Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have been the most vocal about their disapproval of the blue clay surface at the 2012 Madrid Open, and if the tournament doesn't change back to the red clay going forward, it will be very sorry.
According to The Telegraph, both Djokovic and Nadal—two of the top tennis players in the world—are threatening to boycott the tournament next year if the changes aren't made.
It's one thing to be upset about the change in color, but these star players are more concerned about their health.
"They are claiming that the court is exactly the same as red clay, which is not true because there is a big difference," Djokovic said. "You are tripping, slipping all the time, sliding. The winner will be the one who doesn't get hurt by the end of the week."
Tournament officials argue that the color change helps viewers at home to see the ball better, but honestly, the Madrid Open needs to cater to the players and not those watching on TV.
Djokovic will likely keep winning and go on to win the whole tournament. He's on fire right now, and it's tough to see anyone slowing him down, especially with Nadal having been upset already.
If Djokovic and Nadal don't play in next year's Madrid Open, the tournament will lose its appeal to viewers, which is something they cannot let happen.
With the ATP World Tour already being a pretty long season, it's easy to buy into Djokovic and Nadal's threats.
It's a good tournament, and excellent preparation for the French Open. However, if the players aren't happy with the surface of the courts, it makes perfect sense they wouldn't want to play there.
After all, this is about their safety and health. Tennis is a grueling sport that puts a lot of wear and tear on those at the professional level, since they are playing so much.
They could use a break every now and then, and it wouldn't be a big shocker to see these guys skip out on the tournament next year.
Hopefully, the organizers of the Madrid Open wise up and make the changes to please the players. Keeping the players healthy is a must. TV viewers will simply have to focus harder to find the ball, which isn't that big of a deal anyway.
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