Making a new Dent
Talented American is getting into the best shape of his life.
Charles Bricker, Sun-Sentinel
Published November 20, 2005
NAPLES · The skinny on Taylor Dent is 11 percent body fat, down from 18 percent two months ago, and still losing, he insisted proudly after rousing himself from a cat nap Saturday.
All this off-court work ("I'm putting my body through all sorts of hell") plus a couple of hours of hit-and-giggle pro-am tennis at The Players Club here left the big American with the ink black hair and amiable personality a little drowsy.
He was slumped over in a chair in the club dining room, his head on his crossed arms, trying to catch a little sleep before he was hauled out for the afternoon doubles with fellow pros Mardy Fish and Scott Humphries, and former player and coach Tom Gullikson, who hosts this annual Swingtime charity that benefits cancer patients and research.
Is this the reborn Taylor Dent, the one who has decided at age 24 that it's time to be all you can be? For a young man who has been chronically injured and who has gone through more coaches than you can remember, this time the commitment has the feel of the real thing.
To begin with, Dent has made a major financial investment, moving out of Huntington Beach, Calif., and buying a 5,200 square foot home on a lake in Sarasota so that he can be close to the Bollettieri Academy, where fitness guru Jason Riley is "putting a hurt on me."
Dent did a lot of off-court training when he was coached by Brad Stine three years ago. But this, he says, is different. "This time, I'm sacrificing a lot of court time to put more effort into the gym work. I'm going every day but Sunday."
Why? "Because of the injury problems," said Dent. "I've lifted weights. I've done yoga. This is the one avenue I haven't pursued to the fullest."
For many, Dent has been an enigma. No one disputes his enormous talent or questions his 140 mph serve and ability to back it up with great volleying.
Yet, despite a succession of key wins throughout the year, the body breakdowns continue and he refuses to hire another personal coach.
He defeated Lleyton Hewitt, David Nalbandian, Marat Safin, Guillermo Coria, Tommy Johansson and Ivan Ljubicic in 2005. But there were no titles and some disappointing losses in the Grand Slams.
He was out in the third round at the Australian Open, in the round of 16 at Wimbledon on his best surface and down in the third round of the U.S. Open, though only by 7-5 in the fifth set to Hewitt.
He finishes at No. 29 with a 33-21 record, and those aren't bad numbers. But by this time in his career, you expected more.
Now, he sounds completely convinced, you're going to get it.
Moving from the place where he was born and lived all his life was a major decision. "There is a special place for the East Coast in my heart, but I'm Southern California through and through," he said.
It was not easy to pick up and move. "But I'm planning to be here as long as my tennis career is going," he said.
Dent's weight has wavered between 190 and 200 pounds or more over the years, but he says Riley is less concerned about the scale and more about physical strength and body fat.
This has been no easy off-season for Dent, who will be back at Bollettieri's on Monday to start a new week of hellish workouts. He's only been occasionally on court the last two weeks, and then only for about 45 minutes at a time just long enough to maintain his feel for the ball. This has been all about physical training.
When that's done, "then I'll get cracking on my game," he said.
He'll begin the season Jan. 2 at Adelaide, play at Sydney the next week and then the Australian Open. Maybe a Grand Slam title isn't within his reach, but eight or nine percent body fat is, and so is a whole new attitude toward the game.
11-21-2005, 02:44 AM
Thanks Deb for the article on Taylor. I hope he can stick with the training and then move up in the rankings.
11-27-2005, 12:43 PM
Thats great news that he's making a really big effort to get into better shape im sure it will be followed with a rise up the rankings :)
12-16-2005, 07:45 PM
Little blurb in Charles Bricker's column the other day:
Taylor Dent of Sarasota just got back from an exhibition in Buenos Aires with three top Argentines. Rowdy fans were tossing coins at him when he came on court as the only foreigner, but when he stripped off his jacket to reveal an Argentine soccer jersey, he was cheered wildly. ...
How to win over hostile fans: wear a soccer jersey. :lol:
12-17-2005, 03:06 AM
Little blurb in Charles Bricker's column the other day:
How to win over hostile fans: wear a soccer jersey. :lol:
Sounds like good thinking on Taylor's part to me :) Now he just has to apply that good thinking to his tennis game ;)
12-27-2005, 12:26 AM
I read on AR.com about Taylor and Andy playing an exhibition match in Texas this month. Andy won 6-4 and 6-4. It seems that the crowd had a good time. While Taylor and Andy also seemed to enjoy themselves :)
05-02-2006, 02:56 PM
Tennis star Taylor Dent talks to CNN
(CNN) -- CNN World Sport Anchor Candy Reid interviewed U.S. tennis star Taylor Dent. The following is a transcript of the interview. If you have a question for Candy, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Hello Taylor, after a great 2005 in which you finished in the top 30 for the first time in your career, you haven't played much this year -- are you injured? If so, when will you be back?
A: At the moment, I am having some problems with my back, but I hope to be back out in time for Paris and the Grass Court season.
Q: You've had a few injury problems in the last few years -- have you just been unlucky or is it something to do with the way you hit the ball?
A: I have heard differing points of view from a number of experts but I feel it is a bit of both. I put a lot of effort into my shots and my style of play takes a lot out of my body.
Q: How much has your father (Former pro Phil Dent) influenced your career?
A: He has been the biggest impact on my tennis career for sure. He started coaching me when I was 10 or 11 and he was my fulltime coach until I was 17 or 18.
Q: What do you make of Andre Agassi's decision to miss the entire clay-court season?
A: I am in no position to criticize Andre's decision. He is one of the best players of all time and if he thinks it is in his best interest to miss the clay court season, I back him up 100 precent. He knows his body better than anyone.
Q: Now that the French Open has decided to award the men's and women's winners equal prize money, the debate has resurfaced again. What's your view?
A: Tennis is an entertainment sport and if the tournaments that decide the prize money feel the women provide as much entertainment as the men, then I support it without any reservations. However, I know how hard the women work and I feel they earn the right to make as much as the men.
Q: Roger Federer is going for the Slam this year -- but do you think he can win at Roland Garros?
A: I think anybody who gets to the semis of Roland Garros has a huge chance to win.
Q: With your big serve and great volleys, do you think Wimbledon is your best chance of winning a Major?
A: I used to when I was younger, but the courts at Wimbledon have slowed down quite a bit. As of now, I feel my best chance to win a slam is at the U.S. Open because of the speed of the surface and the solid footing.
05-02-2006, 11:50 PM
Well it seems like it will be a while before Taylor is back in a Tournament :sad: But while I hate to say it for some reason I just don't see Taylor winning the U.S. Open :unsure:
05-02-2006, 11:55 PM
I don't see him winning it either but if he were to, I agree with him that his best chance would be at the USO.
Technically Taylor's in the Rome list right now, he got in off the ALT list, so if he's not gonna play he has to withdraw by Friday.
05-03-2006, 02:48 PM
Liking Taylor's answer to the Roger Grand Slam question :haha:
05-03-2006, 02:48 PM
Yeah it doesn't look like he'll play Rome :(
But you never know...Tojo is back way ahead of schedule :eek:
05-03-2006, 07:32 PM
nah, he pulled off the ALT list today. :rolleyes:
05-11-2006, 12:38 AM
Oh no, Taylor actually had Back surgery :(
U.S. Davis Cup player Dent has surgery
VAIL, Colo. - U.S. Davis Cup player Taylor Dent had back surgery Wednesday and hopes to return to the tour before Wimbledon.
Dent was ranked as high as 21st last year but he's only 1-4 in 2006 and has slipped to 65th on the ATP Tour. He hurt his back in Rotterdam in February.
"This is a minor procedure and I hope to be back for the grass- court season," Dent said in a statement distributed by the ATP. "I have been able to play tennis and am training every day. I am hopeful this will help take away some of the pain during serving."
He's aiming to play in Wimbledon tuneup tournaments at London, starting June 12, and the next week at Nottingham. Wimbledon begins June 26.
Dent's serve-and-volley game carried him to the fourth round at the All England Club last year, and he was a semifinalist at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
06-11-2006, 11:43 PM
No update for ages...and he has pulled out of Queen's I think :scratch:
Will he be back in time for Nottingham and Wimbledon? :sad:
06-12-2006, 01:23 AM
I dunno :sad:
06-14-2006, 02:50 AM
Out of Nottingham's alternates list :sad:
Nice to see he isn't rushing his comeback...the sensible option. But it sure sucks that he is missing the grass and chances to get points...ranking going into freefall again in August :(
06-14-2006, 03:19 AM
Here's an update/interview. At least he can serve again
The Tennis Week Interview: Taylor Dent
Photo By Alex Trautwig By Richard Pagliaro
Staring intently into the service box of the blue U.S. Open court while swinging his red-and-white Wilson racquet in his right hand, Taylor Dent watched another serve land inside the line and smiled.
