Archive for the 'Taylor Dent' Category

08
Nov
10

Taylor Dent is retiring from professional tennis.

The 29-year-old American  Taylor Dent is retiring from professional tennis. He was one of a handful of current pros with a serve-and-volley style. Once ranked as high as 21st, Dent had three back operations in 2006 and 2007 that derailed his career, then made a comeback and climbed back into the top 100 in 2009.

In a statement released Monday by his agent, Dent says he wants to stay active in the sport and “explore opportunities … that my full tournament scheduled never allowed.” He went 12-19 this season, and is ranked 85th.

His career record is 151-140 with four titles, three in 2003. He and 1974 Australian Open runner-up Phil Dent were the first father-son duo to win ATP titles in the Open era.

20
Aug
10

Dinara Safina accepts a wildcard to the 2010 Pilot Pen.

Dinara Safina and Americans Taylor Dent and Donald Young have been granted wildcards into Pilot Pen Tennis at Yale, an Olympus US Open Series event on the ATP World Tour and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, to be held August 20-28 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale, it was announced today by Anne Worcester, tournament director. 

 “Adding Dinara Safina means that our women’s field is incredibly strong with four of the top eight ranked players in the world, two former World No. 1 players, and a slew of other international stars,” said Worcester. “With Taylor Dent and Donald Young joining our men’s draw, we now have four American stars, including James Blake and Mardy Fish. The Pilot Pen gets underway tomorrow.

American Sam Querrey has withdrawn from the tournament.

22
Jul
10

Is big John Isner addicted to high drama matches?

John Isner made a winning return to the men’s tour with a hard-fought triumph against Gilles Muller at the Atlanta Tennis Championships.

Isner wrote himself into tennis folklore at SW19 last month by defeating Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in an 11-hour, 183-game epic, and by any other yardstick would have considered his three-set victory against Luxembourg qualifier Muller a decent workout.

The giant American demonstrated the fighting spirit that served him so well in the first-round encounter at the All England Club by saving match points in both the second and third sets before prevailing 4-6 7-6 (8/6) 7-6 (9/7).

The 6ft 9in Isner fired 33 aces to 29 from Muller in a big-hitting encounter, and the former University of Georgia student admitted he was indebted to the partisan crowd for getting him across the line despite failing to break his opponent’s serve.

“The match was pretty ugly to be honest, but I was proud how I competed and the crowd helped in that regard,” said Isner, who is seeded second for this event and was handed a bye in the first round.

“I was down break points a couple of times in the second set – they were kind of baby match points with the way he was serving.”

He added: “I hadn’t seen a live ball in quite some time and Gilles was never going to give me rhythm with his lefty serve.

“I felt I was shedding the rust off in the second and third sets. I will only keep getting better. As a tennis player you need a lot of matches to play your best.

“This was one of the biggest wins of the year.”

Fellow Americans Michael Russell, Taylor Dent and Mardy Fish also advanced to the quarter-finals with second-round wins.

Russell set up a last-eight clash with Isner by defeating German Rainer Schuettler 1-6 6-2 7-5, while Dent progressed by upsetting fourth-seeded Argentinian Horacio Zeballos 4-6 6-2 6-0.

Dent will next meet Fish after the sixth seeded dispatched another American, Robby Ginepri, 6-1 7-5.

09
Feb
10

Taylor Dent wins 1st. round to advance.

Fifth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych and unseeded American Taylor Dent were first-round winners Monday at the $600,000 SAP Open.

Dent topped fellow countryman Alex Bogomolov Jr, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) on the indoor hardcourts at HP Pavilion. On the final match of the night, Berdych overcame a few saved match points by his opponent before finally putting away AMerican Wayne Odesnik, 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5.

Additional Day-1 wins came for Finn Jarkko Nieminen, Israeli Dudi Sela, Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer and Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.

This week’s top seeds are American Andy Roddick and Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. Roddick is a three-time San Jose titlist (2004, 2005 and 2008).

Czech Radek Stepanek, seeded third this week, beat American Mardy Fish in last year’s finale here.

07
Sep
09

“He just doesn’t miss,” proclaims Dent in defeat.

andy_murray_1476236dThe American wild card, ranked 195 and climbing back up the rankings after more than two years out of action following two major back operations, saw Murray nullify his big serve and serve-volley tactics on his way to a 90-minute 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 defeat under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“He doesn’t miss. He really doesn’t miss,” Dent, 28, said following the defeat.

