Feeling blue in Madrid

Novak and Rafa rare both blue about the blue clay.


It’s really too bad that instead of just tossing around impressionistic comments on the deepness of the color of Madrid’s blue clay that the tournament has devolved into as spitting match between the top men, tournament owner Ion Tiriac and the ATP. Because really, this week should be about how the world’s best men and women are playing in altitude on dirt and it’s not. It’s about Rafa Nadal after his shocking loss to Fernando Verdasco saying he won’t play next year if changes are not made. Nadal is one of the most popular athletes in Spain, so imagine how much that would hurt the tournament. “I think the tournament is great but that is a bad decision,” he said. “The movements are very important for me and here I cannot move, so I cannot hit the ball the way that I want.” Then Novak Djokovic joined in saying after his 7-6 6-4 win over Stanislas Wawrinka that he would not play next year either. “They are saying it’s exactly the same as the red clay which is not true because there is a big difference,” the Serb said. “You are tripping and slipping and sliding all the time and winner will be the one who doesn’t get hurt until the end of the week because a lot of players fell down. Generally it’s a new experience and the way it looks this year hopefully the last experience.” And how about Roger Federer after his win over Richard Gasquet? “We never felt comfortable on the surface, it is a tough surface and that only makes you angry even more,” the Swiss said. Fortunately, Carlos Moya, who is the assistant tournament director and just recently retired, said that they will do all they can to fix the surface which apparently has too little top dressing. Moya said that they are listening to the players and given that he and Nadal are very close personally, you have to believe him. Tiriac also said that they would take hard look at the surface. Both say they don

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