For a moment, Dent was right back where he wanted to be: on the court in New York City, but the rather than rushing the net during a match, Dent occupied the blue umpire's chair during a USTA demonstration of the Hawk-Eye line-calling system conducted on a temporary court inside historic Grand Central Terminal on Monday.
The 25-year-old Dent joined former U.S. Open champion Tracy Austin, Olympic gold medallist and ESPN tennis analyst Mary Joe Fernandez, USTA Chief Executive, Professional Tennis, Arlen Kantarian, National Tennis Center director of tennis Bill Mountford and Hawk-Eye founder Dr. Paul Hawkins for the demonstration, part of a promotion for the launch of individual tickets sales for the U.S. Open, which begins on August 28.
In recent months, Dent's tennis has been restricted to hitting forehands and backhands on the practice court.
Recurring back pain prompted the 60th-ranked Dent to alter his service motion in recent years. Dent underwent a risotomy, a procedure in which an extremely hot electric needle probes the inflamed area of the back in an attempt to deaden the nerves causing pain. The procedure does not provide permanent pain relief; in fact, in Dent's case it's effects didn't even last as long as the average ATP tournament.
Less than a year after reaching a career-high ranking of No. 21 following his appearance in the Indianapolis final, Dent has been bothered by back pain that has limited him to five matches this year. Dent's lone victory of the season was a 6-4, 7-5 triumph over Tomas Berdych in the opening round of Rotterdam in February. He retired in the round of 16 at Rotterdam after dropping the opening set to Christophe Rochus.
The serve-and-volleyer whose first serve is one of the most lethal weapons in tennis cannot consistently hit serves in practice due to the sharp pain that strikes his lower back every time he arches back to start his service motion.
"I'll go out there and hit some forehands and backhands and volleys, but it just hurts to serve," Dent said. "And as a serve-and-volleyer, the serve is the most important part of my game, and I can't practice my serve. I'm out there hitting balls feeling so frustrated because I'm just out there hitting to kind of stay in shape: I'm not really working on my game."
Seeing a serve-and-volleyer unable to serve is like witnessing Atlas requiring respite from carrying the world on his shoulders to undergo rotator cuff surgery. Dent has not ruled out playing Wimbledon, but given the fact he has not played a match since February, a more realistic return date may be later this summer. In the meantime, Dent, who has tried virtually every form of back-relief ranging from minor surgery to acupuncture to reiki, continues to consult doctors in an effort to remedy his aching back. He initially sustained two fractures after years of bending his back in an extreme arch during serving. The pain is primarily caused by damaged nerves now, which continue to flare up virtually every time he tosses the ball up in the air to begin his service motion.
"As soon as I find a solution, then I'm ready to go," Dent said. "It's just a matter of finding a solution and I mean that could be in the next couple of days, it could be in a week or two or a month or two. I'm not 100 percent sure when it will be, but I'm talking to a lot of doctors and they have a lot of ideas. I just want to make sure I proceed in the direction that's best for my short-term and long-term health."
Tennis Week caught up with Dent in Grand Central Terminal yesterday for this interview.
Tennis Week: Taylor, last time I spoke to you it was prior to your back procedure. What exactly was that procedure and how did it go?
Taylor Dent: It's called a Risotomy and what they do is go in there with a needle and they kind of test around and make sure they're not hitting the wrong nerve. As soon as they find the right nerve the cut it off, they fry it, from one part (of the nerve) to the next where the pain exists. It's similar to getting an injection, but they don't have to be right on the spot. They can start a little bit further away and kill where the nerve stems. So that actually was OK for about five days and then my back started hurting again. So right now, I'm just kind of looking for different solutions and see what a few doctors have to say about it.
Tennis Week: So it's not an Agassi-type sciatic injury?
Taylor Dent: I'm don't know exactly what Agassi has, but I have had two fractures back there. I've had them for six or seven years.
Tennis Week: And that was caused by the serving or just the wear and tear of being a professional athlete?
Taylor Dent: From the serving. I heard a lot of athletes, like 20 percent of the athletes who do arching motions or offensive lineman in football, they get this, but the majority of them get through and the pain eventually ends. So I'm in a very small category of athletes who this happens to...
Tennis Week: ...Where the pain is prolonged?
Taylor Dent: Exactly. I mean, there is nothing structurally wrong with it. If I didn't play tennis, I'd be fine to do everything. It's just the service that really hurts. So it's just a matter of getting it pain free back there. For the first little bit, the injections were working, but I was warned that they weren't always going to work; that my body was either going to develop an immunity to it or that they were just going to lose their effect so the risotomy was the next step. That didn't work as well as we had hoped so now I just have to try to look at the next step after that.
Tennis Week: Have you tried acupuncture or non-traditional methods like that?
Taylor Dent: Definitely. I've tried all that stuff; all types of stuff. Really, I like to stay as open-minded as possible. I've tried everything under the sun, including more obscure therapies like reiki. A lot of that stuff, like acupuncture and reiki, you really have to believe strongly in it for it to work and I'm more the other way, you know: you have to show me first and I'll believe it later.
Tennis Week: Where are you at then in terms of hopefully returning to the Tour and playing again? You look pretty good and fit.
Taylor Dent: As soon as I find a solution, then I'm ready to go. It's just a matter of finding a solution and I mean that could be in the next couple of days, it could be in a week or two or a month or two. I'm not 100 percent sure when it will be, but I'm talking to a lot of doctors and they have a lot of ideas. I just want to make sure I proceed in the direction that's best for my short-term and long-term health.
Tennis Week: How do you prevent yourself from getting frustrated when injuries prevent you from playing. Less than a year ago, you're in the Nottingham semis, the fourth round of Wimbledon, the Indianapolis final then we saw you here in New York play a fantastic match against Hewitt. And now you're back to trying to just get back out on the court. How do you stay positive and optimistic?
Taylor Dent: I guess everybody's different. My main focus is to do everything I can; everything I can control. It's out of my control that my back is hurting, but I'm doing everything I can to try to improve it, get better and get completely healthy. You know, it's going to happen when it's meant to happen. I can't really control anything that's going to happen in that respect so I just try to roll with the punches and make the best out of it.
Tennis Week: What can you do in terms of training and practice? Can you still hit balls?
Taylor Dent: I can still hit balls. I took three months off to try and get my back feeling better and recover from a few of the procedures that I had done and then I started hitting again and hitting serves. And I noticed within a week of hitting serves the pain returned in my back. At that point, I'd taken three months off and I'd gained a lot of weight. I'd gained like 15 to 20 pounds.
Tennis Week: This was in the spring?
Taylor Dent: No, this was just recently, about a month ago. So then I just started lifting weights again. It's still bothering me when I lift weights, but I just felt I had to do something. I felt like I was exploding. So I'll go out there and hit some forehands and backhands and volleys, but it just hurts to serve. And as a serve-and-volleyer, the serve is the most important part of my game, and I can't practice my serve. I'm out there hitting balls feeling so frustrated because I'm just out there hitting to kind of stay in shape: I'm not really working on my game.
Tennis Week: You've had experience using Hawk-Eye at both Hopman Cup and other exhibitions. How did you like it?
Taylor Dent: I loved Hawk-Eye. There is nothing bad about it in my opinion. I think you get a few traditionalists who don't really like it and say you need to stay traditional in tennis, but I think you see sports trying to accommodate the fans and the athletes and make the sport more exciting using technology. By the time you get done arguing a call, Hawk-Eye could have decided three shots by then. Everyone is concerned about wasting time, but Hawk-Eye totally saves time in the long run because it makes the correct call quickly and you move on and play the next point without dwelling on the previous call. You have one argument and that can last at least 30 seconds whereas Hawk-Eye can make the call in 2 or 3 seconds.
Tennis Week: Has the crowd ever influenced you to challenge a call that you otherwise might not have challenged without that crowd participation?
Taylor Dent: Absolutely, 100 percent. They were more in exhibition matches where everybody is out there having fun. The crowd is yelling at me and everybody on the court knows the ball is a foot out, but the crowd wants to see a challenge so I say: 'OK, I'll challenge and we'll see.' Hopman Cup was a little bit more serious. They didn't get on you if you missed a challenge, but they'd be like 'Ohhhhhhhhh!'
