Taylor Dent's Wimbledon Chances

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by bladepdb, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. bladepdb

    bladepdb Professional

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    So here's one of the few threads on this page that doesnt' have to do with Nadal, Fed, or Murray.....

    After watching Dent's match against Federer at Miami, I was beginning to see why so many of you on TT yearn for the S & V days. I haven't had the opportunity to see enough of the 80s & 90s, so for me I've grown up with the baseline game (I'm 20, and my generation is the baseline bashing generation :p).

    At any rate, I got to thinking that despite the relatively reduced speed of the Wimbledon grass compared to even just half a decade ago, S & V still has a GREAT chance at Wimby (and USO on a side note).

    So from the game I could see Taylor Dent put on a powerful show. He was serving fast and fairly well. In fact I would probably guess that he was serving faster on average on first serves than Roddick did during his match against Fed. Obviously a good, fast first serve is a huge weapon at Wimbledon.

    Most importantly of course is Dent's fearlessness of approaching the net. This would be his bread & butter at Wimbledon. I think overall his approaches to the net were very well developed, with the exception of a few weak chip/slice returns on serve or during the middle of a rally. Of course, when you play someone of Federer's caliber, you can expect to get passed at the instant you give Fed the opportunity.

    However, for the rest of the field (save Nadal, Federer, Murray [he had great passes against Djokovic in the final] and maybe Djokovic) I think Dent has the game to clean them out at Wimbledon if he maintains the high quality we saw during Miami.

    He does, however, face a few key challenges. For instance, in the first set, he had several (I lost track of how many, but it was at least 5 IIRC) break chances against Federer when Dent was up 2-1. I would probably attribute this to Dent's fearless but somewhat bashful approaches to the net, where he didn't structure an approach shot strong enough against Federer. If he could improve his mental game and get maybe a little bit more comfortable at the baseline to handle players like Fed, Nadal, and Murray who have the best baseline games today, I think Dent has the opportunity to create an upset.

    Most importantly though he came off as a little sluggish at the baseline. If he were to work on his fitness before Wimbledon, he would probably have the ability to enter the second week at least, if not go deeper. This would obviously also help his net game.

    That said, I think Dent has a huge opportunity this Wimbledon to break his 4th round mark, maybe leave his mark by creating a couple of upsets. Djokovic was upset fairly easily last year to a tough Safin...this year, Dent could really leave his mark on his comeback run.
     
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  2. NotSoSuper

    NotSoSuper Rookie

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    Im gonna say 4th round. But it depends entirely on his draw. Hes definitely capably of an upset though.
     
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  3. bladepdb

    bladepdb Professional

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    I'd be surprised if he doesn't make it to at least that, but I mean he is a curve ball in today's baseline field, so it would be extremely disappointing if he didn't create at least one upset along his way.
     
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  4. NotSoSuper

    NotSoSuper Rookie

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    Do you think hes capable of beating Djokovic on grass?
     
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  5. bladepdb

    bladepdb Professional

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    Absolutely. Djokovic is a little bit of a coin toss because he could get on a roll and mix up his game very well. His runs to USO 2007 Final and win at AO 08 come to mind, where he proved he had a great all-court game.

    However, judging by Djokovic's performance so far, I think he is relatively weak. May it be a weak mental game, his slightly playboy-ish lifestyle, or his racquet change, I don't know. But if Djokovic can't deliver during the clay season or especially if he drops to #4 in the world, I think Dent will eat him up.

    Not to mention with Dent running Djokovic from one side of the baseline to the other while he himself sits at the net, Djokovic will tire easily.
     
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  6. obsessedtennisfandisorder

    obsessedtennisfandisorder Professional

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    Sorry blade, yes, i like dent and his game too...but beating the likes of
    Djokovic on todays surfaces...umm..no...

    First of all..the grass has changed..it has consistent bounces.

    secondly...how is dent going to break djokovic is his shape and style...
    can't live at the baseline...chip and charge is a good idea...but once
    again consistent bounces strings etc mean players today can pass/lob
    better than 80's 90's...just watch all the winning passing shots in last years
    final to work that out.

    OF all the top players, ironically i believe best chance is against NADAL funnily enuff.

    noone today pressures nadal from the net...right from the start....I reallly want to see how that huge topspin
    forehand holds up when it not even allowed to bounce in the first place.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
    #6
  7. NotSoSuper

    NotSoSuper Rookie

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    That was very convincing.

