Top players, like Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova, were upset by fellow players with a lower ranking status in the early stages of Madrid Open. The blue clay had certainly a lot to do with these eliminations even if it was the same for all players, as wisely noticed Victoria Azarenka to CNN.
Photo credit: A.MTNEZ/MMO
Nadal guaranteed he won't be back next year if the surface continues to be artificially blue, which makes it slippery, and bounce in an unpredictable way - through out the tournament there were way too many embarrassing misses by the best players.
Nole, after losing to Serbian friend Janko Tipsarevic, stated to Yahoo Sports: "I want to forget this week as soon as possible and move on to the real clay courts. Here you can't predict the ball bounce or movement. They can do whatever they want, but I won't be here next year if this clay stays". In most of the WTA's and ATP's top player's minds is Roland Garros. Therefore, they are focused in preparing the Grand Slam in red clay courts. Rome, starting next Monday, gets even more meaning for everyone.
By Friday, players seemed to be relieved to leave the blue clay behind. Djokovic posted on Facebook a photo of him leaving Madrid with this comment: "The great thing about tennis is that there is always another tournament around the corner where you have a chance to play better :) Heading to Rome with my team".
|Credit: Djokovic's Facebook page|
|Photo: Nadal's Facebook page|
|Credit: Sharapova's Facebook page|
Meanwhile, Ana Ivanovic, Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta are already in Rome and helped hosting the Internazionali BNL d'Italia draw ceremony. On Facebook, the Serbian player highlighted the "beautiful place" chosen to hold the Rome draw: the famous Spanish Steps.