Tennis Week: Watching Hawk-Eye in Miami, I was surprised by how often it confirmed the officials were correct. Were you surprised? Or was it about what you expected.
Taylor Dent: It was about what you think. If you're challenging the system legitimately and not just challenging for the hell of it, you're right about 50 percent of the time and that kind of goes along with 'everybody's right and everybody's wrong sometimes'. I mean, that's just going to happen and over the course of a match you'll find people are right about 50 percent of the time.
Tennis Week: Before Hawk-Eye came into play did you think you were pretty good at judging line calls?
Taylor Dent: Whenever you're done with the match of after the match, you think 'Oh, I may have missed that call.' But you couldn't talk me out of it while I was actually playing on the court because I know that ball I just hit was in (laughs).
Tennis Week: You're committed to the cause?
Taylor Dent: Oh yeah, absolutely.
Tennis Week: Is playing the U.S. Open a possibility and a hope for you given your injury?
Taylor Dent: Absolutely. It's an absolute possibility. I still haven't ruled out Wimbledon.
Tennis Week: Really?
Taylor Dent: Oh yeah, absolutely, because if I find a fix, it can turn around that fix. So I haven't ruled out Wimbledon yet. It would be a bit of a stretch to go to Wimbledon with no match play, but I could try. It would be a bit of a stretch though. I'm still hopeful. We'll see.
Tennis Week: You've had great moments over the years at the U.S. Open: beating Gonzales in that great five-setter, the win over Almagro at the Open last year, the 7-5 in the fifth loss to Hewitt last year. Is the U.S. Open special for you or does every major hold its own special significance?
Taylor Dent: Every major holds a special place in every player's heart a bit differently. For me, this is the biggest tournament. I love coming here to New York and I love playing the U.S. Open. The crowd makes it special — that's what the difference is here, in my opinion — the crowd is just phenomenal. I've played a lot of night matches here over the years and the night matches are a different animal altogether. The day matches, you know the crowd is a little quieter because it's usually hotter out, and at night people are just going crazy; they're really loud and maybe had a little bit to drink so to me it adds a different element to the game, which is great.
Tennis Week: Do you see anyone out there who can realistically threaten Roger at Wimbledon?
Taylor Dent: Roger is the clear favorite at Wimbledon. There's guys here and there who if their serving percentage was really high could challenge, like Andy is very, very dangerous when serving well. Nalbandian, did he pull out of Wimbledon? I know he was hurt at the French, but he's given Roger trouble in the past, but realistically, there's really not many guys. I mean, Roger can adapt his game to do whatever it takes to beat the other guys. So it's very tough to beat him.
06-17-2006, 05:45 PM
He just pulled out of Wimbledon. :sad:
06-17-2006, 06:42 PM
oh dear :(
06-19-2006, 11:53 PM
what's up with dent, is he injured or what ? i miss him !
06-20-2006, 12:43 AM
Read the articles posted in this thread.. he had back surgery a few months ago and i guess the rehab is taking longer than expected :(
07-18-2006, 07:20 AM
Damn i hate this, if that guy was fit and healthy (fitter than what he was before the injury) he would be a serious threat, everyone says that, but he cant do much with the stupid back injury AGHHHH!!! Serve volleyers are very unlucky with injury
07-24-2006, 01:15 AM
Come back soon Taylor, I miss your battles with Hewitt...
10-25-2006, 05:14 AM
I know this is a bit old, but back during the USO he commentated the Gasquet-Hewitt match for TTC and I believe he's still set to get married to Jenny Hopkins in December. At that time he said he thought maybe he'd be playing before the end of the year. I guess we'll see if he turns up as a WC to any of the US indoor challengers in the coming weeks.
11-09-2006, 04:59 AM
Unfortunately looks like no, but he did play in Chris Evert's charity event this past weekend, so that is good news :D
11-30-2006, 04:59 PM
Some Taylor news finally......
Trying to make a Dent in his return
By Bonnie DeSimone
Special to ESPN.com
Nov. 15, 2006
If optimism cured all, Taylor Dent would have been back on the tennis court a long time ago. He remains upbeat despite the pain in his lower back that has kept him out of competition for nearly a full year.
"It's slow progress -- three steps forward and two steps back," Dent said from his Florida home this week. "I'm definitely in a training mode, lifting weights, playing baseline games with some of the kids down here. I just have to be careful not to overdo it with arching and twisting my back."
Dent's huge serve helped carry him to No. 21 in the world in late 2005, but that big pop came at a big price. The exaggerated lean and torque in his motion, repeated endlessly over the years, led to two stress fractures in his vertebrae and accompanying nerve damage.
After struggling through a few matches early this year, Dent elected to rest, tried alternative therapies like acupuncture and Reiki, and underwent a minor surgery called a rhizotomy, in which the problem nerve endings are essentially cauterized with a hot electric needle. The procedure didn't provide any lasting relief, though, and Dent found himself back where he started -- a serve-and-volley specialist minus the first half of that combination.
Dent has tinkered with his motion to try to ease the strain without sacrificing too much power. But he said he still isn't quite ready to test it under match conditions, although he did knock the ball around at Chris Evert's charity event in Delray Beach, Fla., earlier this month.
"I can get on a court and hit a lot of balls, but as soon as I start hitting a lot of serves, it flares up," Dent said.
He's not working with anyone regularly now and said he has no near-term plans to hire a full-time coach. His boyhood friend Tommy Lloyd, who filled that role last season, took a job as assistant coach at the University of Arizona in August.
Lloyd said he's confident Dent will make a full comeback even if his serve loses a few miles per hour.
"He can't afford not to have a big serve with his game and how well guys are returning," said Lloyd, who has known Dent since they were 10 years old and refers to him, like many of Dent's friends, as "Tails."
"It doesn't necessarily have to be as big, but it has to be on the money, dead accurate," Lloyd said. "When he puts the ball in his spots and sets up his first volley, his precision and athleticism at the net are deadly."
Lloyd said Dent is fully aware of how long it might take him to get back to his former level.
"It's a long sticky road, and having to start with Challengers [lower-level pro events] and getting wild cards is a different look from what he's used to," the coach said. "But he's so good at looking at the bright side. And he's seen his good friend James Blake come back from a lot more physical hardship than he's had. I'm sure that's inspiring for Tails."
Still, the 25-year-old Dent is booked to play six weeks from now with Venus Williams (who herself is nursing a left wrist injury) in the Hopman Cup, the international mixed doubles event held annually in Perth, Australia. "I hope to do a lot of damage on those indoor courts," he said.
Dent jokingly grumbled that his layoff has forced him to spend more time doing dishes, laundry, gardening and plumbing repairs around the Sarasota home he shares with fiancée Jenny Hopkins, but quickly added that "we have an awesome house -- I don't want to move anytime soon."
He and Hopkins, a WTA player who retired last year and is now studying fashion design, will be married on Dec. 8 on nearby Longboat Key after a six-year courtship.
Dent, the son of Australian Open finalist Phil Dent and former top-10 U.S. player Betty Ann (Grubb) Stuart, said he enjoyed his stint as a commentator with The Tennis Channel at this year's U.S. Open. But he's far from contemplating another career -- especially since he no longer takes this one for granted.
"I got good feedback, but I prefer playing tenfold," Dent said.
"When I was first experiencing these back problems, I said, 'Oh, this'll be a nice little break,'" he said. "The little break turned into a big long one. I'm watching the Masters Cup in Shanghai, and it's frustrating. I still believe I can compete with and beat most of the guys out there.
"My goal now is to go to bed every night knowing I've done all I can to get back."
And here are some recent pics taken from the Chris Evert Charity.
Taylor Dent with Jennifer Hopkins.
17th Annual Chris Evert/Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic - November 5, 2006
Taylor with comedian Jon Lovitz
12-02-2006, 05:08 PM
Do you think he will be back for the start of the new season?
12-02-2006, 05:39 PM
he's supposed to play hopman cup starting at the end of december :)
12-04-2006, 03:16 PM
Or not :sad: Looks like he won't make the trip down under in 2007 at all, he's pulled out of Hopman Cup :sad: But the good news is that he has started practicing again :)
But Taylor is getting Married this weekend! :D
12-20-2006, 07:42 AM
Happy Wedding to Taylor and Jenny!!
I hope he comes back. It is starting to look like its just not going to happen.
01-10-2007, 01:25 PM
other news approximately the return of Taylor?
02-05-2007, 05:51 PM
I haven't heard anything at all recently :sad: He may not be able to come back :crying2:
02-06-2007, 01:33 AM
I think he'll be able to come back at some point, he was playing a little bit in the off-season in some exhibitions. I think the rehab is just taking a lot longer than they expected.
