE LEVINE: He said, "Hey, man, great luck, sweet memories at Wimbledon, keep it going."
Q. Were you happy for your experience at college, as brief as it might have been?
JESSE LEVINE: Definitely. College was an amazing experience. I turned on my phone after the match, and I'm in the locker room, and it was going like crazy and they were all people from University of Florida texting me, congrats, congrats, I wish I could be there. It's always a great feeling to get texts from all the people that are following you. It just shows that they care, and it's always nice.
Q. Do you think more players should consider at least a stint in college, maybe from a socialization
JESSE LEVINE: If you want the social life, then definitely. As far as tennis, you really have to choose your school wisely. I feel like University of Florida was the best fit for me. Coach Jackson and Coach Bayon are two of the best coaches in the country, and they know what it takes to take a player to the next level. I still keep in touch with them all the time. Coach Jackson, I had a pass waiting for him, but unfortunately he couldn't make it out, so he's not recruiting here this year but maybe later.
Q. Your parents aren't here, are they?
JESSE LEVINE: No.
Q. What would it take for them to come here?
JESSE LEVINE: I'll tell you, after I qualified, my dad was on a flight, booked a flight, had it ready to go, had it on hold, and I got a call later that night. He said, "Jesse I can't come. I don't want to ruin your routine. I'm too superstitious. If I come there" I said, "Dad, it's going to be okay, I promise." He's like, "No, no, I can't do it." Obviously he's going to miss work and everything like that. But I think one or two more rounds, he's here (laughter).
Q. What about your mother?
JESSE LEVINE: She's there taking care of my brother. I don't think she's obviously she's eager to come, but my dad was the one that was really the superstitious one. I don't think he'd want her to go, and he would be upset if she came and he didn't go, so who knows, maybe they're all coming together.
Q. Did you talk to them?
JESSE LEVINE: Yeah, I talked to them. My mom was screaming as soon as I called her on the phone.
Q. What does your dad do?
JESSE LEVINE: My dad is in the insurance business.