Tiriac slams blue clay snub
Madrid - Madrid Masters supremo Ion Tiriac blasted the ATP on Tuesday for slapping a ban on the controversial blue clay used at his tournament, insisting that the "future is blue".
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal both said that they would not return to the Spanish capital in 2013 if the surface did not revert to traditional red clay at the event, a key warm-up for the French Open.
"I am very disappointed by the decision taken by the ATP," said Tiriac.
"The blue colour is one thing and the quality of the court in 2012 in the Caja Magica is a different one.
"Due to the fact that for the past three years our contract stipulated we could only arrange the courts six weeks before the event, it was impossible for the organiser to do a proper court."
Tiriac insists that television chiefs preferred the blue surface, pointing to the colour of the hard courts used by the Australian and US Opens.
"The various studies and feedback from broadcasters show that between the blue colour and the yellow ball the contrast is greater than any other combination," he said.
"I believe the field hockey at the Olympic Games in London is going to be played on blue grass (artificial). Then why not blue clay? In my opinion the future is blue, but for this the players have to be convinced and the governing bodies of our sport as well."