|Photo: Mutua Madrid|
Players like Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are not too happy about it, since they believe it is a break from tradition. Nadal, the king of clay, admits the blue clay may interfere in his preparation for the clay season, and especially Roland Garros. Players hinted that the blue clay will play slower and change the bounce quality.
In an interview for the Mutua Madrid Open website, the top-ranked player Novak Djokovic, winner of last year's tournament, believed he "will need a couple of days to practice on this surface" before giving a "clear judgement on how this surface is and what it feels like". "The first impression is that the bounce is a little bit different. Especially with the slice, it bounces low. It’s hard to judge. It’s the first time that I’ve ever played on blue clay", added the Serbian.
To Maria Sharapova, who will also play in Madrid, the blue-clay "is a little bit different". "I’m here for the first time, but I think it’s unique. It’s obviously what the tournament wants. It’s all about being unique and different. I think that for the show and the excitement of the tournament. It’s very nice", she said in an interview for the Mutua Madrid Open website.
The Mutua Madrid Open begins this Friday, May 4th.