Sunday, May 6, 2012
Madrid's New Groove
The new Blue or "Smurf" clay courts in Madrid have caused a mixed reactions from tennis players and commentators. The first to vent their dislike was Rafael Nadal way back last year when the switch was announced, admittedly he is probably getting paid to not like due to him being sponsored by the rival company to the one which endorsed the change to blue clay. And without having seen the courts play, played on the courts or witnessed the courts at all I will give my own expert insight.
Serena called it "ridiculous" and stated that "no one likes it" as a member of the Player Council Serena also made mentioned that they all voted against it. Venus sees as more of a "fashion statement" because "bright colours are in". Djokovic and Stosur both agree with Serena and Rafa, Stosur said it "pointless" and then went onto criticize the courts a great deal.
The general feedback seems like its very slippery and has a low bounce, so its basically a slippery hard court.
The slippery hard courts have already provided a couple of upsets with Petra Cetkosvka handily defeating world number ten Vera Zvonareva 6-2 6-2. Indicating that Zvonareva is nowhere yet down with slumping just yet and my inside sources inform me that she has a reoccurring injury, believed to hip that she's not letting on about - which would explain her sudden inability to be able to consistently hit through her shots.
Marion Bartoli also joined the seeds casualty list falling in three sets to Romanian Sorana Cirstea, Venus Williams also won in three sets over Romanian Simona Halep, while vocal critic of the courts, Stosur, narrowly survived Petra Martic edging out a 7-5 4-6 7-6 victory in what seemed to be a high quality match featuring only two service breaks. In the second round Stosur will face Christina McHale who defeated Sofia Arvidsson in straight sets.
Last years semi finalist and form clay player, Julia Goerges as defeated by compatriot Mona Barthel 4-6 1-6 in her first match.Which is a far cry from the position she was in after last years clay court season, tipped a certainty for the top 10 and a dark horse leading into Roland Garros, the German has failed to impress since her dream clay run.