ATP to decide on blue clay
Rafael Nadal (Gallo Images)
Madrid - Madrid Masters boss Ion Tiriac said on Saturday that the ATP would have the final word on whether the controversial blue courts which infuriated Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will stay or go for the 2013 edition.
"I'm waiting to see what the ATP says," the larger-than-life Romanian billionaire, known as a genius at promotion, said. "If they say make it orange, it's orange. If they say blue, it's blue."
Tiriac, a former player, admitted that he remained puzzled at how king of clay Nadal could have lost while leading 5-2 and up two breaks against Fernando Verdasco, to exit in the third round in a flurry of bad temper and criticism of the courts.
"As a tennis person, I don't understand how you can lose from that position, he made only six points out of 34. How is it possible?"
Tiriac said that player complaints about the slickness of the fresh Madrid courts seemed slightly exaggerated compared to other sports.
"Football players always play in rain and they "skate" a little, right? What about Formula 1? The drivers are risking their lives."
Tiriac also brushed off threats from Nadal and Djokovic to boycott Madrid in 2013 if the blue clay remains.
"You cannot make a tournament just for a player, if you do, you're broke. What about when they are no longer playing, are we going to cancel the tournament?
"This is a 'Why?' This is a matter of public education and television (priorities).
"When we started Madrid in 2002, Nadal took a wild card entry and lost in the first round."
The ATP will take its decision at some point as to the success or failure of the Madrid trial and decide later if the surface will become permanent.