Chat with tennis pro Taylor Dent
The 23-year-old California native is in Australia for this year's Australian Open (coverage on ESPN and ESPN2), the opening major of the tennis season. And if early results from 2005 are any indication, Dent could make a dent in this year's bracket. He recently made the finals of a tournament in Adelaide, beating Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets in the quarterfinals.
Send your questions now and join Taylor in The Show on Friday at 5 p.m. ET!
The ShowGirl (4:50 PM)
Welcome to The Show! Tennis pro Taylor Dent is on his way. Send in your questions now!
The ShowGirl (5:12 PM)
Sorry folks, it's not easy getting a hold of somebody in the land down under. Thanks for your patience. We'll keep you posted!
The ShowGirl (5:18 PM)
We've got him!
Taylor Dent (5:19 PM)
Hey everybody, I'm ready. Fire away!
Ted Matheson L.A. CA
Hi Taylor! Why did you decide to play Rotterdam instead of Memphis this year?
Taylor Dent (5:20 PM)
I chose Rotterdam basically b/c there was no Americans that have played over there in the last few years. They were really offering me a good deal to go over there, so I thought it would be a nice change. I've never played in those tournaments before, I'm looking forward to playing them!
you're in the same half of the draw as federer, agassi, F-Lopez etc. who do you think is your toughest potential opponent at the OZ open
Taylor Dent (5:21 PM)
Well, unfortunately, I'm not good enough to look that far ahead. SO, my toughest opponent is my qualifier in the first round. I hope I make it to Federer ... but like I said, I'm not good enough to look that far ahead!
Jeroen (Maastricht, the Netherlands)
Hi Taylor, my name is Jeroen and I'm from Holland. I am a big fan of yours and I think it's great that you decided to come to Rotterdam this year. When you are playing a tournament in Australia do you feel more Ozzie or American?
Taylor Dent (5:23 PM)
Hi Jeroen. I'm very excited for Rotterdam! When I come down here to play in Australia, everybody treats me unbeievably. Tennis is so big here, I'm recognized more over here than in the U.S., actually. It's a great place and a great feeling. I see a lot of family here, so I do feel very Australian, but having spent so much time in the States, at the end of the day, I'm still American.
John: (Astoria, NY)
When I play ATP Fantasy Tennis, you always make my team. : ) If you could pick a squad of five guys to be your fantasy tennis dream team in '05, who would they be?
Taylor Dent (5:25 PM)
You can't ignore Federrer, he wins more matches than anybody lately. Hewitt would be on my team ... Roddick, too. There's three. Let's see, who else? ... Nalbandian and then, for the fifth man .... that nasty clay courter, Guillermo Coria! There's my five.
Hey Taylor!! Good luck in the Open. How do you get yourself pumped up for a match?
Taylor Dent (5:26 PM)
I guess, for me, it's not that hard. I have more trouble staying calm. It's easy for me to get too fired up. I try to stay focussed, go out, do my job and just let the chips fall. I try to take my time.
William (Ann Arbor, MI)
What do you attribute your recent win over Hewitt to?
Taylor Dent (5:28 PM)
I think it's a combination of a lot of things but the biggest reason would be that my second serve was above average that day, it was effective and accurate. I was solid at the net and I was playing great defense when he was serving so he really had to earn all the points that he was serving.
What player, past or present, would you like to meet in a Wimbledon final?
Taylor Dent (5:29 PM)
I guess for sure I'd say I'd love to play Pete Sampras -- b/c it's his court. He's the true test. ... And of course, I'd love to beat him.
Matt (Baton Rouge, LA)
What did you think of the movie "Wimbeldon"?
Taylor Dent (5:30 PM)
Oh, I actually didn't see it, but I was in the hotel room last week flicking through on demand movies and I was actually going to watch it b/c the previews looked good. I'll have to take a peek at it.
James, Los Angeles
Taylor, it is a treat to be able to root for someone as amicable as you. How are you recovering from your recent cold and what kind of preparation can you do for the upcoming heat? you think that will effect play?
Taylor Dent (5:32 PM)
Thanks James. What I'm doing right now is drinking a lot of fluids, I bought some Pedialyte from the pharmacy over here. I was pretty ill the other day and I could have kept playing in my match but I really just wanted to be recovered for the Aussie Open. That's what we're here for.
Why do you think there are no serve and volley players anymore (excluding you of course)? Personally I love watching and playing against them. Brings a great contrast in styles.
Taylor Dent (5:34 PM)
Being a serve and vollier, I understand how difficult the game is. Tim Henmen doesn't serve and volley nearly as much any more, tourney are slowing down the courts so the players have longer rallies, the balls are getting heavier and the players just return and pass so well. It's just so difficult to play this kind of game, I guess that's why we're seeing so much less of it!
Lindsay (Ann Arbor, MI)
How did you get involved in that commercial featuring Agassi's "kid?"
Taylor Dent (5:36 PM)
It was a crazy coincidence. I was playing in Munich and I rolled my ankle pretty badly so I wouldn't have been able to play so I flew home and my agent called me up. I told him my ankle was smashed up and I was just taking it easy and starting to hit slowly. He told me about the commercial, eight days later I flew up to San Francisco and shot the commercial and had a great time!
Brett (Rochester, NY)
First of all Taylor good luck in Melbourne, I will be rooting for you. Because the Australian Open is so separated from the other grand slams in terms of time of year, how does your training and preparation differ for this event as opposed to the French, Wimbledon or US Open?
Taylor Dent (5:38 PM)
I actaully think that the preparation is a little bit easier for this slam b/c we do actually have some time off and we can just focus on practicing and working on our game instead of playing match after match after match in all those tournaments. So, I think that the preparation for the Australian Open is easier on us.
John Craig, Newport Beach, California
Hello Taylor, Just want you to know I am watching all your results closely and pulling for you to have a great Australian Open and 2005. Stay healthy and good luck to you!
Taylor Dent (5:39 PM)
Thanks so much for all of your support, everybody. Hopefully, if you're cheering for me, I won't let you down too much. I look forward to seeing you all at the tournaments coming up. Take care!
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