 “I don’t think I served great tonight but I don’t think I served poorly either.

“I served probably below average for me but he made it look and feel like I served underhanded out there at times.

“He was just able to put stuff by me. I tried to mix up my spins, mix up my paces and give him different looks.

“I think he’s No 1 in the world at breaking guys, so that makes sense.”

Dent, the son of former Australian tennis star Phil Dent, said the third-round match with Murray had probably come a little too soon along his road back towards the top 100 in the rankings.

“I’m not executing well enough to feel like I have an outstanding shot to beat a quality player like Murray,” Dent said.

“Right now my serve isn’t quite as accurate. I’m missing too many forehands.

“What kept the games relatively close on my serve and gave me a few chances to get tight was, again, my fighting. I was battling for every point.

“He’s a quality player, there’s no way around it, and if your execution isn’t matching his, it’s going to go like that.”

06
Sep
09

Murray will have to battle Dent and the crowd.

_dent 22_andy mur

The reception the second-seeded Scot can expect from a 25,000 capacity crowd at about 11pm, when he is last on court at Flushing Meadows’ Arthur Ashe Stadium, may suggest American feeling for him can most accurately be gauged as chilly bordering on frigid. And with regard to kinship or empathy, Murray will struggle to find any semblance of support against an opponent whose story is the stuff of which American feel-good movies are made.

Taylor Dent personifies determination and an affirmation that things bordering on miracles can happen. While Murray has been advised that lifting the trophy a week today could guarantee an increase in his marketability in terms of endorsements to boost his income to at least £16m a year, before winning a penny of prize-money, he will be facing an opponent who would be happy not to be paid a cent because he is just so delighted at being competitive on a court again.

Murray is under no illusions that this, his third meeting with Dent after winning the first two as a callow 18-year-old new to the ATP World Tour in 2005, will be a demanding New York experience. He has played an American on the Flushing Meadows cement before but his first-round win over Robbie Kendrick in 2006 was contested on an outside court and he was relatively anonymous outside of Britain. His two other high-profile matches in the tournament have seen him fill the role of underdog, against Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer last year.

Now he will be unquestionably the enemy. Dent will not walk on to court waving Star-Spangled Banners but patriotism is bound to play its part and Murray maintains he is ready. “It doesn’t really bother me,” the Scot insisted. “He’s had a tough time and it’s obviously great that he’s doing well again, but I’ve got to take care of business. The difference is that when I played him before, he was expected to win and obviously now I’m the one that’s got the pressure on me.”

Two years ago, after undergoing the second of two operations on the base of his spine, Dent was told he would never play tennis again. In fact, regardless of the fact he once delivered the fourth fastest serve in tennis history while almost attaining a place in the world’s top 20, he would be fortunate to convalesce sufficiently to even walk properly.

It is easy to comprehend why Dent was so overcome with delight after winning a five-set marathon to secure his third-round place against Murray that he scaled the umpire’s chair, commandeered the microphone and used it to issue a vote of thanks to all the spectators who willed him to victory against Spain’s Ivan Navarro. “The crowd just never stopped,” Dent enthused. “They were just with me the whole time. Emotions just boil over here. The US Open is such a unique experience for a tennis player.”

For almost a year the player who had gathered four ATP World Tour titles was forced to spend 23 hours a day in bed, encased in a body caste so his vertebra was effectively immobilised to allow it to heal after fusion surgery. Rehabilitation was a lengthy experience and Dent was effectively off the tennis tour for three years but finally a doctor gave him the all-clear to try hitting a few balls. Although he contested both the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year, his world ranking stands at 195 and he required the charity of a wild-card entry from the United States Tennis Association to compete this week.

After overcoming Spain’s Feliciano Lopez and Navarro — attacking players who favour serve and volley tactics similar to Dent — he knows Murray’s baseline precision and all-court awareness will be far tougher to combat. “Andy is one of the best counterpunchers the game has seen so it would be silly for me to stay back and out-rally him,” said Dent.

05
Sep
09

Taylor Dent wins the ‘match of the tournament’.

US Open Tennis“You people are . . .” Taylor Dent’s voice seem to catch with a minor choke-up before he could smoothly finish the sentence, but he eventually got it all out. “You people are . . . unbelieveable.”

