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2012 Matua Madrid Open... Blue Style

Odds & News | AL ( Thu 10th, May 2012 )

The new blue style of the clay court at the Caja Magica for the 2012 Matua Madrid Open has been heavily criticized by Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal

The new blue style of the clay court at the Caja Mágica for the 2012 Matua Madrid Open has been heavily criticized by Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

The top players in the ATP are concerned about the changes and claim that are more disappointed by the fact that they were not consulted by the matter at all. Obviously, the most affected by this is Rafa, who already has blasted the blue clay with his own opinions after practicing in the new surface. Nadal seem disturbed, but this is a normal reaction, because the media keep asking him for answers and he is the King of Clay after all.

The whole idea was conceived by Ion Tiriac, apparently after years of negotiations with both organizations; the ATP and the WTA approved the new clay. Tiriac firmly believes that the blue color will benefit the sport stars and the viewers live or by TV; however high ranked players like Federer and Djokovic argued they were not consulted about the change.

Terms like tradition and history has been used to defend against the new blue face of the court, especially that the change caught top players totally flat footed in the middle of the clay challenge of the season. People may be thinking if the three top player's reasons to reject the color variation are valid or if they are simply considering the new look as a scapegoat in case they fail. The #4 seed Andy Murray is out of this tournament, but if rumors are true, then the new surface could have benefit him thanks to his hard court mobility and clay adaptability.

For some of the power players at the ATP tour, this small adjustment may be a significant handicap on everyone. Apparently the new surface feels hard underneath, visibility is an issue, it's less bouncing and it's kind of slippery due to the "paint". This may affect the outcome for some players that aren't in the top ten. Not necessary in a negative way only; but think of it as a new weapon for those in the lower ranks to make a huge advance in their progress and create upsets more frequently. For the #8 seed Janko Tipsarevic the surface proved to be faster, which may give him some edge to get positive results against clay monsters like Rafa.

The Matua Madrid Open is the set to prepare the players for the coming Grand Slam at Roland Garros unchanged red clay surface. Could just the change in the color make such a difference? I hardly believe it, blue clay still being clay; it seems to me that the color arrangement it's completely aesthetic. But I'm not a tennis player, so opinions may vary, but let's consider; most of the top players are in discomfort with the change but the other contenders can play in the surface without complaining at all. Just to put a number, 280 opinions from 300 players must be significant at all, or not? Then I should believe the major change is the color and not something physical about the main component used to create it, which are the same clay bricks just with a blue dye on them.

I believe that most of the professional players will adapt to the new surface color really soon, which in any case if what I've read its true, it has been around since 2009 so it's not something new at all; If they get used to it, I guess they will forgetting soon all the critics and complaints mentioned... but if they don't, then they still can skip the tournament if they want to maintain the "tradition" safe. Whatever the outcome, we shall see if the blue clay surface can make some extra gold for the owners.

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