Blue clay banned as Nadal, Djokovic get their way

The controversial blue clay used by the Madrid Masters was banned by the ATP on Saturday, a move which will head off a devastating boycott of the crucial French Open warm-up event by the world's leading players.

The surface, which was introduced for the first time at this year's tournament, was widely condemned by the world's top two, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal who insisted they would not return to the event in 2013 if the blue clay remained.

"After careful consideration, I have decided that blue clay courts will not be allowed next year," said ATP executive chairman and president Brad Drewett.

"I very much believe in innovation and exploring ways to enhance our sport.

"While the blue clay may have offered better visibility on television, there were clearly issues with the quality of the courts in Madrid this year, which were not acceptable at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, one of our top events worldwide.

"Regardless of colour, we must first ensure that courts are safe and fair for players."

The decision was a major slap in the face for tournament promoter Ion Tiriac whose introduction of blue clay had followed an earlier, more popular innovation where he had hired catwalk models to take on the role of ballgirls.

"I know that Ion Tiriac was also disappointed with the court quality in Madrid this year," added Drewett.

"Ion has been a great supporter of the game for many years and I continue to encourage his ideas, including the testing of blue clay at non-ATP World Tour events.

"At this time, however, it's clear that further development is required before it can be considered for use at the ATP World Tour level."

French Open champion Nadal lost his only claycourt match of the season in Madrid when he slumped to a third round defeat to compatriot Fernando Verdasco.

"Movement is very important for me and I couldn't move. I couldn't hit ball the way I wanted," said the world number two.

"The ATP and the tournament can do what they want...if things continue like this, it will be very sad. Next year this will be one less event for my calendar."

Djokovic, who was beaten in the quarter-finals by fellow Serb Janko Tipsarevic, backed Nadal in his refusal to return to the Spanish capital.

"If the ATP has protection for the players in mind, there is no way that Madrid is going to keep the blue clay. There is no discussion in my mind - no blue clay for me," said the world number one.

The tournament was won by world number three Roger Federer.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • 8 of 10 cities most at risk from natural disasters located in Phl – study
    8 of 10 cities most at risk from natural disasters located in Phl – study

    Eight of 10 world cities most exposed to natural hazards are in the Philippines and more than half of the 100 cities most exposed to earthquakes, storms and other disasters are in four Asian nations, according to a research. The study, published on Wednesday by risk analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft, analyzed the threat posed by storms, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, volcanoes and landslides in more than 1,300 cities. The study found that the 10 cities most at risk are Port Vila in …

  • Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl
    Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says he has found the Japanese Navy’s biggest warship at the bottom of the sea in the Philippines, 70 years after US forces sank it. Allen posted a photo on Twitter on Tuesday of the World War II battleship Musashi’s rusty bow, which bore the Japanese empire’s Chrysanthemum seal. The American billionaire, who has also pursued space exploration, said his luxury yacht and exploration ship, the M/Y Octopus, found the Musashi one kilometer (1.6 miles) deep on the …

  • Miriam bucks house arrest for Enrile
    Miriam bucks house arrest for Enrile

    Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago believes granting Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile house arrest, while former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo remains under hospital detention, will violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution. “That’s already a violation of the equal protection of the law,” she said. …

  • UNA hits PNP selection process
    UNA hits PNP selection process

    The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) hit yesterday the apparent machinations in the selection of the new Philippine National Police (PNP) chief. Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, UNA interim president, said the administration and the ruling Liberal Party (LP) are perpetuating the bata-bata or patronage system in the selection process of the police chief. “They will start this by maneuvering the appointment of Gen. Garbo as PNP chief,” said Tiangco, referring to one of the top contenders for PNP …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • Pacquiao: Mayweather is the fight of my life
    Pacquiao: Mayweather is the fight of my life

    Manny Pacquiao called his boxing showdown with Floyd Mayweather “the fight of my life” as he got down to work pounding the streets and gym in Los Angeles. On Monday, Pacquiao ran two miles (3.2 km) and shadow-boxed for two rounds, followed by abdominal work and breakfast of steamed rice, scrambled egg, fish and chicken broth. Then he napped until noon and had lunch before heading to trainer Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym, which is strictly off-limits to fans and media during Pacquiao’s …

  • Ohio mom, boyfriend guilty; child emailed teacher for help

    PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (AP) — A woman and her boyfriend pleaded guilty to raping her young children and were sentenced to prison on Wednesday, a year after one of her daughters emailed a teacher for help and said she and her siblings were being chained to their beds, deprived of food and sexually assaulted. …

  • An ocean away, Pacquiao's trainer makes some noise from afar
    An ocean away, Pacquiao's trainer makes some noise from afar

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Armed guards patrolling the gym where Manny Pacquiao trains. Stealthy attempts to disrupt Pacquiao's sparring. And a bit of trash talking just to spice things up two months before the big fight. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options