Ion Tiriac, the organizer of the Tennis Masters 1000 in Madrid, wants to change the clay colour to blue, starting with 2010, in order to increase the pace of the game. According to HotNews, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the world’s top ranking two players, criticized the businessman’s idea. “Tennis isn’t just showbiz, there are other things more valuable, like history and tradition,” Nadal said, quoted by AS.
The contest, with prizes totaling EUR 7.2 mln, is now played on red clay (only one court was set with blue clay), the same as Roland Garros. Nadal and Federer believe this change would end a real tradition in tennis.
“I am totally against this idea. Red is the traditional colour for clay tennis and thus it must remain. Tennis isn’t just showbiz, there are other things more valuable, like history and tradition,” Rafael Nadal declared.
“I do not want to play on blue clay, I like the traditional red,” Roger Federer said in his turn.
Tiriac’s idea came also under fire by the Williams sisters, as well as Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero.
The Tennis Masters 1000 in Madrid is hosted by the Caja Magica – an emblematic arena for Madrid’s candidacy to staging the 2016 Olympic Games.