02-14-2007, 04:06 PM
Please come back Taylor!! :sobbing: :sad:
02-28-2007, 07:28 PM
on the tennis channel, one of the commentators said he saw Taylor a week or two ago and that he was feeding balls to kids during lessons at Bollettieri's..... :awww:
03-01-2007, 02:26 AM
• Blake Edwards of Olathe, Kan., writes: "Today I took my USPTA tennis exam, and the other person who happen to be taking it with me was none other than Taylor Dent. How surprised was I, living in Kansas City, Mo., and Taylor walks in the door. Injured, and done with the tour to my surprise, I had the luxury to spend the day with him.
"I must say, he is one of the classiest human beings I have come across. I talked with him about simple subjects, as did he to me. It was refreshing to meet a player that I held in high regard as a talented American sportsman. I wanted to somehow put this out there, that he will be missed, and I wish him well, as does my former college team on his marriage to Jenny Hopkins. What a classy cat."
LOS ANGELES—Thirty days. If all goes well – and a lot still can go wrong – Taylor Dent will be back hitting tennis balls in a mere thirty days.
“I can’t wait,” Dent said, moments after completing his daily rehab routine. “I’m desperate to get back out there.”
Dent recently underwent his third back surgery since May 2006. Doctors are optimistic – so far, the back appears to be mending like it should, and Dent has been given the green light to begin his rehabilitation.
“The news from the doctor was good. Things are healing nicely. We’ve done a week of low-impact work and it’s going well,” said Dent, who now lives in Orange Country, Calif., with his wife, former pro Jenny Hopkins.
The American is more than ready for his second chance – like a race car, he’s revving his engines and waiting for the race to begin.
But he’s been there before, only to stall at the starting line. So while the 26-year-old wants to believe the nightmare is over, he’s still cautious.
Over the next couple of weeks, he’ll up the ante with more strenuous work – a bit of running, some light weights. If things continue to progress, Dent’s doctor will allow him back onto the tennis court, where he’s anxious to be.
Since his first, unsuccessful back surgery, Dent has tried to avoid reminders of the tour. Watching from the sidelines is painful. “Toughest time of the year for me is during the US Open. Especially this year, with the commentating that I did,” he said.
“I’d sit there and think, that should be me out there, competing, mixing it up. Watching up close the guys that I’d beaten, [seeing them] doing well… it was frustrating.”
Like many an injured player before him, he realized that the tour doesn’t slow down for the weak or invalid. Guys that Dent used to hang with – Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, the Bryan brothers – have all fallen out of touch. But Dent doesn’t reproach them.
“I was out there. I know how it is. You get a break and you want to just chill out. You reach the off-season and you want to hang with your family”
The one tour player Dent is still in close contact with is Jan-Michael Gambill, also suffering from his own chronic injury problems.
Gambill has migrated towards coaching while he’s been sidelined, and has expressed a real interest in coaching Dent once he’s back on the tour.
“We’ve talked about it. It’s too soon to say for sure, but we’ve talked about it,” Dent said.
It would be a logical fit. At this point in his career, Dent is comfortable with his game and isn’t looking for a coach to retool his strokes. His serve, when he can hit it, is one of the best on the tour. Likewise for his volley. What he wants is a supportive voice in his ear from someone who’s been there and has real-time, first-hand experience.
“I’ve been through so many ups and downs with coaches,” said Dent. “I’ve realized that I need more of a buddy out there. Someone to take the edge off while I’m traveling, someone. I also need someone who can play, someone I can hit with.”
What’s more, Dent’s two weak spots – his ground strokes and his movement – are both areas where Gambill has excelled.
The real question mark is still physical. Dent has been hampered by back issues for about as long as he can remember. As the physical nature of the tour began to take its toll, Dent began to receive injections for the pain – occasional, at first, and soon regular.
Then, the tolerable became unbearable. At a tournament in Rotterdam in early 2006, Dent pulled out after feeling a disturbing “twinge” in his back and hobbled home for another injection. This time, the pain didn’t subside. After no fewer than ten fruitless injections, Dent realized the problem had progressed to the next level. He had a fractured vertebrae, and it had to be dealt with.
Dent tried surgery for the first time – “a minor procedure” – in May of 2006. That didn’t help either. He went under the knife for a second time in March of 2007. A compound was inserted in and around the fractured vertebrae to promote bone growth. Unfortunately, the fracture was too large and too far along. The material never took hold.
After months of frustration and pain, Dent and his doctor decided to try once again, this time with a similar, but more involved procedure. The vertebrae were fastened with screws and small bars, and the bone-growth compound was again inserted into that area.
The doctor, based in west Los Angeles, was pleased with the surgery. Dent wasn’t so sure. For weeks after the September operation, the pain was excruciating. “I’d go walking for an hour, then spend the rest of the day in bed,” he said.
But slowly, the pain began to subside. Routine movements no longer hurt and Dent began to hope against hope.
Now, he’s recovered enough to start allowing himself the opportunity to plan a comeback. “Two, maybe three months of training. Then start with the futures. See how those go, then move on to challengers,” he said.
He’ll resist the temptation to jump into ATP events straightaway. “I could ask some tournament directors I know for wildcards, but I don’t want to put them in that position. Not until I know how I’m playing.”
Dent, who last played a professional match in February of 2006, still holds a protected ranking. He hopes that’ll help accelerate his reemergence on the tour. “You can use it nine times, so you don’t want to waste them. I’ll pick my spots”
He’s even been talking to Wilson about changing racquets “for a little more pop.”
New coach, new schedule, new racquet – it sounds like the Taylor Dent comeback is moving forward.
Anyway, I hope Taylor can heal up and get back out on court again. He may never be the same player that he was before, but I always prefer to see players go out on their own terms, with some control over the decision.
12-28-2007, 03:10 PM
Vote for a D Young forum here http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?p=6347275#post6347275
01-19-2008, 08:55 AM
Oh, he looks so cute in flip flops.
02-18-2008, 10:36 AM
Any news about Taylor???
03-02-2008, 12:29 AM
He's on TTC right now commentating the Memphis women's final.... I knew his voice sounded familiar and then barry McKay said "blahblah right, Taylor?"
So, good to hear him. He's actually quite good and has a pleasant commentary voice
04-12-2008, 07:39 PM
Update: Taylor Dent added to pro tennis tournament lineup
By Matt Cobbs
Published: Thursday, April 10, 2008 | Updated: 2:56 pm
Those who organize and host the annual Pro Tennis Invitational Tournament at the Country Club of Spartanburg (South Carolina) focus on improving the event each year.
For the 20th edition, they have taken the event to yet another level.
The festivities will span five days - April 23-27 - and include much more than rackets, nets and balls. The event's theme will be "Back to Wimbledon," a tribute to the sport's most prestigious championship.
"We wanted to take the tennis level up and back to Wimbledon, being more proper," said Kerin Hannah, the tournament chairman. "We're trying to raise the bar quite high and show the Upstate we can really do a phenomenal tournament in Spartanburg."
Events planned include ladies' high tea, an outdoor barbecue, a Wimbledon's White Night, and Night at an English Tavern.
Players expected to attend include accomplished professionals Pat Cash, Jimmy Arias and Justin Gimelstob.
Tournament officials announced Thursday that a last-minute addition to the field will be Taylor Dent, who was ranked as high as 21st in the world in 2005, and will be making his pro return with the Spartanburg event. He was sidelined last year with a shoulder injury. Dent has won four pro singles tennis titles in his career.
Cash won Wimbledon in 1987 and was ranked as high as No. 4 in the world.
Arias ascended as high as fifth in the rankings and is now a commentator for the Tennis Channel.
Gimelstob, who retired from full-time tennis last year, is known as "the most quotable guy on the ATP Tour."
"We are very excited to feature the talent of Cash, Arias and Gimelstob in this year's tournament," CCS head tennis pro Cornelius Jordan said in a release. "The field will not only be a lot of fun to watch but will have a lot of character, too."
Funds benefit children
All proceeds raised will again go to The Boys & Girls Club of the Upstate. More than $35,000 was raised during last year's tournament.
"Basically that's half the cost of the club for the whole year," said Greg Tolbert, president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Upstate.
"We serve 100 kids every day throughout the year. So financially, this event means a whole lot to us," he said.
Besides that, it introduces children the club serves to a sport they wouldn't normally get to experience.
"It exposes my kids to tennis, and we use that as momentum to use (the sport) in clubs throughout the year," Tolbert said. "They love tennis and have a natural knack for it."
The tournament also means a great deal to its host club.
