WIMBLEDON, England – Maybe Roger Federer deserves a little bit of credit for American qualifier Jesse Levine's first-round victory at Wimbledon.
Levine, a 24-year-old based in Boca Raton, Fla., has practiced and trained with the 16-time Grand Slam champion on occasion.
"Actual training camps — I've done one with him in Dubai and one in a location I'm not allowed to say," the 106th-ranked Levine said after beating 94th-ranked Karol Beck of Slovakia 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-2 on Tuesday.
"Besides his tennis, he's an amazing person. On and off the court, he's a truly genuine person. He's so down to earth and a great guy to talk to, and for advice, too," Levine said.
"If he saw something he thought I could improve on, he would always be honest with me. And I definitely listened to everything he said. If I would let him back in a point he would say, 'That was the ball, and you need to do something more with it.' When you hear it from him, and he's explaining it to you, it's really amazing."
While some have suggested Federer picked him as a training partner because the American is a left-hander like Rafael Nadal, Levine said that's not the case.
"He didn't know I was lefty until I took my racket out of the bag the first time I went," Levine said.
Levine is hoping some of Federer's tips will help him continue through the Wimbledon draw. He's played at the All England Club three times in the past; his best result was reaching the third round in 2009.
Next for Levine is a match against wild card recipient David Goffin of Belgium, who took a set off Federer in the fourth round at the French Open and on Tuesday upset 20th-seeded Bernard Tomic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 at Wimbledon.
"I know he's been playing some serious tennis lately," Levine said about Goffin. "It's going to be a tough match. A guy like Goffin is going to be able to come up with some big shots at crucial times."