Jesse Levine, one of the rising young stars on the ATP Tour, will replace Donald Young in the lineup for Sunday's Advanta WTT Smash Hits at 1 p.m. at Kennesaw State University. Levine, who turns 21 next week and is currently ranked in the top 100 only one year after turning pro, will battle Andy Roddick in the featured men's singles match.
Advanta WTT Smash Hits is an annual charity tennis event hosted by Elton John and Billie Jean King. This year's event raises funds for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Atlanta AIDS Partnership Fund. Action begins at 1 p.m. at the KSU Convocation Center. Other participants include Martina Navratilova, Anna Kournikova and top American junior Melanie Oudin. The players will form two teams which will be coached by John and King for a match using the WTT co-ed team format.
After playing one impressive season at the University of Florida where he was named 2007 SEC Freshman of the Year, Levine turned pro at the 2007 US Open. Just months later, Levine won his first pro title at an ITF Challenger in Nashville, Tenn., and captured his second a week later at a Challenger event in Champaign, Ill.
Levine has been a practice partner for Roger Federer and the US Davis Cup team earlier this year. In May 2008, he dropped only one set en route to winning the singles title at a Challenger tournament in Bradenton, Fla. Two weeks later, Levine teamed with fellow Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy student Kei Nishikori to win the doubles title at a Challenger in Turkey.
Levine has posted several big wins this summer including a four-set victory over Donald Young at Wimbledon and a win over John Isner in Newport, Rhode Island.