    What do you think is a realistic goal for dent in terms of ranking this year? Top 50? top 100? I believe hes 313 right now
     
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  8. obsessedtennisfandisorder

    obsessedtennisfandisorder Professional

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    No, the idea behond serve and volley is to end the point quickly, not
    to give repeated chances to pass you. just watch andre vs pete..the more
    volleys pete had to make, the better andres chance of winning with a winning pass/lob
     
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  9. bladepdb

    bladepdb Professional

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    In last year's final we were watching the two best players of tennis in 2008 at the top of their games. I'd be extremely surprised and Nadal and Fed couldn't make passes of the high level that they did.

    Yes grass has indeed changed, there's no denying that. However, that doesn't mean you can't have low bounces. If there were more slices and drop volleys of the like Dent was hitting, I'm sure you'd see why grass is what it is.

    Djokovic this year is a different creature than 07/08. Just look at his results: only a Dubai title, barely facing any challenging hard court players [Ferrer is good on hard, but nowhere near as good as Djokovic]. Plus, he is mentally unstable right now during games. Just look at the amount of errors he drew against Fed in the SF and Murray in the final, squandering his breaks in the second set agaisnt Murray.

    It's not that the technology or ability is not there; rather, it's the fact that today's players don't face many, if at all any, players with the S & V style.

    Of course, as I mentioned, Dent's fitness is an issue, but something that can very realistically be resolved by the time Wimbledon rolls around.
     
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  10. bladepdb

    bladepdb Professional

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    I think top 100 is realistic. After clay season is over, he has the rest of the year to build up his success.

    My only concern would be if he were to try to play a little too much...that could be very bad due to his history with injury.

    Yes, but today's counterpunchers like to run those shots down, don't they? I'd be surprised if Djokovic didn't try to run down shots across the baseline; drop volleys are another story, but you can't expect even the best to hit a drop volley every time they're at the net.

    And yes I realize I just called Djokovic a counterpuncher. I'm not sure if that label is accurate or not, but he stays at the baseline and goes aggressive when he gets an opening, so I feel it applies to him. Please correct me if I'm way off.
     
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  11. NotSoSuper

    NotSoSuper Rookie

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    Does anyone have info on Dents injury? Like if his surgery completely fixed the issue or if he still has pain?

    Im a Dent fan :)
     
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  12. obsessedtennisfandisorder

    obsessedtennisfandisorder Professional

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    Blade, i like dent just as much as you, for example i believe he has a great
    backhand slice that he could use both through chip and charge...i also
    think he volleys well enuff and has good thinking about approaching the
    net..unlike fed or roddick.

    I just don't understand why you pick on djokovic, when i'm telling you that
    if dent and nadal meet third round...dent wins:) djokovic is a monster man.
     
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  13. bladepdb

    bladepdb Professional

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    I just might be rooting for him too except of course against Nadal. I love watching Nadal play and winning the big ones :)

    I'm pretty sure his injury is indeed fixed, but I mean if you've had one surgery and don't watch out, you could end up easily needing more.

    I can't imagine him serving 130+ like he did in Miami with his injury still lingering, even if it woudl be every so slightly.
     
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  14. bladepdb

    bladepdb Professional

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    Well, NotSoSuper asked me what Dent's chances were if he faced off against Djokovic, so .... lol.

    I think if Dent and Nadal meet, early, it would be a tremendously exciting match. I would be very disappointed if Nadal lost because he has some of the best - if not the best - passing shots today. But, I would also be happy for Dent.

    And yes I think Dent has the game to beat Nadal. I just don't see it happening, though, because Nadal is a tremendous mover and a passer. (By comparison as to why I would "pick on" Djokovic instead, Djokovic has great passing shots and is a fairly good mover, but we haven't seen much of that this year)

    Does that work? :D
     
    #14
  15. tenniscool

    tenniscool Rookie

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    I hope he goes far, he's definitely a breath of fresh air
     
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  16. NotSoSuper

    NotSoSuper Rookie

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    Him and nadal at wimbledon would be very exciting.

    Dd you notice what speed he has been serving at? I think his fastest is like 151.
     
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  17. DunlopDood

    DunlopDood Semi-Pro

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    This isn't the grass court surface of the 90's, hence that backhand slice doesn't slide though the court like it once did. In other words he has no chance. Doesn't he need to qualify too?
     
