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June 21, 2010

Taylor Dent


T. DENT/J. Chela
6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I understand you're a father; is that right?
TAYLOR DENT: Yes, that's right. Five month old father.

Q. I just want to ask about that and what it's like to be a father and play tennis and the routines and how you do it.
TAYLOR DENT: Well, right now, it's easy on me. You know, or hard on me, I should say. They're back in Kansas City where Jenny's from. She's got Declan with her and her mom.
So this trip's been hard. We were planning on having Declan and Jenny come right up until the very last second because his sleep patterns just weren't really great and we thought it was gonna be a long trip.
So it's been hard, but it worked out well. I'm excited for the U.S. summer circuit, because I'm making 'em come every week.

Q. We'll see how long that lasts. There's no baby ambien?
TAYLOR DENT: No, no. We can't do that.

Q. So you can manage that, you think, be on the road and be with family? You think that'll enhance your tennis somehow?
TAYLOR DENT: I mean, it's not gonna hurt it. I'm too mature, I'm too hungry to want to win to let it negatively affect me. I'm gonna do my training as always and I'm gonna focus on my tennis as always.
Hopefully it will a nice compliment to, you know, just the mental drain it is being out here.

Q. So you did not go back home in between Roland Garros, right?
TAYLOR DENT: Nope, I did not go.

Q. That's a long stint though, huh?
TAYLOR DENT: It's the longest one that I haven't actually even been with Jenny. So it is what it is. We had this understanding before we had Declan. We knew this was gonna be a part of it.
Hopefully I can start improving my results so it's gonna be easier and easier for them to travel.

Q. You kind of wishing you had the Roger money now?
TAYLOR DENT: Who wouldn't?

Q. So you want to talk about today's match?
TAYLOR DENT: Today's match was good. You know, I didn't serve as well as I had in the qualifying, coming through the qualifying rounds. In the qualifying, I was very high percentage of first serves and my accuracy was very good. I was getting a ton of free points, and that wasn't the case today.
So in turn, that puts a lot pressure on my groundies tease. Thankfully I had a decent day with my groundies. In the first set, Chela was kind of rolling the ball around and not really doing too much, and he allowing me to step up and dictate and do everything I wanted to do.
Then after that, it was a little bit more touch and go. He was lacing the balls left and right. So it was a solid performance. It was good.

Q. That's the type of match you go in and think, Okay, he's a clay-court-born player. He's a veteran. This is the kind of match that even though he can play, that I should win if I play on my terms.
TAYLOR DENT: Oh, absolutely. You know, it's a good draw. Like I always say, though, unfortunately right now I'm not good enough to worry about good and bad draws.
So that's kind of where I'm at. I don't care who I play. I'm my own biggest enemy out there right now. That's becoming less and less of an issue as times goes on. It's a good matchup for me on grass.
Again, like I said, he's a great player. I have to go out there and play a high-quality match or I'm gonna come off losing.

Q. But winning four matches in a row including quallies is a good thing.
TAYLOR DENT: Yeah, it's a good thing. It's not gonna hurt the confidence, that's for sure. You know, you just got to keep it going. My goal is to go deep in these tournaments and to beat good players like Chela consistently.
So that's -- it might be now. You know, I've made some slight adjustments to my game. I've been tinkering a bit and working really hard. So I think it can happen any week. It might be this week; might not be this week. But, you know, I'm working towards it.

Q. So on grass, shouldn't it be a little more straightforward with your game? You pretty much go out there and say, I should be able to hold, I should be able to attack, chip, charge, get in. This is grass. I don't have to do too many things different if I'm on the ball, right?
TAYLOR DENT: It enhances what I do well more so than a lot of other surfaces. I think obviously the hardcourts at US Open do my game the most justice.
But out here, yeah, I'm gonna take my cuts at the ball and try and hit some big approach shots and get to the net and knock off a volley. Sure, it helps my serve.
But, um, like I said, I still have to go out there and execute at a high level, otherwise it's not worth mentioning.

Q. Is the summer goal to not have to qualify for the US Open?
TAYLOR DENT: Sure, that's the goal for this tournament. No, of course that's always the goal, to move up the rankings. But, you know, for me, if you start putting too much pressure on results, it just -- there's enough pressure as it is.
I try and eliminate those kind of thoughts and I put my emphasis on my game. I need to get more solid from the baseline. I need to get more consistent with my serve. I need to get more consistent with my returns.
You know, one leads to another. If I just focus on that, then the ranking and the results will take care of itself.

Q. You're not playing doubles, right? You rarely play doubles.
TAYLOR DENT: No. I generally don't play doubles in the slams; I generally don't play doubles at all. It's not that I have anything against doubles, I'm not very good, to be honest with you.

Q. You have elements in your game where you would think that...
TAYLOR DENT: Doubles is such a returners' game, though.

Q. Serve helps, though?
TAYLOR DENT: No, no, serve does help. Absolutely. And that is something that I bring to the table. But I feel like there is so much emphasis on returning well and returning well consistently.
My returns are just based on a singles match. I like to make sure I get in the points, and you can't get away with chipping in doubles.

Q. The Bryan brothers can't give you pointers?
TAYLOR DENT: They're gonna tell me to make more returns. That's about it.

Q. I think you mentioned a couple Grand Slams back - was it in Australia? Maybe it was France - where you were beginning to doubt your serve and volley game.
TAYLOR DENT: Oh, well, for sure. There were times before I got hurt when I was 21 in the world saying -- you know, the tours or the style of tennis is just working against me here. Technology is working against me.
At the time, I didn't have the confidence to pull the trigger and say, I'm gonna serve and volley less.

Q. Do you have that confidence now?
TAYLOR DENT: Oh, yeah, well, I'm working on it. It's a day to day thing. Right now I feel like I'm serving and volleying off my first serve I would say 70% of the time, 80%.

Q. Is that too much?
TAYLOR DENT: Well, it depends on what kind of game you're talking about. If I'm Roger Federer, then yeah, it's too much. If I have a forehand like that, if I'm Rafael Nadal and I've got a forehand like that, then absolutely it's too much.
But if you're talking about me where my groundstrokes are improving, you know, tremendously, I feel, you know, but they're still a little bit shaky here and there, then it's not too much. I need the cheap points.

Q. So you're not really dialing back on the amount of net rushing and attacking?
TAYLOR DENT: I am trying to get to the point every point, but I'm trying to do it in a different way. Instead of purely serve and volley or purely chip and charge, I'm trying to take that first short ball, hammer it, and see if I do damage, sneak in maybe, or wait one more ball and hammer that and wait and come in.
Actually, I was just thinking about it today. Who I'm trying to play like is Phillippousiss more so than anything else now. I'm trying to hit big serves, first serves and second, rip the first ball and come in and knock off a volley. I think that's what my game has evolved to now.

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