American tennis player asks to represent Canada
TORONTO - Canada's tennis ranks are getting some reinforcements, but possibly not in time for a high-profile Davis Cup match against Spain.
A Tennis Canada spokesman has confirmed that Jesse Levine is applying to tennis authorities to represent Canada rather than the U.S.
The 25-year-old Levine, currently ranked 104th in the world, was born in Ottawa but moved to the U.S. when he was 13.
The ATP lists his residence as Boca Raton, Fla.
"He's been on our radar for a while," said Louis-Philippe Dorais, Tennis Canada's director of communications and marketing. "But now it's pretty much for sure he'll be representing Canada from now on."
Levine has petitioned the International Tennis Federation to represent Canada.
"It's just a matter of timing," Dorais said. "As far as will he be eligible to play Davis Cup for us in February, probably not. But for the rest, it's pretty much a formality that he'll be representing Canada from now on."
Canada, seeded 12th, hosts top-ranked Spain in Vancouver Feb. 1-3 in a first-round World Group match.
Based on current rankings, Levine would be the country's second-ranked player behind Milos Raonic (No. 13). Vasek Pospisil is currently No. 2 with a ranking of No. 125.
Levine is headed to the Australian Open in January after winning a wild card by defeating Robby Ginepri 6-0, 6-2, 6-1 in a U.S. Tennis Association playoff.
He teamed up with Michael Shabaz to win the junior doubles title at Wimbledon in 2005, when he reached a career-high No. 14 in the junior rankings.
Levine turned heads in one year at the University of Florida before moving to the pro ranks in 2007. That year he spent 10 weeks training in Dubai with Swiss star Roger Federer, according to the ATP.
The five-foot-nine 150-pounder has won US$264,222 this year on the ATP Tour and $867,967 over his career.
His career-high ranking was 69th in January.
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