Top 5_Ñ_ quotes from blue clay bashers
Originally published on: 09/05/12 00:00
It's meant to increase visibility but Novak Djokovic played like he was missing one of his contact lenses in a 6-2 2-6 6-3 victory over Daniel Gimeno-Traver in the second round in Madrid yesterday. Irritated by something both new and blue, Djokovic was quick to make his feelings known.
“I hit five balls throughout the whole match,” grumbled the Serb. “Everything else I was just trying to put the ball in the court. I just relied on my serve and getting some points, eventually, from his unforced errors.
“For me, that’s not tennis. Either I come up with the football shoes or I invite Chuck Norris to advise me on how I should play on this court.”
The surface is certainly not set in stone – or crushed brick, so to say – for the ATP has only approved the clay for one year. The governing body will consider the players position before future use but judging by the systematic grumbles so far, blue clay could quickly disappear back into Ion Tiriac’s imaginative dreams.
1) Novak Djokovic: “I haven’t heard a single player, not man or woman, saying they like blue clay.”
2) Rafael Nadal: “It's my country. It's one of my favorite tournaments of the world. I play at home. I play in Madrid. I play in front of my crowd. I love the tournament. But the decision [to use blue clay], in my opinion, is not great.”
3) Sergiy Stakhovsky (on twitter): “After playing a match on blue clay court 6 I can say with full responsibility on my shoulders that it is the worst court of @ATPWorldTour.”
4) Ivo Karlovic (on twitter): “Ha! Blue clay.. It looks like something Smurfs would play on.”
5) Victoria Azarenka: “The bounce is different which changes everything completely already. It’s just a completely different thing. Nobody really asked the players if they want to do it so what’s the point talking about it…”
And those who are a little more diplomatic…
Serena Williams: "I haven't noticed a difference between the blue and the red clay. I think it's the same. It's just you don't get as dirty."
Maria Sharapova: "It's not so much about the colour, it does look good on television. But it plays a bit different, it's about the amount of clay on the court and the way it bounces. It's just a matter of adjusting. It's also the same for everyone."