Djokovic fumes after loss

2012-05-12 07:19

Madrid - Novak Djokovic on Friday declared war on the Madrid Open's controversial blue clay, with the world No 1 charging that double-dealing by a former ATP chief was the cause of this week's player revolt.

Defending champion Djokovic went down 24 hours after the exit of Rafael Nadal, losing in the quarter-finals to Serb compatriot Janko Tipsarevic 7-6 (7/2), 6-3.

Djokovic mentioned no names in his broadside, but left little doubt he blames former chief executive Adam Helfant for the debacle.

"I don't blame the new president (Australian former player Brad Drewett)," said a fuming Djokovic.

"He came to the job in January. It was the last president. He was going away and knew his contract was not renewed. He made the decision on his own.

"Something was going on behind closed doors, he (Helfant) didn't care about tennis and what the players thought. He was only interested in himself and his interests."

Earlier on Friday, Helfant said that the newly-formed competition committee of the ATP decided in 2011 to go ahead with the project after requiring Madrid officials to meet a series of stringent scientific requirements concerning the safety of any chemicals used in the blue clay.

Djokovic's fighting words were stronger than any uttered a day earlier by Nadal, who said that he would not play again on the slippery blue clay.

Officials had explained that while a decision on 2013 has not been made, the blue courts will remain on site and will have time to develop the characteristics of any other classic clay surface.

Djokovic would not be swayed.

"One side won and the other side lost. The loser this week are the players and their opinions. They (ATP) made the decision without players agreeing on it, this is a rule that has to be changed immediately.

"The tournament has done its job and represented its own interests," he said of the blue courts which have proved to be successful for television viewing.

"I can't blame the event for fighting for its own rights. The fault is from the people who gave them permission. We discussed this in 2011 - we were more than clear we didn't want it.

"This is an example of how our system does not work in favour of players.

"I hope the ATP will strongly consider what players feel and think. If it has protection for the players in mind, there is no way that Madrid is going to keep the blue clay.

"There is no discussion in my mind - no blue clay for me."


  • Msika - 2012-05-12 07:47

    But then if you had win the tournament mr Djokovic would you still complain about the blue clay court? Why does it seems like the conditions only affected Nadal and Djokovic and not the other players? Is it because they were knocked out?

      Mark - 2012-05-12 08:52

      Roger Federer also complained about the blue clay, yet he won and is throught to the semi-finals.

      Gerhard - 2012-05-12 12:19

      Had you read earlier reports, you would have noticed that Djokovic criticised the blue clay long before he lost that match! So did Rafa and many other of the tennis players. Once again officials regard themselves above the sportsmen, who are IMHO what the sport is about.

  • Msika - 2012-05-12 07:48

    But then if you had win the tournament mr Djokovic would you still complain about the blue clay court? Why does it seems like the conditions only affected Nadal and Djokovic and not the other players? Is it because they were knocked out?

      JasonMichelleVanderbijlpark - 2012-05-12 08:09

      I'm sure he would have still complained about the court if he won... Guess we'll never know

  • Mahomed Ismail - 2012-05-12 08:06

    Stop being a crybaby. You are a professional player. You should be able to play on the moon. Sore

  • Pieter Kunz - 2012-05-12 08:38

    Most of the players are complaining about the blue clay courts, think Djokovic just rage fit over it after loss. Maybe the players need to get use to it but it reacts differently from the red clay.. Saw an article a couple of weeks back which compared the charactiritca

      Pieter Kunz - 2012-05-12 08:41

      Characteristics of the 2 courts...

  • Zenzile Tshanda - 2012-05-12 08:56

    he's world no 1 why complain. you lost to a better opponent period.

  • Pagel - 2012-05-12 09:08

    This is clay court tennis and what they have been preparing for. The clay has been changed to blue so the spectators can see the ball better - I saw it perfectly well on red. Federer, Nadal, Djokovic all complained about it - maybe, just maybe they know more about tennis than all the experts on this site. You should not do anything that change the nature of clay court tennis (just like composite cricket bats are not allowed - it will change the nature of the game). I can understand perfectly well that the players are upset.

  • Stephan - 2012-05-12 09:42

    I kind of like how the blue clay courts look. Watching the Dojokovic game yesterday it was clear that he struggled with his footing. I cannot comment about Nadal's game although in the last game he looked somewhat uncomfortable. But it is funny how some players are able to adapt to the conditions and make use of it. To be honest, the complaints sound like sour grapes to me.

  • Acta - 2012-05-12 09:55

    I don't want to continue with loser's excuses, IMO blue is not a 'natural' colour and I think will be very different to play on, where as red and green both colours you will find every where. So it will at least take a while and a few tournaments before the players get use the 'depth perception' and cr@p like that, of the blue courts. Maybe this is stupid, but think this would be something I struggle with. Why did they change it anyway? Anybody?

      Acta - 2012-05-12 09:59

      Just read pagel's comment. For us to see better, that is cr@p, not one person I know had a problem. No players complained, and it should be about them.

  • karolo.peroni - 2012-05-12 10:10

    hardluck djokovic.

  • Denise - 2012-05-12 10:13

    They might say that "blue" clay was done to improve TV viewing - well I for one have found it doesn't. The lighter blue advertising surrounds and the sun and the blue court combine to cause flashing and to one who suffers from migraines - it is lethal. I cannot watch the matches even if I want to - the pain is not worth it. So much as I love tennis I watched IPL cricket instead - no problems there. Roll on Rome and true clay court tennis - I won't be watching any more BLUE tennis and I doubt I will watch it next year. Its not only the players who are in revolt.

  • Craig - 2012-05-12 11:32

    Was the other guy playing on normal brown clay, how did they manage to change the surface each time the players swapped ends????????

  • Selma - 2012-05-12 12:00

    This is very worrying - the next thing the Loftus grass will be dyed blue. I do not think it improves television viewing - it is all a bit gloomy now.

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