Rafael Nadal weighed in on the newfangled blue clay tennis courts now installed at the Madrid Masters. Nadal had been critical of the switch leading up to Spain’s biggest tennis event, and after a hit on the blue dirt he hasn’t changed his position.
Nadal said given its prominenace and place on the calendar, the ATP should never have allowed the Madrid tournament to move from the traditional red to blue court color.
“Madrid is one of the best tournaments in the world and does not need this. It is played at altitude. That makes it different already. I appreciate the idea but it should have never been allowed,” Nadal said.
“I trained on it yesterday (Thursday) afternoon and I think it’s a mistake — not by the organisation but by the ATP,” he added.
Of the courts, Nadal said the surface was more slippery than usual clay, and there are soft spots in the court. And these two things which may help the power players.
He also said the low position/color of the advertisements at back of the courts made it difficult to track the ball.
But, reminded Nadal, these issues and the altitude are the same for everyone.
On the bright side, Rafa revealed his troubled left knee is now 100% perfect.
“I’ve played two weeks back to back in Monte Carlo and Barcelona with no problems,” Nadal told Reuters.
“That’s very important for me, a lot of confidence for my mind. And the answer: the knee is now perfect.”
Nadal is riding a 21-match clay winning streak after titles last month in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. He’s also won 14 straight matches overall including 11 consecutive sets.
Rafa won Madrid in 2010. He lost in the final last year to Novak Djokovic. The Madrid men’s draw will be released Saturday.
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