Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal Upset With ATP Secret to Allow Blue Courts
epa03212208 Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal returns to Russian Nikolay Davydenko in their Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament second round match at Caja Magica pavilion in Madrid, central Spain, 09 May 2012. EPA/JAVIER LIZON |
No. 1 Novak Djokovic has joined Rafael Nadal in condemning the unpublished 2011 ATP decision to allow a blue clay experiment for this week’s Madrid Masters. The Serb said that top players should have been consulted on the controversial move which has put the event in world headlines for days – exactly as organizers no doubt knew it would.
The one-year deal with billionaire tournament supremo Ion Tiriac, a survivor of four decades in the tennis snake pit, was quietly pushed through under the table by ex-ATP CEO Adam Helfant without consultation. The American left the job at the end of the year.
“The only disappointing thing from a player standpoint is that it was decided without players agreeing to it,” said 2011 champion Djokovic. “Players should be agreeing to the change – there should be some value in what they say. ‘I’m not blaming the tournament, it is fighting for its own interests.
“But the ATP should have done a better job on player rights in protecting what the players want.”
Djokovic also threw down a warning: “The hope of all players is that we won’t have injuries and have a decent week of tennis.”
Nadal has been the most vocal on the issue, which seems to be distracting him from his training. The agitated second seed was seen arguing with his coach Toni Nadal and kicking at the blue clay during a training session.
“This is about history, the earth is red, not blue. tennis is not only about show-business, there are more things to appreciate, history and tradition,” said the Spaniard. “Some symbolic things in the world should be preserved.”
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