Re: Is Andy in a slump?
Ryan, did you see what T-Dent said about Andy and this topic? I'll repost it.
Q. Can you assess Andy's game? Did he get too much too soon?
TAYLOR DENT: Everybody has a little slump every so often. This may be Andy's, this may not be Andy's; I don't know. Obviously, Lleyton had his slump a couple years ago. So, you know, it's nothing to worry about. It's nothing to even, you know, nod your head about. He's still 3 or 4 in the world ‑ I don't know what he is right now ‑ but, gosh, that's darn good. He's always competing for titles. Last week he was in the semis of one of the strongest tournaments in the world.
If he's dropped off at all, it's a hair and it will easily come back.
Q. From where you sit (inaudible)?
TAYLOR DENT: I don't know. It's a tough question because the way I look at it is how do you hold serve? In men's tennis, I think that's the biggest thing. How Andy holds serve and 99% of the guys out here, they hit a big first serve or a nice second serve, and they rip a short forehand. You know, either the guy doesn't get it or they're coming in and hooking a volley off like that. That's how Andy is at his best.
So I think that he may be an all‑around player if he learns to come in more, but I think he'd be a worse player for it.
Q. You know him well. If the worst‑case scenario turns out to be true and Federer is just one of those immortals and Andy never again is No. 1 and never again is a guy out there winning more than just an occasional major here and there, is he satisfied with that career?
TAYLOR DENT: I don't ‑‑ geez, I never talk to Andy about that. We don't talk about tennis all that much. But I'd have to say no. I don't think anybody's really satisfied with that. I mean, you want to go out there and you want to win every week; that's what we're here playing for. I mean, although it may not happen now, you're always saying, "Okay, let's plan it out, how am I going to get to that point?"
So like you say, if Andy is dominated by Federer and a couple other guys, then I'd say, yeah, he'd be a little disappointed.
Q. Because he knows what it's like to be No. 1?
TAYLOR DENT: Yeah, he's tasted it. I'm sure if you had him on the couch, he'd say he honestly believes ‑ and everybody else does as well ‑ that he can be and has the potential to be No. 1, winning Slams all the time.
Q. Do you think part of Federer's edge with Andy is how he handles Andy's first ground stroke?
TAYLOR DENT: The matches I've watched those two play is Federer wins an awful lot of baseline points ‑ I mean, an awful lot. Normally when you're playing at this high level, it's like 55/45, 60/40 at worst, but Roger just seems to win a lot. I wouldn't dare to guess a percentage, but it's high.
Q. When you talk about holding serve by hitting that first hard forehand ground stroke...
TAYLOR DENT: Yeah, it just seems like a typical point would be Andy hit a bomb first serve, Federer would float it back deep, Andy would rip the first ball, and then Roger would fight off that one, maybe another one, and then the point kind of starts even and then Roger just ‑‑ I mean, in my opinion, he's got the best forehand in the game. Once he gets hold of a forehand, he's got Andy on the defensive. When you are on the defensive on your own serve, it's not a good sign.