Biofile with Jesse Levine

Status: ATP #160. Will play in the main draw of the 2012 Australian Open after winning the wildcard playoff in Atlanta this past weekend.

DOB: October 15, 1987 In: Nepean, Ontario

Ht: 5-9 Wt: 155

Tennis Inspiration: “Obviously, right now, to get back into the top 100. I’m kinda taking one step at a time. Obviously, the big goal is to be top 20. For right now my long term goal is top 20.”

Hobbies/Leisure Activities: “I really enjoy playing every other sport, you name it. I’m big into hockey, I’m a huge hockey fan, I like going to play some pick-up games. And playing soccer. I have a couple of friends I went to high school with, I went to high school with JozyAltidore who is doing really well playing for the U.S. national team. I follow him. I follow Jason Spezza, he’s a friend who plays for the Ottawa Senators.”

Nicknames: “I have a couple…J-Money, from college. Jaybow, because Tim Tebow, they called me Jaybow in college, because I also went to University of Florida. And the last one is — the Hebrew Hammer [laughs].”

Last Book Read: “James Blake’s Book (Breaking Back).”

Favorite Movies: “Rudy, Rocky and Wedding Crashers.”

Favorite TV Show: “Entourage.”

Musical Tastes: “A little bit of everything, a little country, I like Keith Urban. Hip-hop — Acon. Dave Matthews Band. John Mayer.”

Favorite Meal: “Pasta, pizza, Italian.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Mint chocolate chip.”

Favorite Tournaments: “Not yet, I haven’t played enough tournaments. I gotta get the feel a little more before I say a favorite tournament.”

Current Car: “I drive a Mazda 3 hatchback (silver). But that’s gonna change soon [laughs].”

Pre-Match Feeling: “Definitely think about my strategy and about focusing on the things that I can control. And try to get in that zone before I get on the court.”

Greatest Sports Moment: “I would say beating Marat Safin at Wimbledon (2009).”

Most Painful Moment: “I would say losing 10-8 in the third at the French Open in qualifying (’08). (To who?) From Argentina…can’t think of his name now.”

Which Match(es) Did You Feel At Your Best: “For sure Wimbledon, first round against Safin. I mean, it was just, to me, one of the best matches I’ve played in my career so far. And definitely (I) had that feeling of, (I) could do no wrong. (When did you first sense it was gonna be a special day for you?) In the first set, just swinging away. Obviously, I was real nervous, but I really had no pressure on me. I just let my game go.”

Closest ATP Friends: “I would say Justin Gimelstob, Ryan Sweeting, Brendan Evans, Michael Shabazz and John Isner.”

Funniest Players Encountered: “Sam Querrey is a funny guy. He’s one of my good friends too. I think he has kind of that California goofyness. He’s a great guy, but once he gets on the court, he gets into an intense mode. Then once he’s off, he’s like this laid-back dude that you wouldn’t think is, he’s an unbelievable player.”

Toughest Competitors Encountered: “Roger Federer. Rafael Nadal.”

Who Was The First Famous Player You Met: “Andy Roddick, because I went to high school with him. He was just starting to play professionally when I was a freshman. Met him at a basketball game for his charity event, at my high school. I played on the same team as him. And I threw him an alley-oop and he jammed it home. He came up and gave me a high-five. That’s my first memory [smiles].”

Favorite Players To Watch: “I like watching Roddick, Federer, I just enjoy tennis period. Nadal. They’re all good to watch.”

Last Vacation: “Back to Ottawa, Canada for a week.”

Funny Tennis Memory: “At Davis Cup in Vienna, Austria, I was playing a baseline game with Roddick and I lost. And he got to smack a couple balls from behind the baseline. And he got me right in the hamstring and I had a black and blue mark the next day. Everybody was making fun of it, but you know what, I had the guts to stand there against it. So I was pretty happy about that. But not happy about the result [laughs].”

Embarrassing Tennis Memory: “Maybe in junior doubles, I got hit with an overhead in the head. That was embarrassing. But I ended up bouncing back. I won the match. Right, smack in the head. I remember clearly hearing people laughing. (Who hit it?) Michael Shabazz. Yeah, and he always gives me a hard time. Remember when I hit you in the head [smiles]?”

People Qualities Most Admired: “Definitely loyalty and trustworthy.”

First Tennis Memory: “I would say playing mini tennis in my driveway with my mom and my dad. I clearly remember taking a huge swing at just connecting and getting my dad right in the stomach with the tennis ball. It’s a clear memory (age 4 or 5).”

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