September 2, 2004
NEW YORK CITY
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Taylor.
Q. How frustrating is this getting to be, not being able to pull out those tiebreakers?
TAYLOR DENT: Yeah, it's frustrating for sure. But there's nothing more I can do about it. I'm out there, I'm fighting hard. I came back from 5-2 down. I mean, I don't think he could have played much better. He was hitting passing shots either on the lines or close to it. Felt like I got a couple bad calls. You know, that's just kind of the way tennis goes. It's liked old saying, "What it rains, it pours." Last year around this time, I was winning all these tiebreakers, somehow managing to win the big breakpoints here and there. But it just kind of goes in ebbs and flows. I mean, I'm not playing unbelievable. I'm still giving myself a chance to win every match I'm playing lately. So it's a great feeling actually. It's a great feeling to go out there and accomplish what I set to accomplish. I went out there and my goal was to just keep fighting no matter how bad I was playing, how good I was playing, whatever the conditions. You know, that's what I did. I was out there focused and really playing every point. I can't do any more than that.
Q. What is it like playing over here at the US Open or any Grand Slam event?
TAYLOR DENT: It's actually unbelievable, especially playing a night match, one like that that goes pretty close in a few of the sets. The crowd's really into it. It seems like every year I play a close match here or am playing a night match. It seems to be the best experience of my tennis career. The crowd always comes out and is so loud and so rowdy, it just makes it a joy to play.
Q. Wasn't a really good day for folks who went in the Olympic tournament. You, Mardy, Massu, Myskina. It didn't seem like you had any sort of Athens hangover out there. Did you feel anything? Anything to that at all?
TAYLOR DENT: I wish I could say there was. I wish I could say I'm terribly jet-lagged and exhausted and beat up. But that can't be my excuse today. There's no reason for me. I can't speak for the other players. I thought I came in here well-prepared. Like I said, I wasn't playing bad tennis out there. I was fighting hard. I was mentally fresh. He just managed to come up with shots when he needed them. You know, sometimes that's the difference between winning and losing, is just a couple points.
Q. Talk about the growth of American tennis players.
TAYLOR DENT: I think we're coming along nicely. You know, probably not as fast as everybody wants us to come along. But we're all gradually moving up the rankings and we're all playing better tennis. As the years go by, tennis gets better and better. We're all improving and we're all working hard. So, you know, hopefully me, myself, and I -- no, Mardy, myself, Ginepri, James can get to the next level where Andy is. That would be great for American tennis. I think we're all improving; just not at the rate that Andy did.
Q. What does it say with two of the four Americans left in the tournament are Andre and Vince Spadea?
TAYLOR DENT: Andy is in there.
Q. Two of the four.
TAYLOR DENT: And Vince Spadea.
Q. Not the young guys.
TAYLOR DENT: I'm still out of it. Okay, two of the four are Andre and Vince. Well, Andre's a legend. He's going to be in the tournament. He's one of the guys to beat. And Vince is a great player. I think our depth as a country is really good right now. I think we have some very solid players. Any week these guys can go deep. It's not surprising.
Q. What is the next tournament?
TAYLOR DENT: The next tournament I'm playing is over in Beijing, China. Nice flight.
Q. Preparing for the Olympics?
TAYLOR DENT: I'm preparing for the Olympics. Going to buy a house and get ready for the next four years.
Q. After a couple of those shots he came up with, you seemed frustrated. Do you tip your hat to him?
TAYLOR DENT: Absolutely. You can't fault the guy for hitting unbelievable shots. I mean, that's what he's out there trying to do. I made him hit a lot of them, and he could tonight. You know, normally that's not the case. Sometimes it is, sometimes it's not. But, yeah, too good.
Q. What part of your game do you have to work on?
TAYLOR DENT: What part of the game do I have to work on? I think everything is there. I just think I have to get it there more consistently. At times I'm great from the baseline, very solid, coming in well. At times I chip and charge unbelievable. At times I serve and volley, you know, great. So I think everything's there. I just have to get it there more consistently.
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