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March 31, 2005

Taylor Dent


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Taylor.

Q. Obviously, you were frustrated out there. Did you feel like you let it get to you a little bit too much, or did you feel it was warranted to let it get to you?

TAYLOR DENT: It could be argued either way. I think this match, somebody would say, Yeah, it got to me too much. It obviously affected the way I played. I was doing this, doing that. But other matches when I feel like I've been getting the raw end of the stick, it fires me up and it gets me going. Then I come off the court and somebody says, Oh, that's what you needed to get going out there. I guess you could make an argument for it either way. But normally it helps me more than hinders me, I'll just say that.

Q. You seemed most upset about the call that you thought Andre also agreed with. What went wrong in the first set for you? It looked like he gave you opportunities to get back into it several times.

TAYLOR DENT: Absolutely. I broke him two times in the first set. And at this high level, if you're not winning the set breaking two times, it's bad news. I got broken three times in the first set, and that has to do with my serving. I think that was the biggest part. I didn't get enough first serves in. When I did, they were okay. They weren't fantastic. But the big problem was my second serve. Just I was hitting a lot of double-faults. And, you know, they didn't have as much pop on them as they had earlier this week. So it's a bit disappointing, but I'm very encouraged with this week. I've beat a lot of great players, and I feel like I'm moving in the right direction. So I'm actually excited.

Q. Your injury, what happened?

TAYLOR DENT: I didn't think it was that big a deal. Late in the first set I kind of, you know, was going back for a serve, just rocking back in my motion, and I felt it a little tight. I didn't think too much of it because, you know, when you're playing Andre, he pushes your body so hard that you're going to have little niggles out there, you're going to overstretch here, do this there. So I didn't think too much about it. Then early in the second on his service game, I went over deep into the backhand corner. I felt like a little pop in my ankle.

Q. Right ankle?

TAYLOR DENT: Yeah, right ankle. Then after that, it was extremely tender. I felt like I couldn't get off of my toe. If I did, it was killing me. So it was actually pretty sore after that. But, you know, whether it's stupidity or not, one of the things I said before the match, "I am not retiring this match," because I've done it two out of four times before this one. So down 3-Love, I knew it was extremely grim but, you know, I was unwilling to retire.

Q. What was your match plan coming into this match? Obviously, you haven't beaten him in four attempts. Did you try to bring something different into this match?

TAYLOR DENT: I haven't beaten him now five times, but I feel like, you know, every time, I've been in the matches, except for here like two or three years ago when we played, he beat me pretty bad. But every other time I felt like I have had opportunities to go ahead, either have been ahead, to really do some damage. But I've gotten unlucky in one way or another. I felt like, you know, I had the game plan to beat him. I felt like if I just execute my game, it's going to be good enough to win. But he's a hell of a player. Like I said before, he puts your body through everything out there, and unfortunately it got to me today.

Q. Did you feel everyone was against you today?

TAYLOR DENT: It always is that way with Andre. I didn't feel everybody was against me, but Andre is a legend, he's a living legend, a playing legend. So it's understandable. If I wasn't on the court playing, I'd be cheering for him, too.

Q. As a fan, what kind of interest do you have for tomorrow's match with Roger?

TAYLOR DENT: It's going to be good. I mean, Agassi learns every time he plays guys. So he's going to go out there, he's going to try and impose his game on Roger, maybe try some new things we haven't seen him do before. If anybody can beat Roger, Andre can.

Q. Two questions for you. Were you afraid to catch that racquet that you threw up that high? And did you hit that ball out of the stadium?

TAYLOR DENT: I don't know if it went out. It felt like it was going out. I didn't catch it 100% clean. But, yeah, I think I got it good enough to send it out there.

Q. What about the racquet catch?

TAYLOR DENT: The racquet, God, I don't know what stage that was. I felt like throwing it right at Steve in the chair (smiling). No, but, you know, it's just frustration out there, adrenaline is going. I would have caught it in my teeth.

Q. You've had a great season so far. How do you continue the success on to the clay courts?

TAYLOR DENT: Well, just got to go out there and keep practicing what makes my game work. It's winning a lot of points on my second serve, hitting big second serves, coming in, sticking volleys hard. I don't care what surface it is, if I'm doing that well, I can win anywhere.

Q. Your serving problems today, did it have anything to do with the fact that he's such a good returner, or was it you?

TAYLOR DENT: I think it's a combination. I didn't serve extremely well two nights ago against Mayer. My first serve was off. My percentages were pretty low. I wasn't really feeling it that well. But against Andre, like you said, he's the best returner in the game, and he makes you think before you're hitting the serve that, Oh, maybe I got to put a little bit more on it. There's a combination of both. I'll just leave it at that.

Q. Do you think that your performance in this tournament might encourage Patrick McEnroe to consider you for Davis Cup?

TAYLOR DENT: I don't know. That's a tough decision. Patrick is in a tough spot. He's got a lot of good, solid players out there. I don't have that much Davis Cup experience; that may come into it. But, you know, I'm pushing hard, and he knows that I want to play. I've told him that and I'm, you know -- I think I showed that with my support last week - or a few weeks ago in Carson. So, you know, if I keep having good results and keep getting my ranking up there, hopefully, you know, I can force him into it.

End of FastScripts….

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