Skip to main content

Unhappy Djokovic not a fan of Madrid's blue clay revolution

May 8, 2012 -- Updated 2046 GMT (0446 HKT)
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic got his first taste of the blue clay at the Madrid Masters on Tuesday
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic got his first taste of the blue clay at the Madrid Masters on Tuesday
  • Novak Djokovic unhappy with Madrid's blue clay surface after second-round win
  • World No. 1 beats Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-2 3-6 6-2 but criticizes surface
  • Tomas Berdych and Juan Martin Del Potro also enjoy victories in Spanish capital
  • Top two seeds Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova victorious in women's draw

(CNN) -- Novak Djokovic has had plenty to say about the blue clay at the Madrid Masters and he was in no mood to change his mind after a minor scare on his first competitive outing on the new surface.

The world No. 1 thought the players should have been consulted on Madrid's decision to depart from the traditional red clay and the Serbian cut a frustrated figure as he beat Spanish qualifier Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-2 3-6 6-2.

"It's impossible to move," he was quoted as telling reporters by AFP. "I hit maybe five balls, the rest went just trying to put the ball into the court.

"I was relying on serve and getting free points from his unforced errors. That was not tennis, either I need football shoes or some advice on how to play on this court.

Madrid's new blue clay court

"I cannot find the words to describe this court. It's really tough to play like this on a center court. We need serious discussion about the future of this blue clay.

"We cannot change anything this year, but my first impressions are not good. I don't want to be the one complaining, but I say honestly what I feel."

Djokovic's victory was his first outing since he lost to Rafael Nadal in the Monte Carlo Masters and his win set up a third round clash with either Jurgen Melzer or Stanislas Wawrinka.

No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych, from the Czech Republic, defeated South Africa's Kevin Anderson 6-4 6-3 while Aregntina's Juan Martin Del Potro, who won the Estoril Open last week, toppled Florian Mayer 6-4 6-2.

We need serious discussion about the future of this blue clay. It's impossible to move
Novak Djokovic

There were also victories for French trio Gilles Simon, Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet.

In the women's draw the top two seeds, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, both made it safely into round three.

Azarenka, the world No. 1, beat the Czech Republic's Andrea Hlavackova 6-3 7-6 before having her say on the blue clay surface.

"The surface is a bit slippery, but it's the same for all of us," the Belarusian told reporters. "I don't like to complain -- it is what it is and it won't change now."

Sharapova, striving to complete a major slam with victory at the French Open later this month, also toppled a Czech opponent, Klara Zakopalova 6-4 6-3.

"It's not so much about the color," she told a press conference. "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. I got settled in so it's just a matter of adjusting. It's also the same for everyone."

Serbian Ana Ivanovic, the No. 13 seed, also made it into round three after beating Nadia Petrova, from Russia, 7-5 6-1.

Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1208 GMT (2008 HKT)
Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.
Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
A year that began in uncertainty for Roger Federer ended with a historic title for the 17-time grand slam champion and his country.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1716 GMT (0116 HKT)
The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
September 11, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 0636 GMT (1436 HKT)
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
September 14, 2014 -- Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT)
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.