Nadal unhappy with blue Madrid surface

May 06, 2012, 11:51 IST | IANS

Rafael Nadal blames the ATP for allowing the introduction of the blue-clay surface. The six-time French Open champion was troubled when he practiced on it for the first time Thursday, describing it as soft and slippery.

Spanish ace Rafael Nadal criticised the playing surface which will be used at the Madrid Open beginning Sunday.

The ATP Masters Series event will be played on a beaten clay surface, but this time the surface has been coloured blue. “I trained on it yesterday.

Rafael Nadal. Pic/AFP

Although other events have been played on blue surfaces, it is the first time clay has ever been dyed to the colour. Nadal is not happy.

"I trained on it yesterday (Thursday) and although I liked the clay and it was impeccable, I would not have changed it," Xinhua quoted him as saying.

"Because it is a question of concept and the image of the tournament. I think it is a mistake, not of the organisers, because I understand and value their idea, but I repeat the ATP (governing body of world tennis) should not have accepted it."

The first three days of the event are taken up with qualifying and the top seeds will progressively go into action from Monday.

Nadal is the main draw, along with star names such as Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

"It has two and a half problems for me. The main one is a publicity hoarding at the back of the court, which is low and also the liquid crystal light is the same colour as the court, you lose sight of the ball a lot when your rival hits it at that height," he said.

"The court is also more slippery than normal. I don't know if it is because there is not much clay, but it is hard underneath and the blue paint slips more. I am not a technician, but I noticed it," said Nadal.

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