City coaches prefer red clay for Madrid Open

May 15, 2012, 09:31 IST | Sundari Iyer

The Madrid Open has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently with its "slippery" blue surface drawing the ire of some of the world's top tennis stars like Spaniard Rafael Nadal and World No 1 Novak Djokovic.

Both have, in fact, threatened not to return in the next edition of the tournament if the organisers didn’t switch back to the traditional red clay. And that’s exactly what the ATP and organisers of the tournament should do, according to coaches from some of the city’s tennis centres.

Federer in action on the blue clay at the Madrid Open recently

Manoj Vaidya, chief coach and development officer of the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) said it was indeed surprising to the new blue turf suddenly surface. “I have never heard of a blue clay surface apart from Madrid. There are green courts in America. But psychologically, I believe it is definitely more easier for players to play on a traditional red clay court. Also, since Nadal and Djokovic are crowd pullers, the organisers should go back to red clay,” Vaidya told MiD DAY yesterday.

Tahir Ali, chief tennis coach at the Cricket Club of India welcomed the new blue colour, but felt that the traditional red clay surface should not be changed. “Nadal may not like the blue surface at Madrid, but it’s nice to see a different coloured surface come up. The (clay) surface at the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida is green. But red clay, on which the French Open is played, is the best surface to play on.”

Federer, Serena win
Meanwhile, Roger Federer and Serena Williams took home the respective men’s and women’s winners trophies on the blue clay in Madrid on Sunday. While Federer beat Tomas Berdych 3-6, 7-5, 7-5, Williams crushed World No 1 Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-3. After the win, Federer said: “I’m looking forward to coming back next year... I will see you all again.”  

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