Giving tennis more than a shot

Smurf Village Open – Unhappy Players

The blue clay of Madrid has many, but many players complaining about its quality. Apparently done to enhance visibility for the players but, most of all, for the spectators, it’s true that the surface is stunning. It looks like a blue carpet of hard, but it’s clay.


However, the players are not happy about it. The surface bounces low, is more slippery than red clay, and apparently the courts play very badly. I say apparently because I obviously haven’t tried it but when clay specialists complain about the surface, you know it’s not a good thing.


Of course, Rafael Nadal was the most vehement in his protest. Traditionalist at heart, he said many times that clay is meant to be orange or red, but not blue, a point also shared by others, like Juan Mónaco. The rest of the top 4 is also complaining, mostly because the ATP did not ask the players about the move and just gave its approval to the change, regardless of the players’ feeling so close to the French Open and in such an important event as a Masters 1000.


Throughout the week, comments were various, but very few in favour:


Milos Raonic:




Israel Sevilla (coach of Daniel Gimeno-Traver):




Ryan Harrison:




The qualifications on the men’s tour started yesterday, and since, the unhappiness and dissatisfaction is growing almost exponentially.


Eduardo Schwank:




Santiago González:






Flavio Cipolla, in an Italian article, also complained. And last but really not least…


Sergiy Stakhovsky:




I’m only stopping on the men’s side, but it’s about the same for the WTA players. As they are professionals, their complaints about the surface should be very telling that it was, indeed, a mistake. I hope that Ion Tiriac will stop being the stubborn person he usually is and that next year, not only will the courts be back to a normal colour, but that the surface will be better taken care of.


We’ve seen enough injuries.


Until then, well, let the Smurf Village Open begin…






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