"This is as big as an event as we have of any kind," CCS president Ron Smith said. "Club-wise, we hope to give something back to the community and raise the visibility of the club at the same time."
Back to Wimbledon
What: 2008 Pro Tennis Invitational Tournament
When: April 23-27
The happenings: Five days of tennis action as well as social events. Players scheduled to attend include Pat Cash, Jimmy Arias and Justin Gimelstob.
Cost: $5 per day and $10 on Championship Sunday. Children 15 and under are admitted free. For patron passes, sponsorship opportunities or more information, visit www.bgcusc.org or call Jennifer Bauer at 583-4867, ext. 101.
04-12-2008, 08:14 PM
good luck taylor :hug:
04-22-2008, 02:01 PM
What about his first mathes in atp tour??
04-22-2008, 04:43 PM
haven't heard anything about that yet :(
04-22-2008, 05:17 PM
Might be more info about that after he plays this exo this weekend. :)
Round of 32
Jan Michael Gambill (2) d. Adam Thompson, 6-2, 6-1
Alexander Reichel d. Freddy Azucey, 7-6(0), 6-2
Gregory Beers d. Chris Waters, 6-2, 6-2
Taylor Dent (3) d. John Chesworth, 6-7(0), 6-2, 7-6(2)
Brett Ross d. Adam Fass, 7-6(4), 6-2
Todd Widom (6) d. Milan Pokrajac, 6-3, 7-5
Raian Luchici d. Jhonson Garcia, 6-3, 6-3
Scott Oudsema d. Eduardo Rincon, 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-5
Victor Estrella (5) d. Deigo Sist, 6-1, 6-1
Julio Peralta d. Oren Montevassel, 6-1, 6-2
Ryler DeHeart (4) d. Evgeny Slesarev, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
W. Brad Pomeroy d. Nathan Healey, 7-6(1), 6-0
Andres Siljestrom d. Artem Sitak, (7) 6-3, 6-2
Marcus Sarstrand d. G.D. Jones
Robert Cameron d. Justin Gimelstob, (1) 6-2, 7-5
Round of 16
Sarstrand d. Gambill (2), 7-6(6), 6-2
Ross d. Dent, (3) 2-1 retired
Widom d. Luchici, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3
Estrella d. Oudsema, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1
DeHeart d. Peralta, 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-2
Siljestrom d. Pomeroy, 6-4, 6-4
Pat Cash (8) d. Beers, 3-6, 6-1, 6-0
Cameron d. Reichel, 6-4, 7-5
Taylor might have been okay if he did not have to play two matches in one day. Also, this event is on clay, so that probably didn't help either. He is playing doubles today, but I may not get a result from that until late tonight. :)
04-27-2008, 05:17 PM
Taylor and Jan-Michael won their doubles match on Friday (don't have the names of their opponents), but their Saturday semi-final match was rained out. They were scheduled to play it at 8 am today (JMG hates early matches, that can't be good), and if they win they would play the final right after. I'll post results as soon as I see them or hear about them.
04-27-2008, 05:38 PM
Well that's good, hopefully the retirement in singles was more of a fatigue/cautionary thing then, if he was able to play doubles :D thanks!
05-04-2008, 05:07 PM
05-04-2008, 06:53 PM
He's been hitting every day this week (with some other guy who is trying to recover from an injury). Not sure what's next for him though. There is a Challenger tournament in Carson, not too far from his home, in a few weeks. He could play that. There are some Futures events in Nor Cal in June, he could play those too. If I hear anything, I'll post it.
JMG and Taylor lost that doubles match on Sunday morning in Spartanburg (mentioned above). I think it was just too early for both of them, and they both might have been a bit sore.
05-04-2008, 06:57 PM
Is he really serious about making a come-back?
05-05-2008, 01:49 AM
oooh, if he plays Carson I'd be reaaaaaaaaaally tempted to go, of course I could only go on the weekend and I'm sure he wouldn't make it til then :(
05-05-2008, 01:58 AM
Are you sure? I could swear you are getting a fever. ;)
05-05-2008, 02:25 AM
whatttttttttttt :ras: :p
05-05-2008, 02:28 AM
maybe it's food poisoning. that usually comes and goes in about 24 hours... ;)
05-05-2008, 02:29 AM
10K Futures Qualifier
05-18-2008, 07:09 PM
yes does he still play tennis
05-18-2008, 07:16 PM
Yes, he's still hitting. He might play one of the California Challengers coming up at the end of May, still waiting to hear about that.
05-19-2008, 09:17 PM
It's confirmed--he's coming back for Carson and Yuba City. This is awesome news:
Dent hoping effort, medical science get him back on track
By Ravi Ubha
He's almost there.
After more than two years out of the game with a back injury that required three surgeries and left him bedridden or glued to the sofa, Taylor Dent is a week away from returning to the pro circuit -- something his famous father likened to a miracle.
Dent, a relentless net rusher with a serve that rivals Andy Roddick's, is slated to compete at back-to-back Challengers in Carson and Yuba City, both in California, starting May 26, the weeks most tennis fans will be watching the French Open. He got in via wild cards, so he won't need to use his protected ranking of 56th.
Dent last competed at an invitational tournament in South Carolina at the end of April on his 27th birthday, but retired in the second round because of his back. It turned out to be a precaution.
"I can't believe he's running around with a back full of titanium doing the things he's doing," said dad Phil, his former coach and a loser to Jimmy Connors in the 1974 Australian Open final. "He's doing what he can with what he's got. If he could get to the level he was before, and better, it'd be down to his incredible effort plus medical science."
Dent always struggled with his back, routinely receiving injections when the pain became unbearable. He pulled out of a second-round match in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in February 2006 and soon after was diagnosed with a broken bone in his back. A first operation performed that May, in which a hot electric needle was used to probe nerves and remove ones causing discomfort, proved unsuccessful.
Another procedure the following March failed to alleviate the problem, and he went under the knife again in September 2007. This time, screws and small bars were used to secure the broken bone, and a bone-growth compound was inserted.
By now Dent knows a thing or two about rehab, and, finding it hard to watch tennis because of the uncertainty surrounding a comeback, he switched off the TV for a while.
"Physically it's been tough, but mentally it's been a lot tougher," said Dent, whose career-high ranking of No. 21 was achieved in August 2005. "There was a time when I saw a tennis match on TV, I would start to get down in the dumps and say, 'Forget that, it's just a waste of time.'"
Support from his wife, former women's pro Jennifer Hopkins -- who's currently studying fashion design -- and father and mom, 1977 U.S. Open doubles finalist Betty Ann Stuart, got him through. (Talk about pedigree. Dent's stepbrother and godfather played pro tennis, and cousin Misty May-Treanor won gold in beach volleyball at the 2004 Athens Olympics.)
Taylor Dent has four career titles and has been ranked as high as No. 21 in the world.
Nowadays it's not a question of whether the back hurts. Rather, it's a case of whether it's manageable. Since the event in South Carolina, which featured two other Americans who've dealt with back problems, Jan-Michael Gambill, a friend of Dent, and the retired Justin Gimelstob, there haven't been any setbacks.
"I went there to get a couple of matches and test it out and see if I could serve for just one match, and I happened to go there and play doubles," Dent said. "It was great. I just didn't want to push it too much. I've been practicing, and my back hasn't stopped me from doing anything for one day so far. Everything is just moving as planned."
Dent does core exercises or "regular maintenance" and tries to lift weights three times a week. Recently, he's hit serves for anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes a day. He hasn't been able to train fully, though it's not because of the back. A nagging injury to his right wrist kept him from going full tilt on the baseline, and a right knee injury surfaced, too.
"The rest of my body is playing catch-up to where I was in 2006," he said.
Phil Dent said his son is striking the ball and serving even better than before, and is in better shape. The younger Dent's best results at a major came at Wimbledon in 2005 and the U.S. Open two years earlier, reaching the fourth round. Getting a couple of wins early in the comeback would make things easier, according to mentor Nick Bollettieri.
"If he could get one or two victories, that might help him a lot mentally and get his body to relax a little bit, too, because the more unsure you are, the more you seem to tense up a little bit, and that's what you don't want to happen to him," Bollettieri said. "If he can serve like he did before, we all know he can volley, it's going to be pretty interesting because I don't know of many serve-and-volleyers on the circuit."
Dent, at times hampered by his backhand and no Plan B, isn't giving himself a deadline. If he's healthy and not winning or not ranked where he feels he should be, he intends to call it quits sooner than later. During his layoff, he had a "great time" teaching tennis to kids, and he wouldn't mind working with U.S. juniors in the future.
