Levine, Keys book spots in Australian Open
Jesse Levine is into the main draw of the Australian Open, having prevailed at the USTA’s wild card playoffs. Maintaining his hot streak that began in Challenger events this fall, Levine did not drop a set all weekend long at the Racquet Club of the South outside Atlanta, GA.
Levine punctuated his tournament with a dominant 6-0, 6-2, 6-1 victory over Robby Ginepri in Sunday’s final. The former University of Florida standout did not lose a single game until getting broken at 1-0 in the second set.
“I was just in the zone today,” Levine explained. “I was just wondering after the first set if I could really stay with it. I wasn’t expecting to come out like that and was wondering if I was going to be able to keep it up.
“Everything seemed to go my way and I was moving well and hitting the ball well all day. I’m back in the Big Show so it feels really good.”
Joining Levine Down Under will be 16-year-old Madison Keys, who earned the women’s wild card by defeating Gail Brodsky 6-3, 6-4. Keys also won a wild card into the 2011 U.S. Open and she defeated Brodsky in the semifinals of that tournament. Keys, almost without question the most talented player in this weekend’s field, raised her level (she had played two previous three-setters) in the final and never let Brodsky in the match.
“Anything I was throwing at her was not good enough today,” Brodsky admitted. “But I’m not upset with myself because I know there’s not much else I could have done. There’s really not much negative I can say about the way Madison played today. I just didn’t have enough today to beat her.”
“It still hasn’t hit me yet,” said Keys. “I’m just really excited to be going to Australia. Just like the US Open, it’s going to take a couple of days before it actually sinks in.”