Having spent the week here I have come to begrudgingly accept the following fact: the people of Indian Wells LOVE their Americans. It' so bizarre to see teenage girls swooning over Bob/Mike Bryan as if they're JoBros. I mean, seriously? Janko? Marat? Jo? Bolleli? Those are guys you swoon over.
All this is to say that Nole might be lucky that his countrywoman has been awarded the Friday night match and the economy is down. He'll be able to play Andy in a not close to full stadium, and I'm sure a bunch a of Serb fans will make the trek to cheer on their Serbs for the day. That said, it's also going to be pretty hot tomorrow and Nole/Andy are scheduled to take the court during the hottest time of the day. So....
Of course, with this matchup looming both guys got questions in their pressers about the status of their relationship in light of the USO debacle. It sounds like there's a detente, but they won't be sharing a milkshake anytime soon:
ANDY RODDICK: I think so. We talked about it that night. You know, and I think the whole thing, with our history and then whatever happened in Australia, I think that went through and it was fine.
I think the thing that needs to be recognized is regardless of our history, I think we've always respected each other's games, and I think we respect what the other has accomplished.
I think we understand in this game you're going to -- you know, when you're playing for that much and that much is at stake, you're going to have your rows with people. We talked about it. Are we best friends? Probably not, but I think we have a lot of respect for each other.
Q. With Ljubicic, remember, at the 2000...
ANDY RODDICK: '03.
ANDY RODDICK: We're fine. We're probably friendlier than we've ever been. You know, it happens.
Q. But as far as just having that and burying the hatchet.
ANDY RODDICK: I think you just -- like you do with any relationship, regardless whether you're close with the person or not, if it's there you just address it. Even if you don't see it the same way, you just address it, and maybe agree to disagree. Move on, you know. I think we're professionals and we're adults, so it's over.
Q. I don't ask this question with any disrespect, but all of us in our lives, we look back at things and say, Hey, I could have handled that differently. Do you have any thoughts about that night with Andy at the Open and the crowd and how you handled that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, I don't really like to talk about it anymore, because what's been -- what happened, it happened really. You learn from your mistake, as you said. I reacted the way I felt in that moment. Maybe it was right, maybe it was wrong. Everybody has a right to an opinion.
It's just behind me, and I want to, you know, take the best out of it and just continue on.
Q. Well, let me just follow up by taking a different approach. Do you enjoy playing in the United States?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course. Of course. I have no reason -- I mean, that happened. Look, we are having a really difficult, you know, season playing so many tournaments. And every match, especially if you play quarterfinals of the Grand Slam, it's so important, it's crucial, and it's frustrating for everybody, you know. And.
You are going through so many emotions, and it's not easy to handle everything. So I will not think differently in a way of liking to play here or not just because that happened with Andy for one night.
So as I said, I still like playing here, and I made, you know, best results next to the Grand Slam title here.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to it. I'm not looking forward to being a Nole fan in a sea of A-Rod love. But our "good" tickets kick in tomorrow and I'll be courtside, where the crowd is much more chill and apathetic (ironically). I think Andy will take it but I just hope that Nole makes him work for it and pushes it to three.