Nadal threatens boycott after Madrid exit

Thu, 10 May 19:33:00 2012

Rafa Nadal suffered his first claycourt defeat in 23 matches and threatened to boycott next year's Madrid Masters if officials did not ditch the blue clay that players have labelled "too slippery" and only fit for "smurfs (to) play on".

Nadal Madrid Verdasco pista azul - 0

After a shock 6-3 3-6 7-5 third-round defeat by fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, the French Open champion vowed not to return to the Masters event unless traditional red courts, which are slower and more suited to his game, were reinstated.

"The movements are very important for me and here I cannot move so I cannot hit the ball the way that I want," he said after squandering a 5-2 lead in the final set.

"The ATP and the tournament can do what they want," he added referring to the controversial innovation sanctioned by the governing body of men's tennis for this year's tournament.

"I tried my best to prepare but I wasn't good enough to adapt my game to this court.

"The only thing that I know is that if things continue like this I am very sad but next year will be one less tournament in my calendar."

Nadal's outburst was perhaps unsurprising considering he would have fancied his chances of beating Verdasco, the 15th seed, having won all 13 of their previous meetings.

However, an error-strewn performance ended the world number two's bid for a third straight clay title this season and deprived him of a chance to avenge his defeat by Novak Djokovic in last year's final.

Verdasco's success was all the more astonishing given that Nadal twice failed to serve out the match in the deciding set.

Verdasco broke his Davis Cup team mate's serve seven times in all, losing his own six times, and clubbed 31 winners to his opponent's 19.

A typically crashing forehand drive sealed victory on his second match point and he fell flat on his back on the court before kissing the clay and heading off to play a doubles match.

"I lost because I deserved to lose today," Nadal said. "Even when I was 5-2 ahead and I had a chance to close the match I didn't know how to do it. He played better than me and he beat me, that's it.

"If you put the Cincinnati tournament on grass just before the U.S. Open do you think people are going to be happy? I don't think so.

"That's a similar situation. It's not drastic I am just being consistent.

"I am not prepared to risk something happening next year if nothing changes.

"I am going to Rome now with maybe a bit of a lack of confidence which I don't deserve after all the work I have put in here. The colour has to change and it has to be a proper clay court."

Verdasco next plays Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych, who was the first player into the last eight when he thrashed 12th-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-1 6-1.


Comment 302 - 322 of 322

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  1. as I said, its really funny how all these people jumped­ on here writing playground comments. where were all­ these people to congratulate Rafa or Federer or djoko­ or murray? You only jump on here to belittle players­ like Rafa. Its no wonder there's so much chaos­ and war in the world. The comments from these­ haters are getting more pathetic. Only a couple of them­ have anything constructive and thought provoking to­ say.

    From , on Sun 13 May 1:50
  2. Fine!

    From Maybe..., on Sat 12 May 8:48
  3. I don't care what he does as long as he beats­ Murray every time,

    From R. F., on Sat 12 May 6:08
  4. If you read the story properly he says - "I lost­ because I deserved to lose today," Nadal said.­ "Even when I was 5-2 ahead and I had a chance to­ close the match I didn't know how to do it. He­ played better than me and he beat me, that's­ it". - That is not sour grapes, he is merely­ stating that he wont play on that type of clay again in­ case he gets hurt, if he gets hurt he cant play, if he­ cant play he doesn't earn - simples.

    From billyboy, on Sat 12 May 3:01
  5. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    sour grapes lol

    From GORDON HOWAT, on Sat 12 May 2:28
  6. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    I'm starting to think that Nadal's got some­ British blood in him...he's certainly taken the­ national past-time of complaining to new heights. If­ someone else wins a tournament other than the usual­ suspects...that's a good result in my opinion.

    From Steve, on Sat 12 May 2:12
  7. He said it himself... "I wasn't good­ enough"

    From Leostefan v, on Fri 11 May 23:30
  8. I wish people would get off Rafa's back - he's­ not a bad loser, he a professional tennis player who­ knows what he's talking about. Djokovic has also­ announced he wont be back next year if they don't­ change the surface. People who know nothing about­ tennis should shut the hell up !!

    From AME, on Fri 11 May 23:29
  9. Nadal threatens boycott after Madrid exit - all the­ officials must be quaking in their boots.

    From Lee Keyhole, on Fri 11 May 23:28
  10. And for the end “The players are right when they say­ it is too slippery, we are working daily to fix that­ and things are getting better. There are still three­ days to go this week. The court is slippery and I­ apologize,” said TIRIAC. “We wanted to make sure that­ we had no player injuries, no ankle problems. As a­ result, the court experts rolled the base with too much­ pressure. When the blue sand was put on top it was­ unable to mix with the base; that created the slippery­ conditions.” On the other hand it seams that he­ doesn't have any intention to change it because:­ "We are going to improve the ball," TIRIAC­ told reporters at a panel discussion on Friday.­ "We're thinking fluorescent green or­ fluorescent orange, which hold light better and work­ better in contrast to blue clay."

