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January 21, 2004

Taylor Dent


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. In terms of your career, how important do you think that win is?

TAYLOR DENT: My dad seems to think it's very important. He thinks that I'll look back on that and say that was, you know, one of my greatest wins. I'm not sure if you saw the match, but just because of the circumstances that happened out there. You know, I wasn't playing my best tennis. There was a few things that were, you know, kind of going against me. But I got by with smoke and mirrors somehow. So I guess tomorrow I'll be happy about it. But today I'm just, you know, hoping that I get better as the tournament goes on and not vice versa.

Q. How did you feel physically out there in the fifth?

TAYLOR DENT: I actually felt better in the fifth than I did in the first. I don't know, I was just getting more emotionally pumped up. I was tired of making so many double-faults and unforced errors. I was just getting on myself a little bit. So I was just getting revved up a little bit. But, you know, I felt like I could have kept playing.

Q. Do you think you could have won a match a year ago losing your serve 10 times?

TAYLOR DENT: I don't want to think about it. I can't believe -- no. No, I don't think so. I think that my maturity over the last year has been so much where I can play like that and still give myself a chance to win. I don't think I've ever pulled out a match with those sort of things happening before. But I've given myself a chance lately. It just paid off today.

Q. Did you have a chance to reflect after your game on your serve, what do you think you're doing wrong to be broken so much?

TAYLOR DENT: My serve is pretty much, in my opinion, the key to my success. When that goes off, like it does, I really struggle. What happens is what happened today. I really have to grind it out and struggle to win. But, you know, I've been struggling with my serve for quite some time now. I've tried some different things on it. Anyway, to make a long story short, I'm looking for solutions, but I don't have them now (smiling).

Q. The big yell at the end, was that just great relief?

TAYLOR DENT: Oh, yeah. I don't know. I guess it was just relief. I couldn't believe he missed the volley. I hit such a bad pass. You know, that's just kind of what happens. You get lucky here and there. I got lucky today.

Q. Did you feel like the crowd got behind you out there today?

TAYLOR DENT: Yeah, in general, I think 90% of the crowd was behind me. There was one guy that was giving me a rough time. But, you know, this is entertainment. He's out there to do that. If he's got a hundred bucks against me, then go for it, give me a hard time.

Q. What was he saying?

TAYLOR DENT: All sorts of things. All sorts of things.

Q. Such as?

TAYLOR DENT: I don't know. He was heckling me a bit about my double-faults. He was heckling me a bit about not closing the match out when I was serving at 5-3. I don't know. Just all sorts of things. The list goes on.

Q. Might that have rattled you more in the past?

TAYLOR DENT: Yeah, I'm sure it did. But actually, I mean, I don't know, I think that in the end of the fourth set, I just kind of -- that guy kind of fired me up a little bit. "You can't do this. Come on." You know, just trying to fire it up a little bit. He helped for sure.

Q. Looking ahead to your next match, what are your thoughts?

TAYLOR DENT: Well, going off the rankings, I'll probably play Andy. But anything happens. Andy and I have met twice before. We're 1-All. You know, if we both play well, it's going to be an exciting match. I just hope that, you know, my game improves a little bit from now to then. I hope I get on my game. But, you know, I hope I don't get broken 10 times or else it's going to be a short match.

Q. Whoever serves on the day, is that going to be the key?

TAYLOR DENT: My serve, I need to be hitting the spots I want. I don't care if I'm hitting them over 200, I just want to be hitting them where I'm aiming.

Q. Your coaching arrangements now, anything particular, any reason why the coaching arrangement is working well for you now and it evidently didn't work quite so well in the past?

TAYLOR DENT: Yeah, I mean, I play a very unique style of game. I'm probably 1% of the tennis players, you know, in the Top 200 or so. And it takes a different style, a different coaching style, for my game to work. And I feel like that with my dad, we're just on the same page. We know exactly what I need to win matches and play well. It doesn't mean that I'm going to do that, but we know what I need, you know, kind of where to get to.

Q. How long have you reunited, so to speak?

TAYLOR DENT: With my dad?

Q. Yes.

TAYLOR DENT: It was before the US Open. We were working together. I was injured, I couldn't play until a week before the US Open. But we were together, talking about my game, talking about what I need. Then as soon as I could play, the week before The Open, we were, you know, into it.

Q. Then you broke down?

TAYLOR DENT: Then I broke down. You know, it happens from time to time. But I'm trying to get over that.

Q. Sort of glad that first round didn't go very long at this point?

TAYLOR DENT: Yeah. I mean, I'm feeling pretty fit. I'm not too fatigued right now. So, I don't know, maybe if that first round did go longer, I'd be on the floor talking to you guys. But I feel good right now. I don't think that that would have affected me too much.

End of FastScripts….

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