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August 16, 2010

Taylor Dent


T. DENT/F. Lopez
6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations on your win. You now face Nadal. You only played him once, and that was earlier this year in Miami. What is the key for you to do really well, to have a chance out there?
TAYLOR DENT: Dictate play consistently. That's it. Um, best scenario, I go out on the court and I'm hitting a lot of first serves in, hitting a lot of big second serves in, and taking those first and second balls and really not giving him a chance to set up and hit forehands.
Um, I think worst case scenario, he's setting up and hitting forehands. I would rather hit errors than have him just wind up all day on that forehand. I think he's probably got the best forehand in the game right now.
You know, so luckily I feel like I have the tools to do that. I just have to do it consistently and at a very high level.

Q. Is it nice getting those big guys, like playing Nadal, in the States where you know that you're gonna go out on the court and there's gonna be people right behind you from the outset?
TAYLOR DENT: Yeah. Well, you know, he gets a fair bit of support here, too. Yeah, no, I don't know. Obviously I would love to say, you know, I'm gonna have more fan support than he is, but, you know, he's one of the best players the game's ever seen.
He's gonna have huge support out there. Hopefully I can win the crowd over on match point if I have a win.

Q. You were in total control of the match today. What was the key to your dominance, do you think? Is there something about Lopez's game that matches up really well with yours?
TAYLOR DENT: You know, we're both big servers. The bottom line is it comes down to who's gonna put more good returns in play, good returns in play, against two big servers generally.
Today I wasn't missing many returns, and I was getting ton of free points on my serve. You know, I think at times he may have felt a little bit of pressure. He threw in some double faults and missed some first balls.
Um, so, you know, it's tough when you're a big server and your opponent's putting a very, very high percentage of solid returns in play.

Q. When you hit the gym, what are the four most important exercises that you use to improve your tennis game?
TAYLOR DENT: Well, for me, so much attention has to be placed on my back and my core. So pillars are great; medicine ball is great; any type of lower abdominal is great.
I don't really use the gym for my legs, because that's done so much on the tennis court that they don't need to be beaten down anymore than that.
And then any type of rotator cuff is huge. You could name any body part you want and exercise it, and it's gonna be a big deal in tennis because you use everything.

Q. You're one of the last serve and volleyers on the tour. Why do you think that playing style has fallen out of favor with your peers?
TAYLOR DENT: Technology. You know, technology has changed the game a lot. It got marginally harder when graphite game into play, and then they progressed that technology a bit, so you saw less and serving and volleying.
I think the biggest changes now are the strings. I think that's actually a bigger change than from wood to graphite, because these guys can get seem so much dip on the ball at such a high pace.
Whereas before, if you're serving and volleying, it's really tough for the guy to get a return down at your feet. Because you can't generate that spin off a first serve. You know, you're generally just trying to keep it low over the net.
But now, if you don't really stretch a guy out, it's coming back at your feet, and then they can hit passing shots so hard because they can generate so much spin.
You know, it's too much of an advantage to give away to merit basing your game around serve and volleying. I mean, obviously you can be successful mixing up serving and volleying and picking and choosing when to do it.
But to just say, I'm gonna serve and volley first and second serves, boom, done, I think that something has to change for that to be viable again.

Q. How has starting a family factored into your game positively, and if there are any negatives to it, even lack of sleep or something.
TAYLOR DENT: Um, we've had the benefit of -- Jenny and I have had the benefit of having her mother around a lot at the tournaments, so sleep hasn't been an issue. And, as of two weeks ago, three weeks ago, he's sleeping through the night. So it's great.
I can't say I can think of any negatives. You know, just tennis can be so frustrating at times. It can really beat you down, you know, emotionally. So after a tough day of practice or a bad loss, you walk off the court and you see the little man there just wobbling his head and smiling at you, it makes it nice.

Q. Is your family here with you?
TAYLOR DENT: Yeah, yeah.

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