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  18. bladepdb

    bladepdb Professional

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    I realize it's not the same grass, clearly. I can't attest to this, maybe someone who's been to Wimbledon can....but I'm willing to bet that if a player knows how to slice, how to volley, he can use the grass to his advantage. I'm sure it slides or skids more than you think.

    He probably does need to qualify, but I can see him getting a wildcard too :\
     
    #18
  19. Josherer

    Josherer Professional

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    Sadly Wimbledon = Clay :(
     
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  20. illkhiboy

    illkhiboy Hall of Fame

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    Exactly! Which is why Roddick keeps doing well on grass while being relatively clueless on clay. And yeah, Mahut I'm sure loves to play on the grass too since it's just like his favored clay. Yes indeed. Doesn't Feliciano Lopez do pretty good at Wimbledon? Geez, how can that be? Oh wait he is a Spaniard so of course he likes the clay as well.
    Oh and why the heck does Moya stay back 15 feet at Roland Garros while attempting to S&V at Wimbledon? He obviously must not be reading your posts. What a dumb ass! I 'm referring to Moya as the dumb ass of course. I only flame players, never posters less I get a violation from the awesome moderators of TW.

    As far as Dent is concerned, I hope he has a good grass season. Though I'm not sure how comfortable he is on the grass. I think he prefers fast hard courts so if he gets back in the groove I think the indoor season might be the highlight of his year.

    Considering his chances against Nadal on grass, I say he has none. I don't see him breaking Nadal's serve. The Spaniard varies it well enough and plays a good first shot off weak returns. If you notice, Nadal only loses against very good returners. That's the key to beating him. Dent is not the sort who can crush returns. Also consider that Nadal hits the slice very well. And with his enormous topspin it's hard to keep the slice low.

    And Nadal will surely find a way to break Dent once a set.

    With both playing their best, I'd say Nadal wins 7-6, 6-4, 6-2.
     
    #20
  21. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    I see a Dent bandwagon on the board.
    so many threads about him suddenly..
     
    #21
  22. Taylor can absolutely create an upset at Wimbledon,he will probably be given a WC and doesnt need to qualify.
     
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  23. edberg505

    edberg505 Legend

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    Probably because he hasn't played in nearly 2 years and he seems to be doing quite well on his comeback track. That and he plays a style different from sitting at the baseline and looping balls back all day long.
     
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  24. Alexio92

    Alexio92 Professional

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    Dent could get a WC then do a goran
     
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  25. tomas9848

    tomas9848 Professional

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    I think he will get into the early rounds but, not farther that quarters.
     
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  26. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Really depends on the draw. Taylor has always had the ability to beat anybody on his better days and the grass sure helps with his agressive S/V game and big serve. As you noted, the grass is slower now and really helps the baseliners get more passes against S/V players like Dent. I sure hope Roger plays a more classic game since it should be pretty obvious now that he will not beat Rafa from the baseline. Maybe Wimbledon will provide the last opportunity for Federer to find the courage to play his old classic game like when he first beat Sampras. If this does happen or if Taylor wins a few rounds, it will surely provide as a reminder that classic tennis can still be a winning strategy against the modern game. I bet if you threw in Sampras and Rafter into the 2009 draw, one of those guys may still get to the final.
     
    #26
  27. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    The point is, past the top 4 and say, Roddick and Tsonga, there aren't that many guys I'd call tough to beat on grass. So oof course, if he got the right draw, got to play on a show court, he could pull an upset. That being said, I dont see him beating the likes of Nadal and Djokovic, if he couldn't beat the likes of Agassi and Hewitt when he was making his first "run" in his career.
     
    #27
  28. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    Remember Wimbledon is the green clay now.
    I can't see him go far playing that style on the green clay.
     
    #28
  29. gj011

    gj011 Banned

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    Well disrespect for Djokovic continues. Even Dent better player than him on grass now. ROFL.

    Dent is interesting player, but come on.
     
    #29
  30. All-rounder

    All-rounder Legend

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    And thats why he won't make it past the 3rd or 4th round you and I know wimbledon is baseline roland garros style not S&V nadal would destroy dent on todays grass
     
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  31. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    Exactly. He couldnt even make it far on "real" grass back in the day, how's he gonna survive on today's slower grass. Just look at how someone like Gimelstob did a couple a yrs ago playing s&v. 1st round exit. He has potential, but let him at least make top 100 before we have him taking out Nadal at Wimbledon.
     