No matter what happens on the court, Bollettieri is a fan.
"Taylor can be a role model for a lot of people in life," he said.
Yes it is. I hope I have Monday off and that he is scheduled Monday, then I could head over :)
05-20-2008, 01:15 AM
Awwwwwwesome. :D :worship:
05-27-2008, 03:42 AM
I saw about half of Taylor's first match today, I had to leave late in the 2nd set. He seemed very rusty and lacking confidence and rhythm. But the serve and the game is still there so I think if he plays healthy, he could have some good results. I took lots of pics and a couple short videos here
06-29-2008, 07:06 PM
Anyone have any news? It'd be nice to see him play some challenger events this summer but I'm afraid that he might be injured again.
07-04-2008, 03:19 PM
Anyone have any news? It'd be nice to see him play some challenger events this summer but I'm afraid that he might be injured again.
Taylor got a wildcard to Newport, I hope he plays well :worship:
07-04-2008, 03:38 PM
good news, good luck taylor! :bounce:
07-06-2008, 01:23 AM
Taylor plays Frank Dancevic first round. Not the easiest draw but hopefully Taylor is healthy and will play well :worship:
07-08-2008, 12:34 PM
I am Taylor's fan from Moscow. I saw great Taylor's play on the Kremlin cup in 2003. But I can't see his matches on the TV (I havn't satellite TV). Can I download Taylor's matches from Internet (.avi, .mpg, etc)? Please help me.
I am sorry for my bad English.
07-08-2008, 03:40 PM
I am Taylor's fan from Moscow. I saw great Taylor's play on the Kremlin cup in 2003. But I can't see his matches on the TV (I havn't satellite TV). Can I download Taylor's matches from Internet (.avi, .mpg, etc)? Please help me.
I am sorry for my bad English.
Do you mean past matches or the one going on in Newport today? Also, don't be sorry for your English, it's very good :)
07-08-2008, 06:27 PM
Taylor served for the match at 5*-4 in the 2nd and hadn't been broken at all but hasn't won a game since and is 0-3 in the third :(
and he loses 1-6 in the third :( His serve went off the boil in the 2nd, double faults up the wazoo :( Hopefully it wasn't an injury-related thing and he just mentally lost it from lack of play or something :awww:
07-08-2008, 08:02 PM
As funny as this sounds I really hope Taylor lost confidence in his serve instead of aggravated his injury :o
That being said though I'm a mixture of disappointed and encouraged. I'm extremely disappointed that he served for and yet did not win this match, but at the same time I'm glad that he is apparently not that far away. His stats were fantastic in the first set :D
I really hope he is still completely healthy though :angel:
I'm not sure what he wants to do now but I think if he's good to go he should play in the Aptos Challenger next week :yeah:
Either way, I cannot stress exactly how much I want to see Taylor playing in Cincy qualies this year :worship:
The only question is will he be healthy for then, because I'm pretty sure he'd want to play there and I KNOW he has a qualifying WC waiting if he wants it :cool:
07-09-2008, 09:47 AM
Do you mean past matches or the one going on in Newport today? Also, don't be sorry for your English, it's very good :)
I mean old matches: 2000-2005. I downloaded many old matches (becker-samprass, ivanosevic-agassi, rafter-samprass, rafter-ivanisevic and over) by e-Mule, but I can't find some matches of Taylor.
07-09-2008, 03:25 PM
Well, luckily I guess, it sounds like he just got nervous...
Hall of Fame Tennis Championship - Dent fails to add finishing touch
07:24 AM EDT on Wednesday, July 9, 2008
By MIKE SZOSTAK
Journal Sports Writer
NEWPORT –– Taylor Dent was two points from victory in his first match in more than two years on the ATP Tour. Two points from victory a year after being told there was no way he was playing tennis again. Two points from victory over the seventh seed in the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. Two points from victory in the stadium where he won his first ATP tournament in 2002.
But victory eluded the 27-year-old Californian on a warm, breezy afternoon at the Newport Casino. Serving at 6-3, 5-4, deuce, Dent watched Frank Dancevic’s backhand return fall for a winner. Dent then double-faulted, losing the game and beginning a slow slide to defeat.
Dent dropped four consecutive service games, enabling Dancevic to escape with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory on Day Two of Tennis Week. He saved four match points in the sixth game and finally held serve, but Dancevic dashed any hope of a miraculous rally by holding serve in the seventh.
“It’s to be expected,” Dent said of his demise before 1,952 spectators. “I haven’t played any matches. I was playing decent tennis to get up a set and only break, and the nerves got the better of me. There’s no other way to put it. I wish I could say I didn’t somewhat expect it, but having not played a real tour match in over two years, you can get those things.”
Dent, son of the big-serving Australian Phil Dent and a big server in his own right when he was a rising young star on the tour, struggled with his serve in the second and third sets.
“Second set, I just got a little bit tight on my serve. I couldn’t crack an egg. And then I didn’t recover in the third set,” he said.
Dancevic sensed that Dent was tiring toward the end of the second set.
“I knew he hadn’t played a match in a few years,” the Canadian said. “If he were in top shape and serving 5-4 for the match, I probably wouldn’t have broken him.”
Dent, a four-time winner on the tour, is trying to come back from three back surgeries. The first was in May 2006. He had a rhizotomy, a procedure in which doctors probe for nerves causing pain and sever them. He missed the rest of that year.
Dent played four tournaments in the first two months of 2007 but was in so much pain that in March of that year he had experimental fusion of his vertebrae. That procedure failed, and in September he had a traditional fusion using rods and screws to connect two vertebrae in his lower back. He did not play a match last year. Indeed, it was four months after the second operation before he could walk 10 minutes, “a big workout,” he said, and six months before he could hit a tennis ball.
His first tournament since leaving the tour was a Challenger in Carson, Calif., in May. He lost in the first round.
“It’s not going to be instantaneous. I’m going to have to work to get back to my former form,” he said. In other words, he has to build his endurance and match toughness.
“Physically, I feel fine. I feel like my best service game was pretty much the last service game I played,” he said. Serving at 0-5 in the third set, he saved four match points and snapped that string of four consecutive service-game losses.
“I hit some big serves. I hit some good second serves. I hit some doubles (double faults), but I’m going to do that. That was one of the stronger service games I played. Fitness is going to be an issue, but on the grass here, it benefited me. Points are short, so it didn’t really give me a chance to get too tired out there.”
After winning here in 2002, Dent returned in 2003 but had to withdraw before his first-round match because of a bruised nerve between his ring and pinky fingers on his right hand. He tried again in 2005, coming in as the top seed, but lost to South African Wesley Moodie in the second round. Although he lost in the first round this time, his visit was a success.
“For me, it’s an unbelievable step. I was told a year ago that there’s no way I’m playing tennis, and today I’m up a set and a break twice … that’s pretty unbelievable progress in my mind,” he said.
Dent plans to return to Florida today and see how he feels. He has no firm tournament plans, believing it’s unfair to tournament directors to commit in advance with the possibility of his having to withdraw at the last minute. He got a wild card to the Hall of Fame tournament only last week.
His goal is to play every week, however, even if it means dropping down to the Challenger or Future circuits.
“I don’t have any ego about it whatsoever,” he said. “I know that I’ve got to not start over from scratch, but almost.”
I'm posting this in a few places, I want to make sure anyone who is interested gets to see it...
I saw Taylor at the Sacramento Challenger today and it was a very pleasant surprise. I had no idea that he was getting a wildcard for this tournament. I saw him out of the corner of my eye and didnt realize it was him at first, but then he turned around and I recognized him right away. HE LOOKS GREAT! He walked over while I was talking to Mike McClune and he gave me the biggest smile which really surprised me because I havent seen him in years and I did not think he would remember me at all. I was also surprised at his current size and told him that I thought he looked 'svelte' now. He laughed and said that it wasn't the word that he would use but he has been working out a lot lately. I am quite impressed, he looks good off court and it would be good to see him come back again.
He will play Benedikt Dorsch in the first round on Monday or Tuesday. It's a tough match, but he might be able to win it.
10-06-2008, 12:07 AM
The best player in Virtua Tennis 3 is back.:clap2:
10-06-2008, 03:37 PM
gooooooo Taylor, win it
10-09-2008, 10:42 AM
:worship: Well done Taylor :worship:
Is Taylor wanna play Aussie Open next year ?Does the Tennis Australia or USTA put out WC if participating ?
11-10-2008, 08:49 PM
Taylor is playing in the Champaign Challenger this week, good luck Taylor :D
11-13-2008, 03:31 AM
Taylor won his first match in his comeback, defeating Frederic Niemeyer 6-3 7-6(3)!
