Harel Levy bigraphy, stories - Israeli tennis player

Harel Levy : biography

August 5, 1978 -

Harel Levy (Hebrew: הראל לוי; born August 5, 1978, in Kibbutz Nahshonim, Israel) is a retired Israeli professional male tennis player. He reached the final of the 2000 Toronto Masters and achieved a career-high singles ranking of World No. 30 (June 2001), with his best doubles ranking being World No. 71 in May 2008.

Levy, Noam Okun, and Dudi Sela have been Israel's top singles players over the last few years, and are among a number of Jewish professional tennis players.]

In a career interrupted by both Israeli Army service and serious hip surgery, Levy notably scored victories over Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick, Michael Chang and Wayne Ferreira. As well as reaching the singles final of the 2000 Toronto Masters, he finished runner-up at Nottingham in 2001 and won a doubles title in Newport, Rhode Island.

Personal

Levy is a good friend of Brazilian tennis champion Gustavo Kuerten, with whom Levy has often been a hitting partner.

Levy is a fan of the soccer team Maccabi Haifa.], 5/11/01, accessed 7/11/09]

Levy is Jewish.], 8/27/08; accessed 6/4/09]

Tennis career

Levy began playing tennis at age seven. His family moved to Portugal for a year and half when he was nine years old. They returned to Israel, and in 1992 the family moved to Ramat Hasharon so he could train at the Israel Tennis Centers there. That year, he was # 1 in the under-14 age group in Israel.

Told that younger Jewish players look up to him, Levy said: "It's nice to hear that. I want to represent Israel and the Jewish people the best I can. I play for myself first. But then whatever my play can do for the Jewish community is great — just great."

1995–99

After turning pro in 1995, Levy served his required time in the Israeli military, but the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) allowed him to compete in events during his service.

In March 1998 he and Lior Mor won in Israel, defeating Barry Cowan and Filippo Veglio 6–4, 7–6 in the final. In June he and partner Raviv Weidenfeld won in Ireland, defeating Daniele Braccoalo and Igor Gaudi 7–6, 6–4 in the final. In July he and Mor won in Greece, defeating Gilles Elseneer and Wim Neefs 6–3, 0–6, 6–3 in the final.

In July 1999 while ranked # 241 he beat Michael Chang, formerly ranked # 2 in the world, 6–4, 6–3, at the Safeway Challenger in Aptos, California. In August 1999 at Indianapolis he defeated world # 40 Jiří Novák, 7–5 6–1. In September he and partner Noam Okun won at Budapest, defeating Daniel Fiala and Leoš Friedl 6–4, 4–6, 6–2 in the final.

2000–04

In January 2000 he and partner Jonathan Erlich won at Orlando, Florida, defeating Óscar Ortiz and Jimy Szymanski 6–3, 6–4 in the final. In July they won at Newport, Rhode Island, defeating Kyle Spencer and Mitch Sprengelmeyer 7–6 (2), 7–5 in the final of the Hall of Fame tennis championship.

In July 2000 at the Tennis Masters Series-Canada tournament in Toronto, while ranked only 144th in the world, he used whiplike ground strokes, a tantalizing drop shot, and winners off his one-handed to beat world # 73 Martin Damm, # 47 Stefan Koubek, # 27 Sébastien Grosjean, # 61 Jérôme Golmard, and # 55 Jiří Novák, before losing in the finals to # 9 Marat Safin. Levy more than doubled his career earnings with the $211,000 runner-up prize. Levy was the first Israeli to reach an ATP Tour final since Amos Mansdorf in 1994, and jumped to # 70 in the world rankings.

Levy completed his three years of military service in the IDF in August 2000.

In March 2001 he upset world # 10 Tim Henman of Great Britain 6–2, 6–4 at Scottsdale.

In May 2001 Levy upset the world's top player, Pete Sampras, at the Italian Open, 7–5, 2–6, 6–4, saving 13 of 17 break points. In his next match at the tournament, he beat world # 33 Francisco Clavet 6–4, 7–6 (6), and then whipped Nicolas Kiefer, 6–2, 6–4, winning 80% of his first serves. Levy played down his achievements by joking that he was more depressed by his Israeli soccer team (Maccabi Haifa) losing that week than excited by his success. "I still like soccer much more than tennis", he shrugged. In the quarterfinals he subsequently lost to Sweden's Andreas Vinciguerra.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine