Following Madrid Fiasco, ATP Bans Blue Clay From All 2013 Tournaments
The ATP is banning blue clay from all ATP Tour events in '13, according to A. Delmas of AS. This decision kills "any possibility that the Madrid Open" comes back with the blue clay it used in this year's edition. ATP Chair Brad Drewett 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" (AS, 6/24). The AFP reported that the decision was a "major slap in the face" for Tournament Promoter Ion Tiriac. World No. 2 Rafael Nadal's only loss on clay this season came in Madrid, and he was not happy with the blue clay. Nadal: "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." World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was not pleased with the blue clay either. Djokovic: "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).