The new blue-colored clay in Madrid didn’t receive a warm welcome in the tennis world and on the WTA side fifth-ranked Samantha Stosur criticized it the most referring to it as “pointless”, while Serena Williams called it “ridiculous”. Maria Sharapova simply uttered “unique”. However, players have gathered for the tournament and on Twitter we can see that there are many positive reactions. Let’s see what those with positive attitude are saying:
Kuznetsova also showed where all the clay stays:
When the tournament starts unfolding we’ll sure get more reactions and that’s when the real picture of this innovative court will be drawn. (via Beyond the Baseline)
Cute… On the other hand, Raonic twitted: “Hitting on the Smurf clay, the bounce is lower and the 2 courts I practiced on were a bit more slippery than usual.”; and Djokovic: “The first impression is that the bounce is a little bit different. Especially with the slice, it bounces low.”
So it seems that, in spite of what the organizers claim, it does play differently than the red clay.
Nadal nailed it, in a surprisingly direct manner: “The players win nothing. Tennis wins nothing. One person wins. Only the owner of the tournament wins,” confirming my own opinion expressed a couple of days ago, in a comment on “Ellesse presents official clothes for ball kids at the Mutua Madrid Open”.
In light of all this, Federer’s warning sounds interesting: “I understand that you have to try new things, but the courts in Madrid must be absolutely perfect – otherwise it will be a debacle for the tournament.”
P.S. I wish I could have quoted some women, of course, but am not aware of any statements other than the ones already quoted on this blog.
Blue is a very calming color and my favorite!!
Boy, am I glad to read thoughtful comments such as this one of yours, JohnnyB! Keep up the good work – and, by all means, apply many, many more exclamation marks, it will only add even more gravity to your weighty, well-informed opinions.
It’s good to finally read first-hand opinions about the blue clay.
So far, all comments were just opinion.
Like Sam Stosur’s: “I’ve spoken to a few of the girls about it and I can’t say that any of the players are that ecstatic about the blue”.
Blue? Who cares!???!!!?!?!? That is how I feel. 😉
Thanks for asking. 😉
It is about time that someone said “who cares!” about the blue court controversy heard around the tennis world. These players should be used to playing on about every color under the sun at this point. Now, the multi-colored team tennis courts on the other hand are a step too far. It’s like playing on plaid!
I think the blue clay looks great, but it is interesting to see how it will actually play. As you all mention, the response from the players has been very mixed so far! It has created a big buzz around the tournament, which is good and the draw has thrown up some potential blockbuster matches to come 🙂
I absolutely love Raonic’s comment about “smurf clay” 😉
As for the color of the court and the bounce/slide quality, I don’t really understand the problem. EVERY court is different, compare Rolland Garros and Stuttgart, two different things. And the color? They play on blue hard, so why blue clay is a problem? And the fact that clay leave stains? Every clay leave traces! I’m not a professional player, but everytime I play on clay (and I love playing on clay ;)), everything is red – my shoes, my clothes, my bag, etc.
I agree with Nadal (and probably everyone thinks what he said), that all those changes are only meant to make buzz, to give the tournament more of visibility. What all those players seems to forget, is that it’s thanks to media coverage tennis is such a lucrative business and in a few years of their professional careers, they can make a fortune unimaginable for normal people and even for other athletes (for exemple, look at the money prizes in gymnastics! ‘Till last year, the total of prize money at each of World Cup event – there are 4 of them – was 100 000 Swiss Francs. Big difference with tennis money prizes, isn’t it?). Personally, I’m simply curious, I can’t wait to see by myself what it’s gonna be like.
I wonder what they’ll say about an upcoming change for next year: flourescent balls,:-P