He was down a break in the second but was able to claw his way back. I'm not sure he could've done that a few months ago. Next up is Kendrick, who'll be tough, but he may be tired from playing so much recently.
11-13-2008, 03:43 AM
One step at a time, but I'm absolutely ecstatic :worship: :worship: :yippee: :yeah:
Keep it up Taylor :)
11-13-2008, 04:15 AM
:banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:
11-13-2008, 01:33 PM
2009 is the year of Dent :)
11-13-2008, 02:52 PM
11-14-2008, 12:11 PM
Another win :) This time 2x 7-6 over Kendrick.
11-14-2008, 05:01 PM
FANTASTIC :D:D:D:D:D:D:D :banana:
04-02-2009, 08:12 PM
Chat with Taylor Dent
Dent has three top-10 finishes this season.
Welcome to The Show!
On Thursday, professional tennis player Taylor Dent will stop by to chat about his next tournament appearance - the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship.
Dent is continuing his remarkable comeback from a back injury. He missed nearly three years on the ATP World Tour dealing with the injury. He reached the fourth round of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Miami after qualifying into the event. Dent, who has played Davis Cup for the United States and was a semifinalist at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, owns four titles in seven career finals and reached a career-high ranking of No. 21 in 2005.
The 27-year-old Dent will look to continue his comeback next week in Houston where he's accepted a wild card into the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship. The tournament begins Monday, April 6, at River Oaks Country Club.
Send in your questions now, then join Dent at 3 p.m. ET Thursday!
Buzzmaster: Taylor will be here at 3 p.m. ET. Send in those questions!
Buzzmaster: Taylor's here!
Libby (Kentucky): Why are there no serve and volleyers anymore on tour? Are the courts too slow and the players too quick?
Taylor Dent: There is a combination of factors. One is the court speed has slowed down. The last time I played Wimbledon, the court speed was slower. Another factor is the strings that they have on the racquets have a lot of spin. The balls are a little heavier. They go slower and it gives guys more time to get on your volley and makes it easier to hit a passing shot.
Renee (Sacramento, CA): Hi, Taylor: Glad to see you back. Did you ever think you could get back to the point where you are now?
Taylor Dent: I didn't look at it that way. There was a time that I would get exhausted out on the court after hitting for two minutes. If you asked me then, I would have said there was no way. I re-thought the process. I didn't even think about it after a while. I took each step one at a time. I have some more steps to go to hopefully compete with Federer and Nadal better and hopefully get some wins on them in the future.
Michael (Indianapiolis, IN): Heard today on the local news that you will be playing Indianapolis this year. For the first time since 2005. My question is injuries are a part of sport but it seems like you have had more than you fair share. How frustrating is it knowing that when you are healthy and if you could stay healthy that you would probably be a consistent Top 30 player?
Taylor Dent: Yeah, injuries are an absolute part of the sport you play. Some tend to get injured more than others. I have in the past had some injuries. But I'm going about my career in a different way now. Hopefully my professionalism now will limit the injuries I get. I feel like if I can stay healthy and stay focused on the process, I will be at least a top 30 player consistently. I'm aiming higher. But you have to cover all your bases, that's being in the weight room, staying on top of the aches. I've learned my lessons and I'm smarter for it now.
Evan (Portland, OR): Hi Taylor, nice to see you on the tour again! I was wondering what your expectations are for this upcoming clay court tournament. Are you just looking to get match experience or do you think your serve and volley game could take you deep into the draw?
Taylor Dent: I've altered my serve and volley game a little. Before I served and volleyed on both first and second serves. On clay that was a death wish. Now I'm staying back more on my second serve. I always go to tournaments to win the matches set in front of me. There is some realism in there as well. I haven't won an ATP match on clay yet. I'd be thrilled if I could win in Houston.
Ashok (Berkeley, CA): Hi Taylor, I remember first seeing you play at the 2001 Wimbledon. I was 11 years old at the time, and thought your match against Lleyton Hewitt was incredible. I can't tell you enough how much I respect you for coming back to pro tennis after your injury. Best of luck for the rest of the season! I'll be rooting for you!
Oli (Katy, Texas): I know you're coming to Texas to play on clay, but what's your favorite surface? I would guess grass. And with that said, how much has Wimbledon's court speed changed since you first played there?
Taylor Dent: Exactly, we hit on this a little bit earlier. When I first started playing, without a doubt my favorite would be grass. But they've slowed down the surface at Wimbledon. I like the fastest courts. Right now, the fastest courts are at the US Open.
Dan (Richmond, VA): Hi Mr. Dent: Who is going to win tonight between Venus and Serena?
Taylor Dent: The match between Venus and Serena....it's so tough to call. They're both unbelieveable players. I'd have to lean toward Serena a little bit. She's playing well right now. She's had a better career the last couple of years more so than Venus. I might be able to watch some tennis tonight. I might be out at dinner with some friends, I like to see them when I'm in town. But if I'm at home, I will be watching, without a doubt.
Sara, Germany: Hi Taylor. Do you have sympathy for Maria Sharapova, who can't seem to get over her shoulder injury? Will she ever be the same?
Taylor Dent: I definitely have sympathy for Maria. Especially since she's at the academy where I'm working. I see her there and see how hard she's working. It's hard to see injuries halt a player's career. But if there's a player that can overcome it, it's Maria, she works as hard as anybody.
Misty (Boston): Taylor, what would you say to those who have undergone extreme surgeries and seemingly can't return to their vintage form?
Taylor Dent: I'd say, just speaking from my personal experience, draw out a map. A road map. Set your goals and then work your way backward. Focus on the next step you have to accomplish. If the goal is realistic, then you should be able to work your way to those goals. Theorietically, you should be able to get there. Right now, I'm on about step 6 or 7 out of 10.
Rajesh (Atlanta, Ga): If you had a dream doubles match, who would the three other players be?
Taylor Dent: I'm getting into politics right now. I'd get some boos, but Bill O'Reilly. I like to get both sides of the story, so I'd get Michael Moore on the other side. Let's get a pro in there, so my good buddy, Tommy Haas. That would be a very fun and interesting doubles match.
Greg (Coral Gables) [via mobile]: Taylor, do you think that the top four men (Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, Murray) have seperated themselves from everyone else?
Taylor Dent: I think so. I think there will be one more name in there. I think Roddick, just the way he's playing. I think he's int he best shape I've ever seen him in. I think you'll see a separation with them. They seem to be putting up very consistent results.
Bung (Tucson, Arizona: Taylor, Why do so many people give you a hard time about your fitness, when you have 4 titles in your pocket already?
Taylor Dent: I think as far as fitness goes, everybody sees, especially before my surgery, how Hewitt and others play at the baseline and then how I play. That was in stark contrast to my game, with the chip and charge. I can say with certainty now with the change in style in my game, has put more emphasis on fitness than before. The goal is to become as fit as Roddick, Federer, Murray.
James (Louisville): Did you ever want to give up during this very difficult time?
Taylor Dent: I didn't want to give up, but at times I thought there was no point. When I first started, I didn't set up a plan. I thought this was impossible. There's no way this could happen. THat was for the first month that I was hitting and didn't see any progress. Then I took a more business plan to it and took the steps.
Amy (MA): Taylor, you're an incredibly handsome man. Have you thought about modeling if tennis doesn't work out?
Taylor Dent: Well, Amy, that's very flattering. I don't think I have the looks for that. I'll leave that to my body Jan Michael.
Dan (Charlotte): I've seen mentions of your training/rehab at IMG Academies... what's the facility like?
Taylor Dent: As far as I'm concerned, I think the IMG facilities, for a tennis player, are the best in the United States. There's really no better place. That just speaks for itself. I could go into a whole list of amenities, but there's no better place to be for a tennis player. That's the whole reason that my wife and I moved down to Bradenton.
Taylor Dent: Thanks very much. It's a privilege to speak to you again. I can't wait to see you all at the tournaments. I hope you cheer loud for me!
Taylor Dent (centre) with Agnes Szavay, Anna Chakvetadze, Caroline Wozniacki, Andreas Seppi and Marin Cilic at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
After being told his career was over, Taylor Dent is making every day count as he continues a remarkable comeback.
The performance room at the IMG Academy seats about 120 athletes, and on this particular Tuesday evening, it is filled to capacity. The match on the big screen – though it featured Roger Federer – is to most observers a routine third-round contest at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. But the fact that American Taylor Dent is standing across the net from the Swiss maestro gives the match great significance.
