By Caroline Cameron
The Madrid Open is getting plenty of attention thanks to their new blue clay courts.
But that was part of the plan, right? Change the classic clay surface and hopefully get more TV viewers?
The surface change was past French Open doubles champ Ion Tiriac’s idea. The argument is that it’s easier for players and spectators to see the ball on a blue court, no matter the surface.
But many of the top players are against the change. Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic are all traditionalists; they don’t like major changes to the game and I can understand why they don’t like this one.
Leading up to the French Open, top players don’t want to make any more adjustments than they have to. At each tournament the ball bounces differently depending on the conditions. Having to adjust to a different colour court is just another thing to worry about.
Milos Raonic’s coach, Galo Blanco, tweeted that the ball bounces “lower than usual” on the Madrid courts, but other than that it’s the same as the red clay. Raonic tweeted that the blue “Smurf clay” courts are “a bit more slippery” than the red clay.
Change is inevitable. It wasn’t long ago that the green hard courts were changed to blue. But sometimes the changes go too far.
Blue Wimbledon courts? Let’s hope not.