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Blue tennis courts are no stranger to the sport, with tournaments in Australia introducing the plexicushion surface years ago. But what about a blue clay court? The blue clay courts in Madrid have hit the headlines the past few days, with players complaining that it is too slippery and dangerous.
Rafael Nadal has understandably been critical of the blue clay surface, bearing in mind that a majority of his tennis success have come on red clay. Djokovic and Federer have voiced similar opinions while the women don’t seem to mind it. But was it necessary for Nadal to threaten a boycott? It would be disappointing to see the 25-year old bypass the tournament next year considering that the home fans deeply embrace him as their nation’s superstar.
I would like to see a vote on the blue clay court at the end of the tournament, to see which surface the players prefer. If they prefer this one, so be it. But if they prefer the original clay court, it would be sensible to adhere with the players wishes. Tennis players are virtually playing tennis the whole year and to have an unsuitable playing environment is the last thing they would want.