Monday, November 8, 2010

Last of the S&Vers

On from the excellent news of yesterday to the rather more melancholy news of today - not sad, I think, but heading in that general direction. Taylor Dent has retired from professional tennis.

In reality, Taylor Dent was someone that never was. He was like a slightly more actualised version of Joachim Johansson - he had all the talent, but injury and whatnot stood in the way of him making good on it. I remember back in Australia 2006, where he was the 27th seed, people were tipping him to make the semis and all kinds of crazy things. Taylor never even came close.

But despite all his woes and despite the fact he never made it to the upper echelons of the game, Taylor did represent something important in the world of men's tennis, and that is something which is, I think, definitely going to be missed. That thing is serve-and-volley. Dent was probably one of the last - if not the last - true serve-and-volley player out there. I mean, he wasn't exactly Pat Rafter, but he was all that we had left on that front. Of course there are players who can and do serve-and-volley, but Dent was the last of the true breed, I think. And that will be missed.

And then there's the fact that the Dent story in and of itself is pretty amazing - didn't he spend more than six months in a full body cast at some stage? He was definitely out for a really long time and then made a pretty shiny comeback, which is awesome. But he has a new(ish) baby and a life and he's never going to make the big BIG leagues now, though he might have continued to enjoy some minor success. I understand why he's retired. But it's kind of sad to think that the Last of the S&Vers has departed the court.

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