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  32. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    I see the Dent bandwagon is rolling lets be honest here he wont do anything at Wimbledon.
     
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  33. All-rounder

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    I agree on old grass he didn't progress the way people expected him too so think on slow grass his chances become slimmer
     
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  34. kungfusmkim

    kungfusmkim Professional

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    Dent being the best serve and volleyer in the field right now, I say, if he can play at his top notch he can get reallllll far in the tournament. I agree, i see why people yearn sooo much for a s & volleyer in the game today.
     
    #34
  35. gj011

    gj011 Banned

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    Dent is not the best S&V in the game now. Stepanek, Llodra, Mahut are all better than him and they didn't do much on Wimbledon lately.
     
    #35
  36. Serve_Ace

    Serve_Ace Professional

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    Didn't Djokovic lose 2nd round to a certain Marat Safin? So I think Dent could have a chance against Djokovic, depending on how he's feeling that day
     
    #36
  37. clayman2000

    clayman2000 Hall of Fame

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    All depends on his draw.....if he gets a top 5 seed then hess be in for trouble. But i could see him taking out any non-seeded player, and even some clay courters like Almagro, Robredo, Melzer.

    Dent's game is worst suited to top players as they all have a superior passing ability to the rest of the field. Guys like Federer, Nadal, Murray, Djokovic, Roddick, Tsonga, Verdasco could allpass hi if his approach is anything less than pristine. If you dont believe me find out the score of the Roddick Dent match in i think 04 at the AO...i beleive the score was like 2, 0 and 2

    However, Dents game is best suited to everyone else as his S and V can really throw players off. Also players ranked 15 - 50 have a tough time working on the Dent backhand becuase he keeps it really low and charges the net ASAP.
     
    #37
  38. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    I think he can win a few rounds, but I'm not expecting anything huge (though it would be nice to see).

    Everyone is mezmerized by Den't game, but he wasn't really a Wimbedon contender before he came from injury, so I don't see why he would be today. But, who know's. Maybe he'll catch lightening in a bottle.
     
    #38
  39. deltox

    deltox Hall of Fame

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    in all honesty they do lack something he has though

    intensity and a mean serve
     
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  40. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, but that was in windy conditions. In a perfect world, Dent would have no chance to beat Djokovic, he couldn't even beat Safin.
     
    #40
  41. gj011

    gj011 Banned

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    Dent made 4th round in Miami and he is now the next best thing on the tour and future Wimbledon champion. :roll:

    People here for sure like to jump on bandwagons.
     
    #41
  42. Hold on....since Dent is ranked 313, won't he have to qualify?


    Or does he get a wild card?
     
    #42
  43. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    Exactly. He's not even top 100 and not even in the field yet, and people have him taking out Nadal in the 1st Round.
     
    #43
  44. I think he'll get a wildcard, since he made the fourth round in 2005. I'm sure the fans would love to have him back.
     
    #44
  45. Bjorn to be alive

    Bjorn to be alive New User

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    Dent wild receive a wild card, lose in the second round and thats it!

    People!!! get a....
     
    #45
  46. Bjorn to be alive

    Bjorn to be alive New User

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    Dent will receive a wild card, lose in the second round and thats it!

    People!!! get a....
     
    #46
  47. ezdude1970

    ezdude1970 Semi-Pro

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    dent's best year was 2005, he made round of 16 at W, he seems to getting some momentum going now, so maybe he can string couple matches together.
     
    #47
  48. edberg505

    edberg505 Legend

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    So, let me get this straight, Clement makes it to the quaters and Schuttler makes it to the semis but it's an impossibility for Taylor Dent to make past the 2nd round. Boy, I hope he collects scalp of a big name this Wimbledon so I can come back and say, I told you so. By the way, the last time Dent played in Wimbledon he lost in the round of 16 to Lleyton Hewitt.
     
    #48
  49. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    Clement and Schuttler are more accomplished and better players than Dent they have both been to slam finals.
     
    #49
  50. edberg505

    edberg505 Legend

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    Ah, I see so we should expect to see them in the next slam semi as well then right. Hell, they should be able to reproduce that same run at this year's Wimbledon.
     
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