Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Levine Downs Young at Wimbledon; Southern Cal and Southern Closed Sectionals Complete

As expressed by many commenters today, it was disappointing to watch ESPN2's coverage of Wimbledon all day and not see anything about Jesse Levine's four-set win over Donald Young. (There is a brief mention of it at the end of the Day 2 highlight video on espn.com's Tennis home page, in conjunction with Chris Fowler and Pam Shriver's remarks on the poor American showing in the first round.) But Charlie Bricker of the Sun-Sentinel didn't neglect Levine, posting this story about the match, and an unnamed reporter asked Andy Roddick about Levine in Roddick's post-match press conference. Here's the exchange:

Q. Do you know Jesse Levine pretty well? He won today. What would you say about his game?

ANDY RODDICK: He actually went to my high school. You know, he's a worker, which is refreshing, you know, especially from the young Americans. You know, he gets out there. He traveled to Dubai to hit with Roger for 15 days.

Every time I've asked him to hit, it's almost like he wants to learn. He wants to be a really good player. He's not just content to be kind of traveling around and doing that. You know, you can't really put, you know, a price on that. You can't really teach that. That's just something that's there. That's probably the most impressive thing about him.
Is that a veiled expression of disappointment in other young Americans' work ethic and competitive zeal? Sounds like it to me.

At Roehampton, Melanie Oudin, Bradley Klahn and Jarmere Jenkins are through to the quarterfinals. Coco Vandeweghe lost to Britain's Heather Watson today, but has received a main draw wild card into the junior championships, so she will not have to qualify. For today's results, see the LTA website.

The Southern California sectional finished yesterday, and the winners are as follows: 18s: Kaitlyn Christian and Steve Johnson; 16s: Sarah Lee and Joshua Tchan; 14s: Riko Shimizu and Reo Asami; 12s: Gabrielle Andrews and Deiton Baughman; 10s: Angela Kulikov and Maxwell Cancilla.

The Southern Closed was held in five different locations across the section last week, and the winners were: 18s: Whitney Kay and Anderson Reed; 16s: Garrett Brasseaux and Kirsten Lewis; 14s: Alex Howard and Hayley Carter; 12s: Jessie Lynn Paul and Brent Lett; 10s: Kenya Jones and Aleks Huryn.


Anonymous said...

And they havent mentioned it today either. Im waiting/hoping on an interview with Levine or at least Bobby Reynolds. Someone is dropping the ball over at The Grand Slam Network this week.

And if anyone at ESPN is reading this, we here in America do not care to watch a match with two forgeiners when it is 1-1 in the 1st set while an American, any American, is battling toward the end of a set on a television court. Please stop thinking we do. The only people watching tennis at 7am are diehards who actually not. The average fan who stumbles upon the coverage probably isnt tuning in that early in the morning.

scott said...

I asked the folks during the ESPN chat(since I couldn't find a place to email the ESPN team in London) about the lack of coverage for the Levine-Young match and got the following response:

Scott: The programming folks have a tough job here in th early rounds. Lwet's review: Venus won. Roddick won. Blake won. These are all big Q-rating stars. I watched some of the Young-Levine match and wrote a small story for ESPN.com on Levine and interviewed him for the web site as well. There's only so much time. Today, you had two Serbs (Djokovic and Ivanovic) possibly going down and Serena playing. That means Bobby Reynolds' win and Bethanie Mattek (who won her first set) were probably overlooked, in relative terms. It's the age-old debate: Do you give people what they want (stars)? Or what they need (news). At ESPN.com we try to give you both...

I understand wanting to show the stars and the big names, but to not even mention the score on the air during the 10 1/2 hours of coverage is pathetic. ESPN.com did have a nice little writeup on Levine and the match, though they ruined it by saying he went to the University of Miami. I guess if he keeps winning they'll have to talk about him.

Anonymous said...

The Ivanovic match is the one I was referring to about being 1-1 when Reynolds was late in the 2nd set. DO WE care about Djokovic in America? I wont answer for others, but I dont. He should have just said, "our bad, we will try to do better" and left it at that. Im in PR and that was just a classic bunch of spin he wrote, haha. I got to watch both online so I didnt miss anything, but that was by luck. Reynolds was on court for an hour before the other matches started this morning and they gave us just a few minutes.

scott said...

At least they showed some of Reynolds, but they definitely focused more on the Vaidisova-Stosur match at 7am than Bobby's match. I like both players fine enough, but I'd rather watch a young American, vying to be the 1st to make it to the 3rd round, than an early round women's match with no Americans. It's like after Bobby lost the 1st set, they gave up on him. But in fairness, they did this yesterday to 2 Americans, cutting out coverage of both Davenport(who was in a tight match) and Blake(who had lost his 1st set) to show Andy Murray and Jankovic. Hell, they even showed some of the Venus-Serena doubles match. So ESPN pretty much sucks across the board. They need to stop talking so much in the studio and just show some damn tennis.

Anonymous said...


I have been vactioning for the past 6 weeks or and also took a vacation from the web.

I do not believe that Roddick's comments were as you put it "veiled expression of disappointment in other young Americans' work ethic and competitive zeal?"

I believe it was not veiled at all -- considering we had 12 male American players in the first round and only 4 were able to advance - to the 2nd round -Blake, Roddick, Ginepri who is in the 3rd and Levine.

Considering the dismal results over the past few years in Majors - I don't think it was veiled at all.

Americans are expected to do well on Hard court and Grass and we really haven't executed well, at all.

Roddick is 25 or 26 and Blake is 28 or so -

I am an American fan of tennis - but I am also a realist and it will be very hard for the USA to become the dominant force it once was -due to many factors and I will let the bloggers to chew on that for a while.

Anonymous said...

sorry all,
it obviously was not Ginepri who advanced it was Reynolds

scott said...

Well, ESPN at least showed some of Levine's match today. Too bad he couldn't hold his 2 sets to 1 lead. He seemed to fall apart at the end of the 4th set. He really had a golden opportunity to make a pretty nice run here, but hopefully his ranking continues to rise and he learns from this experience.