August 4, 2015

Blue Clay Blues – Part Six

Friday’s player quotes about the blue clay courts being used at this year’s Madrid Open:

Victoria Azarenka

I mean, there’s not only one player complaining about it. I am not a fan of this court, I can say that for sure but I don’t want to sit here and complain about it. I have to play. Nothing is going to change this year. We can talk about possible changes after the tournament but during the tournament, I don’t see the point. I have to be focused on my game and those are the conditions I have to deal with.

I do agree that it is very slippery. You feel unstable sometimes, actually, a lot of times. But as I said, right no there is no point on talking about it. After the tournament all the players can get together and discuss it with them.


Fernando Verdasco

I’m not complaining at all about the court. For me it’s no problem, it was slippery for everyone.

 Novak Djokovic


Well, it might be the case because here you can’t predict the ball bounce and you can’t predict the movement so, anything is possible.

They can do whatever they want because I won’t be here next year if this clay stays.

When we came here we didn’t know what to expect because most of hadn’t tested this surface. It took us, I mean, it took me almost a week to try to get used to this surface. And somehow I found my way to win matches and play a decent level of tennis. I guess I’m really looking forward to coming back to the real clay because I don’t call this clay. I think this is something totally different and if they wanted to make a test of how it looks and how it feels, in my eyes they failed. I cannot say what the future will bring, they know what it’s going on. I just hope that the ATP will strongly consider what we think and what we feel and where we stand because if ATP has to protect the players and backs them up then there is no way that Madrid is going to keep the blue clay.


I really don’t need to meet anybody. There is no discussion in my eyes, it’s very simple: no blue clay for me. That’s it, the test has failed, this is totally different. We are in the middle of the red clay season, I’m coming here as a defending champion and I have a lot of things at stake and they are important. I accept every match and I take every tournament seriously and I want to perform my best but if I cannot move and I put pressure on my muscles and on my body all the time and having to worry about hopefully not any getting injured while making a quick move because the court is so unpredictable, then what’s the point of playing here? This is what it is for 2012 but if for 2013 they stay blue and they come up with fluorescent balls or whatever they come up with, they can have their own tournament but I am not coming and that’s for sure.


Unfortunately, the losers this week are the players and their own opinions. They didn’t take us seriously and they made the decision without the players agreeing on that. So this rule has to be changed immediately. The tournament has done its job, they represent their own interests, they want to have blue clay so   I cannot blame the tournament or the tournament director or anybody who is making this tournament possible or organizing the event, I mean, they are fighting for their own right. The fault is from the people who gave them permission to do this even if  we had discussions a couple of times about it last year and we were more than clear when we said that we didn’t want to have it and we have it now. This is just a clear example of how our system does not work in favor of players.


Last year we had a president that left ATP and the new president came. I cannot blame the new president because he just came in January and started his presidency. He did not make this decision, it was the last president who made the decision. It was very simple, he was going away, he knew that his contract was not going to be renewed and he took this decision on his own. I don’t want to get into details about what was going on behind the closed doors but something was going on definitely because he didn’t really care about tennis or about what the players thought, he just cared about himself and his own interests and of the interests of this tournament.



Juan Martin Del Potro

Sometimes it was a bit difficult to brake. I crashed against the wall and hurt my shoulder. There was one moment when I crashed because I wasn’t able to brake. It can be risky sometimes but these conditions are the same for everyone. We are all suffering a little bit, talking about mobility. It’s a matter of knowing on how to handle those things and try to play as good as possible.


These are Nadal’s things and I can tell you my feelings and they are the feelings of more or less everyone. But it’s quite difficult to be able to move properly on the court, difficult to stop, to break and to be able to move to the other side. You can see that one time when you slip you go three or four metres farther than normal but there are people able to do this. This year they wanted to try it and next year I don’t know what they will do but I hope that they try to do the best for the players.


The conditions are really tough to play but it’s for all the players. I’m trying to be more aggressive than the opponent and trying to hit the ball before him and then take control of the match. I have to move, to feel comfortable on the court and to play my game and to be aggressive all the time.


We can simply say that it’s more uncomfortable here. We all agree that we are against this tournament. What can I tell you? That the quality of the court is complicated for us and makes you feel more uncomfortable. The same conditions are the same for all of us but we’ll see who adapts better to the court and who will be able to handle that situation the best. And as I said before, there are many people with whom these decisions lie and we just have to adapt to the decisions that these people take.


Roger Federer

If you want to be a good clay court player, you must be able to play everywhere.

Madrid has taken a gamble with blue clay. It’s always a little different here because of the altitude and we must sit down with the other players to discuss it.

It is slippy, there’s no doubt about that but that has been the case here for a few years. They haven’t yet found the perfect balance. Our job each day is to adapt to the conditions that we face.

Blue Clay Blues – Part Five

Blue Clay Blues – Part Four

Blue Clay Blues – Part Three

Blue Clay Blues – Part Two

Blue Clay Blues