August 28, 2003
NEW YORK CITY
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Taylor.
Q. Healthy, happy?
TAYLOR DENT: Yeah, right now I'm healthy. Last injury was a wrist thing. I ended up hurting a nerve in my wrist, couldn't play literally for three weeks. Could not pick up a racquet. I actually just started hitting like 12 days ago. I'm playing pretty well considering that.
Q. Having said that, you have to be really pleased?
TAYLOR DENT: The biggest thing I was surprised about is my fitness out there. I was a little tired in the first match, but this match I was, you know, up the whole way. I hired a trainer in the off-time. For those five weeks, six weeks, I was just grinding, just laying it all out there every day. I think my foot speed has picked up. Now I just have to get a little match enough.
Q. Who is the trainer?
TAYLOR DENT: Nick Anthony, who worked with Justin Gimelstob. Just Brad Stine, my coach, thought he would be great for me.
Q. What's a typical training session like?
TAYLOR DENT: Well, we haven't done anything here just because the reason is it's tough enough for me to play these matches without having played any. But back home, we had this like 70-yard hill. It would just go seemingly straight up. You have to do 10, 15 sprints pretty much non-stop. Sprint up, walk down, sprint up, walk down.
Q. Where is it?
TAYLOR DENT: Newport Beach. He just came out to Newport Beach.
Q. Hills in Newport Beach?
TAYLOR DENT: Newport Dunes, back bay. Then we went to the beach and did a whole bunch of little wind sprints in the sand, changing directions. That's pretty much the bulk of it. A lot of core strength and weights.
Q. How many times did you throw up?
TAYLOR DENT: I didn't throw up. Only the plane ride.
Q. What time of day does that start? Afternoon, first thing in the morning?
TAYLOR DENT: It's an all-day affair. So we do one session in the morning, then another session in the afternoon. Then I'm sleeping in between (smiling).
Q. The wrist thing, just overuse?
TAYLOR DENT: Actually, no. The doctor said I probably just hit a stroke funny. It's the ulnar nerve. He said I probably hit a serve funny, miss-timed it, just pinched the nerve really bad. Said, "There you go. Six weeks."
TAYLOR DENT: He said, "Six weeks, you'll be back playing."
Q. Not icing?
TAYLOR DENT: Doesn't do any good for the nerve. When I first hurt it, there's a hand specialist in Newport who said it was going to be five to seven weeks. I'm like, "Yeah, right. This guy can't be serious." I was doing physical therapy every day. Apparently I was making it worse. Ended up being like eight weeks.
Q. When you see footage of guys like Connors, do you think they ran up 70-yard hills?
TAYLOR DENT: I think they did it in a different way. I think those guys were winning so many matches, they got their fitness that way. I think the game is a little more physical today. The pace is a lot faster. Guys are hitting the ball bigger. They're doing it. You got to keep up. You got to stay with it.
Q. Your movement is different from most players', more explosive, stop and start.
TAYLOR DENT: Exactly.
Q. How does it affect the way you train?
TAYLOR DENT: Like I said, we were doing all sprints. I did not get on the bike one time and ride for longer than five minutes. I used it as a warm-up. Other guys will go out there, guys like Davydenko, planning on staying out there all day. They'll probably get on the bike and go for hours. He did not let me do any cardio. I was all explosive all the time.
Q. Pivots, change of directions, like lunge for a volley?
TAYLOR DENT: Sure, all that stuff.
Q. Next opponent?
TAYLOR DENT: I was told Fernando Gonzalez. That's going to be rough. I better be serving well.
Q. Ulnar nerve in the arm...
TAYLOR DENT: The good thing about me is, the way I return, it takes all the pressure off, so it's no big deal. But hopefully I'll be executing well. If I keep holding serve, I'll be in there. Just got to keep holding serve because he's going to be tough to break.
Q. You haven't played him before?
TAYLOR DENT: Only practice in like the French. God, I remember he beat my ass bad. Broke like three racquets.
Q. Did you have a fresh grip on when you played him?
TAYLOR DENT: A fresh grip?
Q. Racquet turning in your hand.
TAYLOR DENT: Yeah, we were both hitting the ball pretty big. He was just making more than I was, jerking me around.
Q. Tossing your racquet?
TAYLOR DENT: Yeah. Broke a couple (smiling).
Q. You saw him at the French when? This one?
TAYLOR DENT: No, I think it was the year before this one. It was a while ago. He's going to be ripping the ball. The points are going to be short. If it's good tennis, he'll be ripping passes and I'll be hitting volley winners.
Q. Crack at the throat?
TAYLOR DENT: Exactly.
Q. Who is all here from your family?
TAYLOR DENT: Just my dad is here. Sorry, my brother is here, too. He's hitting partner for Sharapova. Just the old man cheering me on.
Q. What does your brother think of Sharapova's potential?
TAYLOR DENT: He hasn't really told me. He's amazed how hard she hits the ball. My dad says Top 10 without a sweat.
Q. Who are you romancing these days?
TAYLOR DENT: Jennifer Hopkins still.
Q. Two years now?
TAYLOR DENT: That's getting on three, isn't it? Close to three.
Q. You told me it was off for a while.
TAYLOR DENT: No, no, it was off. We were still seeing each other. It was just hard. Tour life is hard. I like her.
Q. What is her special quality?
TAYLOR DENT: Hers or mine?
Q. We know yours.
TAYLOR DENT: I was going to say mine, a small list. Hers? She is just a really sweet girl. I haven't met many girls that are sweeter than her. I think she's very pretty. I think she's great. She puts up with me is her biggest quality.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.