With Flourish, Levine Strikes Gold In Little Rock
by Ali Jones
, 17 August 2010
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After competing mostly in the 14s, Robert Levine wanted to test his skills against his peers one last time. He made an admirable run on the clay of Winston-Salem, where he won the doubles gold and lost by a hair in the semis in singles.
At the 2010 National Hard Courts
, he wanted to finish his 12s career with a flourish.
"I went there to win," said the third seed, who turns 13 in September. And so he did, adding a singles gold ball to a troika of doubles silver and gold.
He overcame Clay Courts runner up and fourth seed Nathan Ponwith 6-3, 6-2.
Lauren Levine, the blue-chip's mother and constant travel companion, expected her son to "show up to play," at the tournament. "That is the way he has always been, so I have come to expect that. I cannot 'expect' anything as far as match results go."
She did, however, acknowledge that in North Little Rock, "Robert's overall match play showed confidence."
"He has been training very well and has been focused on the overall process and not on a match-by-match scenario," Mrs. Levine said.
In his semis, Levine avenged his loss to top seed and eventual Clay Courts champion Anudeep Kodali. In a reprise of their last meeting, the match was a nail-biting three-setter, with the result decided by a tie-breaker.
"Anu was serving at 5-4 (40-30) and I was able to fend off that match point," Levine recalled. "When I got the match even at 5-5, I played the best tennis I have ever played before. The tie-breaker was even at 4-4 and I hit three clean winners."