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August 18, 2004

Taylor Dent


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Taylor.

Q. It's been a pretty desperate day for the Americans. You may be the only one through to the quarterfinals. How does that feel?

TAYLOR DENT: I mean, if that was the case, you know, I'd feel a little disappointed. But I'm sure that Mardy's going to have good success today. He's up a break I think already. First set may be over, I'm not sure. But the Bryan brothers are playing later, as well. I'm pretty confident they'll come through. So, you know, it's a shame that Andy lost, and some of the girls lost. But, you know, that's the nature of the sport. You know, hopefully the rest of us who are still in can hang around and, you know, fight for some of those medals.

Q. And that's a good win for you against Ljubicic.

TAYLOR DENT: No, a great win for me. I lost to him Wimbledon first round last year, two Wimbledons ago. It was a great win. 4-4, very tough match. Very mentally tough match for me because both the breaks I had I got early in the sets, so I kind of had to just dig deep and fight to hold onto my serve throughout the rest of the set.

Q. Is there a secret to why you're playing so well here? Do you feel particularly good at this event? Is it the Olympic factor or what?

TAYLOR DENT: I actually felt like I started playing well in Cincinnati two weeks ago. I lost to Robredo who got to the semis. After the match I said, "Wow, I didn't play too bad. If I can maybe just improve a little bit on that, then I'll start to, you know, have a shot at some of these big boys out here."

Q. How often do you chat with your dad these days in terms of just strategy or coaching or having a beer?

TAYLOR DENT: Well, as far as strategy and coaching, not very often. I play these guys on a regular basis. So, you know, telling me how they play is kind of like, you know, telling the Pope about the Catholic religion. So not so much about that, but I talk to him every day. We just see what's going on. Same as mom, I talk to her just as much. You know, just shoot the breeze, as they say.

Q. Have you looked forward to the next round, or are you still digesting this particular win?

TAYLOR DENT: Again, I don't really look ahead in the draw, so I'm not sure who I play. Do you want to break the news to me?

Q. I haven't looked either. But Robredo or Berdych.

TAYLOR DENT: They haven't played yet?

Q. They're playing now.

TAYLOR DENT: Like I said, Robredo will probably be the favorite in that match. And I lost to him in Cincinnati. But I feel like I'm playing a little bit better now. So that's going to be a tough one. You know, my job out here is to, you know, play each match and then get ready for the next one if I happen to win. So, you know, as far as kind of relishing that win, it's done. It's a done deal. I savored it for five minutes after the match, now I'm just trying to mentally prepare myself for the next one.

Q. And if you win the next one, it doesn't guarantee you a medal, but gets you into the medal rounds.

TAYLOR DENT: That's right. Semifinalists aren't guaranteed medals. You know, again, there's nothing I can do about that. If I go out there and I win tomorrow and lose in the semis, I'm going to go out there and fight to the death to get one of those medals - hopefully the gold if I can. At the end of the day, I'm out there doing my job. If my opponent does his job better than I'm doing mine, then he's going to have it.

Q. You played some big events in your career. How does the atmosphere and this event compare with those other big events you've played?

TAYLOR DENT: I actually compare it a lot to Davis Cup. I think you get the unique scenario here where the fans are very one-sided. If their boy is down, you know, like today, there was a lot of Croatian supporters in the stands. If I would miss like an easy volley or hit a double-fault, you'd hear all these cheers, "Come on, come on, Lub." You wouldn't hear that normally in a regular tournament match. It brings the Davis Cup atmosphere, which is really awesome. I really like it.

End of FastScripts….

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