Tennis Tips Daily found that the Madrid Blue Clay Court Controversy is heating up this week as the Madrid Open makes tennis history. In case you were not aware, the Madrid Open Tennis Tournament decided to move to a blue clay surface instead of the normal Red Clay which players have come to know as normal. Like some other sports, Tennis is a sport of tradition; so when there are changes like this you can expect that many players and spectators will have a strong opinion. It is causing quite a Buzz on the ATP Tour, and we might see some signs of stress from the players as we would with any other change to the game.
Madrid Blue Clay Court Controversy
Here Pete Bodo tells us what the current World #1 and #2 ATP Players Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have to say about the Blue Clay in Madrid.
Hence, we have objections to the blue clay, like this assertion from Novak Djokovic, delivered during the Monte Carlo tournament, weeks before he even set eyes upon the new color: “Sometimes, change is good. I like innovative and creative people. But, on the other hand, it’s going to be the only blue clay court tournament in the world, first time ever in history.”
Um, yes. That’s kind of how change works, right? Can anyone else imagine a wonderful and thoughtful athlete like Djokovic saying: “Hey, we’re heading into unexplored territory, but that’s what change and evolution are all about—whatever happens, at least it will be the same for all of us.”
Djokovic’s great rival, Rafael Nadal, also weighed in early on, with a point that ventures dangerously close to outright tautology: “The history of the clay court season was on red, it wasn’t on blue.” He then added, “You can tell me that I am traditional, but I am not. I love all improvements.”
All improvements except the most controversial one since the introduction of electronic line-calling technology—which, as we all know, that other iconic figure, Roger Federer, is still trashing. Most recently—and astonishingly—Federer was bemoaning the fact that the challenge system appears to be eliminating controversies of the kind in which John McEnroe once specialized.
Just yesterday, Nadal was reported to have made further complaint about the blue clay, suggesting that, “The court is more slippery than usual, because I do not know if you have too little clay, it’s hard underneath it, and [maybe] if you paint it blue its more slippery … I am not a technician, but I’ve noticed it. There are times when the court is soft, but that’s a less worrisome problem.”
I am not sure if the Madrid blue clay controversy will leave a lasting impression on the ATP Tour, but there is a chance that Blue will be the new Red depending on how things go this week. It will be interesting to hear what the players say about the new blue clay tennis courts after the Madrid Open is over this year.