"The room was slammed with all the up-and-coming kids cheering for him at the academy, male and female," said Trevor Moawad, the IMG Performance Institute Director. "Everyone was just so excited to watch Taylor play. Genuine happiness for him."
Though Dent would end up losing in straight sets to Federer, his third-round showing at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tennis tournament was a victory in its own right, setting into motion a remarkable comeback season that saw the 28 year old surge more than 800 positions to No. 76 in the year-end South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings.
A return to the tennis court, let alone the Top 100, seemed unlikely for the former World No. 21 after a fractured vertebra and two resulting surgeries left him bed-ridden in a full body cast for nearly a year. Doctors had warned him to not undergo spinal fusion surgery, explaining it would essentially end his professional tennis career, but Dent was left with no other choice. "I had that surgery just for quality of life," said Dent, who fatigued easily from even menial housework.
He had accepted that his career was over but then received surprising news from the doctors in 2008. After seeing how well he had healed following his second surgery, they suggested Dent get back on the court and try playing again.
"How many people get second chances to pursue something they love, and something they're relatively good at? I jumped on," said Dent. "That was kind of the best day and the toughest day for me because I got back out on the court, and I saw how far I had come – backwards – with my year in bed, and the years away from tennis."
Graeme Lauriston, a therapist at IMG, said, "When I first saw him I was sceptical on how far we were actually going to get him, or how high a level we were going to get him on the court, but we kind of took it one day at a time and little step by little step."
They worked on manual therapy – hands-on soft tissue work, stretching and mobilisation – and on functional rehab, going through certain exercises that would wear out Dent. During the first month, Dent could handle no more than 10 minutes on the court. He endured frustrating spells when he felt he was making improvement, only to be set back by pain in his knees and arms, in addition to other niggling injuries caused by his long injury layoff. "Everything would need to be retrained and re-hardened to tolerate the abuse again," said Dent.
But armed with his characteristic optimism and determination, Dent began making steady progress, with time regaining the strength in his muscles and his endurance. When he graduated to practice matches on consecutive days, it proved a milestone. "I think that's when Taylor realised that his body could actually handle this," said Lauriston.
Dent tested his form in a handful of tournaments in 2008 before making his full comeback the following season. He got the year off on the right foot, winning his first tour-level match since 2006 at the circuit opener in Brisbane. But the two performances signaling his return came on home soil, at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami and the US Open. He strung together five straight wins in Miami – qualifying into the main draw, and then upsetting Top 20 players Nicolas Almagro and Tommy Robredo before falling to Federer. Six months later, that effort would be eclipsed by his pulsating second-round match against Spaniard Ivan Navarro at Flushing Meadows.
For Dent, his performance at the US Open proved the highlight of the year. "It was almost a five-hour match, and I'd been working really hard on my fitness and it showed. I was hopping around to the bitter end on the court. I think it also highlighted my new-found mental toughness out on the court. I had chances to win that match in straight sets... But down two sets to one, and I was able to hang in there. That match brought about a lot of positives. It was something for me to build on for the rest of the year when I did well in the Challengers, and for next year in 2010."
The following week, the inspired Dent won the Challenger title in Tulsa without the loss of a set. He used further successes on the Challenger circuit to continue his rankings climb in the final month of the season, re-entering the Top 100 after winning in Knoxville and following that up with a runner-up effort in Champaign.
Reflecting on his season, Dent said: "It was filled with some ups and downs, but overall looking back at it, it was phenomenal. I'm out here competing with the best players in the world, and I still feel like I've barely tapped into my potential. I feel like it's just the beginning for me and I'm as motivated as I ever have been and I'm working as hard as I ever have… I think my consistency isn't quite there yet, but on my better days now I'm a much more well-rounded player than I was when I was [ranked] 21 in the world.”
Dent is intent on ranking inside the Top 50 as soon as possible to guarantee himself a spot in the main draws of ATP World Tour events, and has set goals within his own game to help him achieve that end, including improving the accuracy of his serve and his attacking forehand shots.
But above all, he has prioritised what he calls his "perspective and mental goals" for 2010. "My biggest goal is to keep looking at my game as a work in progress and make sure that the weakest parts of my game are improving, and I keep the strength up there," he said. "I feel like in the past, I've gotten in trouble with not improving because I've gotten too emotional with my game and made a couple excuses of why it didn't work that day. I really want to avoid that and stay as fact based as possible in this next year."
One factor sure to play in Dent's favour in 2010 is the belief in himself. While others may not have predicted his rapid ascent in the course of a season, Dent asserted, "I didn't think it was out of the realm of possibility at all. I knew exactly what needed to be done, and I was very disciplined in my training and my eating. It's always vindicating to see your plan pan out."
With the same fire that took him from a bed-ridden state a mere two years ago back to the Top 100 on the ATP World Tour, Dent's opponents can expect the 28-year-old American to be a dangerous force in the years to come.
"There's nobody he's competing against or very few people that have been to the places he's had to go through personally to come back from this injury," said Moawad. "I think that that's something that's going to bode well for him... What he's gone through and the structure he has in place right now, in my mind, makes him very tough to beat."
Status: Currently ranked #81 in ATP rankings. Has won four ATP singles titles. Won 2006 Hopman Cup in Perth Australia for America with partner Lisa Raymond.
Ht: 6-1 1/2 Wt: 200
DOB: Aprill 24, 1981 In: Newport Beach, CA
First Tennis Memory: “In tears after losing my first set in the final of a tournament. I was ten. (Against who?) Curtis Elmore. I won the first set 6-2, lost the second set 6-3 and, that age, you get a ten-minute break in between sets and I was in tears. It was the final set. I lost.”
Tennis Inspiration: “Actually what started me was probably Chang. When my dad was coaching Chang, Michael Chang.”
Last Book Read: “Last book I read was The Secret Of The Slight Edge by Bob Mowatt.”
Current Car: “Is a Scion XB (white). I almost killed myself in a Porsche Turbo and I realized that cars and speed and me don’t mix. So I go for the most efficient, cheapest car I can find.”
Greatest Sports Moment: “It’s tough to beat winning titles. I’d say winning Newport (2002) holds the biggest place in my heart because it’s my first.”
Most Painful Moment: “Any time you lose is painful. But there’s one I played Andy Roddick in the second round of the Australian Open. And I just couldn’t hit a ball in the court. I’d played on big stages many, many times. I wasn’t nervous or tight. It was just one of those days. Unfortunately, I have those days where I couldn’t serve in the court, couldn’t hit a ball in the court. And he beat me like 2-0-1 or something like that. That was painful.”
Which Match Do You Feel You Were At Your Best: “Probably Andy Roddick. Beat him 1 and 4 in the final of Memphis. I returned unbelievable.”
Closest Tennis Friends: “You know, I’m pretty solitary but I hand with whoever’s around. I’m pretty easy to get along with. Dave Martin is a doubles player, we’re pretty good buddies. Alex Bogomolov. Any of the American guys really.”
Funniest Players Encountered: “Fish is kind of funny, he’s more annoying than funny [smiles]. James (Blake) is pretty funny. Everybody’s got to have a sense of humor out here. So everybody can have a laugh.”
Funny Tennis Memory: “I was playing a doubles match against Ginepri and Merklein and my partner was Alex Bogomolov. We were playing I-formation. Alex just hit a bunny of a serve in. And I popped up and Ginepri just tried to take my head off. Just kind of smiling as he’s doing it. I had some gas that day, so I reflexed the volley. And I grunted and as I grunted, a big fart came out. The point continued and everybody on the court’s laughing. Everybody in the stands is laughing. And after we lost the point – What are you guy’s laughing at? But it was obvious. (Where was it?) That was the Houston tournament when it was Mattress Mac’s place.”
Toughest Competitors: “I mean, the list goes on. Andy Roddick won’t give you anything. Lleyton Hewitt doesn’t give you anything. I think the times I played with Nalbandian it’s been rough. Agassi obviously. You can’t not be a competitor and be good.”
Favorite Players To Watch: “Can’t help but to love to watch Federer. I actually really enjoy watching Nalbandian play. (Why him?) Nalbandian just seems like he just doesn’t miss much, can move the ball around the court where ever he wants to. When he’s playing well he just makes the other players run so much. So it’s pretty fun to watch. Davydenko can be fun sometimes too.”
Favorite Tournament: “Outside of the grand slams, because they’re obviously the big deals, it’s a very unique atmosphere in Newport. The fans get to be very close to the players, so this is fun. I’m an American guy so I love the American swing, every single one of them is nice to play at. ”
People Qualities Most Admired: “Integrity. A pet peeve of mine is when people are inconsiderate and thoughtless.”