Federer Invites Levine for Practice
By Charles Bricker
Maybe nice guys don't always finish first, but they get to go back to Dubai for a week or so to practice after Shanghai as preparation for the Australian Open begins for former No. 1 and U.S. Open champion Roger Federer.
Jesse Levine of Boca Raton, Fl., ranked No. 99 and just six days past his 21st birthday, has been invited for a second extended practice session with Federer.
The former University of Florida star had been invited a year and a half ago to work two weeks with Federer during the middle of summer. This time the weather will be cooler and, since Levine is no longer an NCAA player, he won't have to worry about taking a free first-class plane ticket to Dubai or staying in a five-star hotel at Federer's expense.
Levine is only 8-17 this season, but he's used the Challengers and a few key regular ATP wins to reach at career best No. 95 in September. Since the U.S. Open, he's gone three sets with both David Ferrer and Sam Querrey, but lost each time.
Federer likes the energy Levine brings to his practice sessions and also possibly the fact that he's left-handed, like his No. 1 rival, top-ranked Rafael Nadal.