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Taylor Dent's weighty issues

Following his 6-4, 7-5, 6-1 win over Alejandro Falla, American Taylor Dent explained that his strategy is based partly on his weight. Although the USTA website lists Dent's weight at 195 pounds, he admits that's in his dreams.

In reality, Dent said he's been told his ideal playing weight is 217 to 220 pounds. Throughout his career, Dent has fought a weight battle just like any other dieter except that fitness is a major issue for a tennis player.

"I weigh 40 to 50 pounds more than these guys out there," Dent said. "They're all like 160, you know? So, it's just that I don't want to do the moving. I want to do the attacking. I want to come in. I want to knock off volleys. That's it."

As a result, Dent likes to stay back on the baseline until he sees a chance to come forward and quickly end the point. He recalled playing at 215 pounds back in 2005 and having just six percent body fat. "I mean, where am I going to lose weight?" Dent asked.

When he was recovering from surgery later that year, Dent said he was eating only 1,000 calories a day, had not fat on him and got down to 195. But he also had no muscle tone, so, the light thing just doesn't work for him.

"I've kind of given up in a sense," Dent said. "I'm not going to weigh 180 pounds, I'm not going to weigh 175. So, I just have to be stronger. I have to be more physical on the court and bully them around, you know."

In the second round, Dent runs into Sweden's Robin Soderling, the No. 5 player in the world, who is two inches taller at 6-4 and is listed at a lithe 192 pounds. It's going to be tough for Dent to bully him. In fact, in this year's French Open, Soderling destroyed Dent, 6-0, 6-1, 6-1. Dent also lost to Soderling back in 2004 but he won their only other match in 2003. Maybe that's when Dent really was 195 pounds.


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