About a half-hour ago, right on 9:50 p.m. and with a lot more people on the U.S. Open Grandstand Court than they had seats, Dent capped off a stunner of a throwback match by converting on his fourth match point to beat Ivan Navarro 6-4, 5-7, 6-7 (1), 7-5, 7-6 (9).

Navarro had been playing serve-and-volley tennis throughout this four hour and 12-minute odyssey and at 9-10 in the fifth set tiebreak, he was coming forward again on his first serve. He hit a moderately paced ball to Dent’s backhand side in the ad court and Taylor was laying for it. He cocked his racket for a half-slice, half-drive down the line and Navarro, storming to the net, never had a chance to cover.

The Taylor rooting section, which had been chanting “Dent, Dent, Dent” from the beginning and who had begun to get under Navarro’s skin as the fifth set wore out, was on its feet along with thousands of others who no doubt were very familiar with Dent’s career-threatening back surgery of a couple years ago and who were thrilled by his comeback.

This was a remarkable match for a lot of reasons. First, the numbers, which were numbing. Navarro got in 81 percent of his first serves, Dent 70 percent. There were 376 points and 255 of them were played at the net. That was the throwback, with Navarro converting 62.3 percent of his 146 approaches and Dent cashing 67.8 percent of his 109 trips inside the service line. Incredible numbers. Pete Sampras vs. Tim Henman numbers at Wimbledon.

Then, there was the time of this match — more than four hours. And the drama of a seesaw fifth set tiebreak, where Dent should have finished it at 7-6, but blew an easy forehand volley.

Finally, there was Dent himself. I won’t go into the full details of Dent’s back problems. You’re probably sufficiently aware of what happened to him and how he had to lay in bed in a body cast most of every day for nine months, sometimes getting up only to go to the bathroom.

And so there he was Friday night on the Grandstand Court. I wondered how his back was going to feel after serving 186 balls in a little over four hours. He probably won’t know that himself until Saturday morning, when he rolls out of bed, and he might literally roll out of bed.

But at 9:50 p.m., he was in Nirvana. After shaking Navarro’s hand, he asked the chair umpire for his mike and — I’ve rarely seen this — addressed the crowd.

“You people are . . . unbelievable.” They roared, of course. Dent had to be running on fumes at this point, oblivious to any pain, if there was any. And there might not have been. He was still cranking in the final tiebreak, ripping off a 144 mph ace down the middle. Earlier in the match he had a 147 mph. He averaged 120 mph on his first serve, 102 on his second. And, except for that gaffed volley at 7-6, you could only marvel at his volleying instincts. They’re there, just as you remembered them before the back surgery.

And so Taylor moves into the third round to play (gulp) Andy Murray. They’ve met twice before, both in 2005, with Murray winning each time. But that’s ancient history. Murray was ranked No. 132 then. He’s No. 2 now. Dent was No. 21 then. he’s 195 now.

With the American crowds stoked behind Dent, this one undoubtedly will be on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court on Sunday. Taylor’s chances of winning lie somewhere between zero and remote, but who knows.

He’s got his back up now. Anything can happen.

Charles Bricker can be reached at bricker@tennisnews.com

02
Sep
09

Taylor Dent’s inspirational return to the US Open.

dentThis all seemed so impossible when Taylor Dent was lying in bed 23 hours a day, recuperating from his second back operation.

And later, when he would be out of breath after a short stroll.

And, of course, when doctors told him to forget about playing professional tennis again.

On Tuesday, Taylor Dent not only played again at the U.S. Open – he won.

Returning to the Flushing Meadows as a competitor for the first time in four years, for the first time since having his back repaired, the 28-year-old from Newport Beach, Calif., beat Feliciano Lopez of Spain 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3, 7-5 to reach the second round.

“I wanted to be here competing and playing well and playing matches. So to be back here accomplishing that is pretty remarkable,” said Dent, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 21 in 2005. “I still have a long way to go. I still feel like my game is still pretty rough around the edges. But it’s extremely exciting.”

The serving motion he had to adjust because of his back problems managed to produce 18 aces against Lopez. Dent still plays the hard-charging, serve-and-volley style he always has, and he won 39 of 58 points when he went to the net.

“I was told by the doctors that this was not realistic,” Dent said. “After I kind of succumbed to the fact I had to have the surgeries to have a normal life, I came to grips with the fact that I wasn’t going to be able to play professional tennis anymore.”




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