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August 30, 2004

Taylor Dent


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Mardy was in here before. Seems like a lot of the Top 10 people, men's and women's side, went to Athens to win, but came back saying it was a great experience. It seems like you and Mardy went and had the experience and also achieved some success. Do you feel like that's a little bit ironic, but kind of a good thing for you confident-wise?

TAYLOR DENT: Yeah, winning, for me anyway, is never a bad thing. So like you said, I got the best of both worlds. I think if I would have lost first round, I would have hung around a few days, seen a couple events. I'm sure it would have been a positive experience and inspired me to train a little bit harder and stay out there a little bit longer. Like you said, I got the best of both worlds having won some matches. Unfortunately I was playing every day so I didn't get to see any other sports. I probably would prefer it that way than the other way.

Q. How long did that match stay with you?

TAYLOR DENT: The Gonzalez match?

Q. Yes?

TAYLOR DENT: I don't know. I was actually pretty pleased with the match. Like I was telling Francisco and my dad, I think that that week I got back to where I was a year ago around this time where I was really not too concerned at how I was executing my game, and I was just really worried about -- I mean not worried, but really focused on how I was mentally competing out on the court, just playing each point, you know. If I shank one over the stadium, out of the stadium, you know, just don't even let it bother me, come back and play the next point just as hard as if I hit a winner. So I was so proud of how I fought out and there and I competed. My game wasn't as crisp and as clean as I would have liked it to have been. But like I said, that was secondary. And I felt like I accomplished all my goals set out for that match.

Q. How about today? Is that kind of disappointing?

TAYLOR DENT: Yeah, it's tough, because you never really can tell if you don't win that matchpoint. So I can't really say how I would have done the whole match. But the part that I did play, I was, you know, competing very mentally tough. My game was, you know, pretty solid, and sometimes that's the toughest situation to be in, is when you know a guy's hurt and you know that he could stop at any time. So you're thinking every point you play is like a matchpoint. But I was pretty good. The last game he served I was, you know, maybe rushing a little bit too much mentally, thinking too far ahead. But overall I think I handled the situation pretty well. And, you know, it's a shame that happens, but it's a part of sports. Unfortunately I've been there many times. You know, but hopefully he gets better and has a good end of the year.

Q. Mardy Fish winning a silver medal, going to the second round, do you think this year you can make it to the end?

TAYLOR DENT: I hope so. I hope you can ask me that question in seven days or so. I'm not good enough to look far ahead. I'm going to play the winner of Sluiter and Mathieu. If I win that match, I'll play the winner of some other match; I don't know. So we'll just have to take it one match at a time and one point at a time. I think I got into trouble, like I said, this past year a little bit looking ahead in the draws and worrying about who I'm going to play in the next couple rounds and not making it that far. I'm just going to try and play each match.

Q. Some people who were iffy about going to the Olympics. It seems like it was a distraction from the whole season. Do you feel like to have it, you know, be a bit of a break from the tour, playing for yourself the whole thing, do you feel that helped?

TAYLOR DENT: Yeah, no, I mean, I think Andy said it. He was asked a few times over in the Olympics. He said it is the biggest event in sports. There's no disputing that. It is the biggest event in sports. So to go over there, be a part of it, in my opinion is, you know, an experience that I couldn't afford to miss. You know, I don't know if I'll be able to play in Beijing in another four years so I jumped on the opportunity and I felt like everybody in the field felt the same way I did. They were happy to be there and they wanted to be a part of it. So I didn't really think it took away from my preparation for here. I felt like it helped. So I had no negative experiences.

Q. The medal?

TAYLOR DENT: Yeah, I can't force to win a medal. I can't say, "Give me that thing. Give me that piece of iron."

Q. You have a dangerous serve. Anything you got to work on before you can have it overall?

TAYLOR DENT: Where my game is at right now is some days my serve will be there and my volleys won't be, and other days, you know, just bits and pieces of my game go missing from time to time. So that's what I'm working on. I'm working on just trying to solidify and get the whole package consistently there match after match. But like I was saying earlier, I think that has a lot to do with my mentality on the court. I think probably 80 percent of it has to do with the way I'm thinking. So if I take care of my head first, then I think the game will follow.

Q. Does your game usually flow from your serve? Do you feel when your serve's on, everything falls into place?

TAYLOR DENT: Yeah, I think, well, as far as getting confidence from my game, I think that if I'm serving and volleying solidly, then I feel confident out there and I start to, you know, unload a little bit more from the baseline, take a little bit more risky shots. But, yeah, I mean, as far as just serving, being a serve and volleyer, if I serve great out there and I miss every volley, get broken once or twice a set, so that's not good enough. Same goes if I'm volleying well or serving bad, these guys are so good they're going to hit balls by me and I'm not going to have a say. I have to be doing the combination well to get a lot of confidence out there.

End of FastScripts….

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