ATP President Bans Blue Clay Courts For All Tournaments In '13
ATP Exec Chair & President Brad Drewett on Saturday announced that blue clay courts will not be permitted at ATP World Tour events in '13. Drewett in a statement said, “While the blue clay may have offered better visibility on television, there were clearly issues with the quality of the courts in Madrid this year, which were not acceptable at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, one of our top events worldwide” (ATP). The AFP reported that the decision was a "major slap in the face" for Madrid Open Owner Ion Tiriac. Tennis player Rafael Nadal's only loss on clay this season came in Madrid and Nadal said, "The ATP and the tournament can do what they want. ... If things continue like this, it will be very sad. Next year this will be one less event for my calendar." Tennis player Novak Djokovic said, "If the ATP has protection for the players in mind, there is no way that Madrid is going to keep the blue clay. There is no discussion in my mind -- no blue clay for me" (AFP, 6/23).