    From modestyb, on Fri 11 May 23:25
  11. ALMAGRO: "Being so close to Roland Garros, we­ would prefer to play on red clay. This surface­ isn't in the best of conditions. It is very­ slippery and I hope there aren't any injuries.­ SHARAPOVA: "It's not so much about the colour.­ It does look good on television. But it plays a bit­ different. It's about the amount of clay on the­ court and the way it bounces. " WOZNIACKI:­ "It's definitely more slippery, but then I­ also completely stopped at one point." – btw. She ­ rolled an ankle in her opening match at Caja Magica.­ GILLES SIMON: "I see no difference from last year,­ these have always been the worst court of the clay­ season. I could have sprained something­ practising." STAKHOVSKY: After playing a match on­ blueclay court 6 I can say with full responsibility on­ my shoulders that it is the worst court of ATP World­ Tour. There are other priorities ahead of making it­ blue - it should be better."

    From modestyb, on Fri 11 May 23:21
  12. AZARENKA - complained on Sunday (May 6th) that “the­ bounce is different, the movement is different … it’s­ just 100 per cent different.” DJOKOVIC (May­ 8th):"For me that's not tennis. Either I come­ up with the football shoes or I invite Chuck Norris to­ advise me on how I should play on this court." ­ "When you slide on the red clay, you have a­ feeling you can stop and recover from that step,"­ Djokovic explained. 'But here, whatever you do, you­ are always slipping. FEDERER (May 10th): expressed­ sympathy with Nadal over the issue. "I understand­ his disappointment," said the Swiss. "He was­ against (blue clay) from the start and so was I. He­ never felt comfortable on the surface. It is a tough­ surface and that can only add to the anger even­ more." DJOKOVIC (MAY 10th after won vs.­ Wawrinka): he announced he would not play in the­ Spanish capital next year unless the red clay courts­ were reinstated. "They are saying it's exactly­ the same as the red clay which is not true because­ there is a big difference," the Serb said.­ "You are tripping and slipping and sliding all the­ time and winner will be the one who doesn't get­ hurt until the end of the week because a lot of players­ fell down," he added.

    From modestyb, on Fri 11 May 23:18
  13. Little reminder for all of those who have not followed­ the developments regarding "blue clay"­ affair: APRIL 21st NADAL: “ I not agree, sure. First­ thing because you are in the middle of clay court­ season, and the clay here in Europe is red. So you have­ back to back Madrid and Rome. Madrid is the only­ tournament you are playing with high altitude, and then­ now you are putting a different clay. The tournament­ can’t be too much difference between Madrid and Rome.­ That’s first feeling." FEDERE: “This is a long­ story, but I find it sad that you have to play on a­ surface the players don’t accept. I find it sad that a­ player like Rafa, at a tournament in his own country,­ has had to fight against a surface that does not want­ to play on" DJOKOVIC: “To be honest with you, as­ far as I know, most of the top players I talked to,­ nobody agreed on that. It’s going to be interesting to­ step on the blue clay obviously. All the credit to the­ tournament. I’m not blaming them. They fight for their­ own. But definitely there is a certain rule within ATP­ that the president is able to make decision by himself­ without having players agree to that." MURRAY:­ "Well, it’s only a few weeks before the French­ Open, and the French Open is played on red clay. So for­ the players, it would be better for it to be on the red­ clay. I understand the reasons for doing it. It makes­ the tournament unique and a bit different. But the­ timing of it is what makes it difficult for the­ players” RAONIC (befor event started) also does not­ feel very happy after trying the blue dirt:­ ''Hitting on the Smurf clay, the bounce is­ lower and the 2 courts I practiced on were a bit more­ slippery than usual.''

    From modestyb, on Fri 11 May 23:17
  14. Alright Nadal, no need to spit your dummy out. It's­ your ball and your going home, we get the message. You­ want to grow up a bit neebur.

    From , on Fri 11 May 22:24
  15. is it the same for the so called lesser players at the­ other side of the net? winging spaniard!

    From TRACEY STOUT, on Fri 11 May 21:50
  16. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    I love Nadal, hopefully he gets its say for next year­ and the blue clay will be ditched.

    From C, on Fri 11 May 20:55
  17. I'm a fan of raffa, But he's a professional He­ needs to act as such and get on with the game.

    From , on Fri 11 May 20:50
  18. The same as Magnus,I think NADAL is a bad looser.

    From Rosa, on Fri 11 May 20:32
  19. Oh dear how bloody sad

    From Grumps, on Fri 11 May 20:10
  20. Tipsaravic to Verdasco: Anything you can do I can do­ better. In 2 sets mate! Novak to Rafa: Don't get­ any ideas, it was the blue stuff Fer to Tipsy: Watch­ out for Berdych, he doesn't need to move. Rafa to­ Novak: Yeah, well, I invite you to Barcelona next year.

    From John, on Fri 11 May 20:05
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