Jesse Levine, the Canadian-American whose playing career was cut short by an elbow injury, is back in the coaching game.
The 29-year-old, who worked with Madison Keys in 2016 before Thomas Hogstedt came on board, is now working with American Jessica Pegula.
We’ll have to call them “Jesse and Jessie” – just because it’s there.
The two are currently training in Boca Raton, Fla. as Pegula prepares yet another comeback from injury.
Still just 23, the talented American has had her rise up the WTA Tour rankings halted numerous times.
She had knee surgery in 2014 and missed more than a year. Some of that time was spent trying to find the right diagnosis after it occurred in Wimbledon qualifying.
Pegula worked her way back up on the minor-league circuit and after receiving a wild card into the qualifying at the 2015 US Open, not only made it through but defeated Alison Van Uytvanck in the first round. She lost to Dominika Cibulkova, 6-3 in the third set, in the second round.
She received a wild card into the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. a year ago and made that pay off as well. Pegula upset both Christina McHale and No. 1 seed Samantha Stosur before bowing out in the semifinals.
Later last summer, she qualified for the US Open again.
Pegula has played only one match since last October, back in January in Orlando. She had a leg injury in the last part of 2016. And then she had to have hip surgery in January.
Pegula was coached for several years by former Maria Sharapova coach Michael Joyce. He stood by for a long time through the various physical woes. But eventually Joyce had an offer he couldn’t refuse.
He is now working with former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka as she returns to the tour after maternity leave.
Pegula’s plan is return to action either at an ITF $25,000 tournament in Landisville, PA the second week of August or the $100,000 event in Vancouver, Canada the week after that.
Her ranking currently sits at No. 236. But she will drop more than 125 spots next Monday as the semifinal points from last year’s effort in D.C. drop off the computer. Pegula can use a injury-protected ranking of approximately No. 185.
Levine has been involved in a few different ventures. He was helping out Milos Raonic on the coaching side in Miami in March. He also does some work for Nike, and he will be in Montreal next month doing television commentary for the Rogers Cup, a Masters 1000 tournament.