14 Feb Jesse Levine finally got the best of Tommy Haas on the tennis court.
Levine, who retired from the main ATP Tour in 2013, defeated Haas in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4, Friday night in the opening match of the ATP Champions Tour event that kicked off the three-day competition at the Delray Beach Stadium and Tennis Center. Haas, who is the captain of the four-member Team Europe for this year’s event that is part of the ATP Tour’s Delray Beach Open by Vitacost, had not lost to Levine in their four previous career matches.
“I’ve known Tommy for a long time, and I’ve never beaten him, so fifth time was the charm I guess,” said Levine, who is the Director of Tennis at the Delray Beach Club and enjoyed a contingent of family and friends cheering him on in the stands. “He beat me three times on (the ATP) Tour and then once here last year. . . . I was out for revenge tonight.”
It wasn’t just home-court advantage that spurred Levine to victory and gave Team World a 1-0 lead. He hit several outstanding shots that caught the line, causing Haas to shake his head at times in amazement.
“I don’t think I’ve seen so many line shots,” said Haas, who was the Delray Beach Open champion in 2006. “I always love coming back here.”
Levine, a native Canadian, next will face David Ferrer of Spain on Saturday. Ferrer’s scheduled match Friday night against James Blake was postponed because of rain. Haas will take on American Vince Spadea in the Saturday’s nightcap match following a special exhibition match between American teen sensation Coco Gauff and Estela Perez-Somarriba of Spain.