Vero Beach has a new home-grown world-ranked tennis player.
Gracie Levelston, the 16-year-old fixture in the Vero Beach tennis community, officially debuted on the WTA Tour world ranking computer on Monday, May 23 with a ranking of No. 1,426.
Levelston clinched her world ranking recently by virtue of reaching the second round of the USTA Pro Circuit ITF World Tennis Tour event in Sarasota, Florida where she advanced through qualifying into the main draw.
Levelston lost only five games in her two qualifying round matches to advance into the main draw, where she beat fellow American Tatum Evans 6-1, 6-4 in the first round, to clinch her first ranking points. In the second round, she lost to 18-year-old former Orange Bowl champion Ashlyn Krueger of Texas 6-3, 6-1. Krueger was playing her first match since she lost in a tight three-setter to former top 20 player Qiang Wang of China in the first round of the Miami Open on the WTA Tour.
Levelston recently competed this season for Vero Beach High School and has verbally committed to play for the University of Central Florida in the Fall of 2023. She was introduced to tennis as a young girl when she was given a flyer at school advertising after-school tennis introductory tennis programs offered by the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the non-profit foundation started by Vero Beach’s most successful home-bred tennis player Mardy Fish, who reached the top 10 in the ATP rankings. The most successful woman player to come out of Vero Beach was Angela Lettiere, who won the NCAA singles title for the University of Georgia in 1994 and reached career high WTA rankings of No. 220 in singles and No. 40 in doubles.
Watch the video of Levelston at age 12 warming up Venezuelan Davis Cupper Ricardo Rodriguez before the 2018 singles final at the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships USTA Pro Circuit ITF World Tennis Tour event here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyZKVoNexv4