© Ella Ling

Miami 2012 - Nadal forehand

Becker: Players will soon forget the clay is blue

   

Boris Becker has told The Tennis Space that the controversy over Madrid’s new blue clay courts – Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Serena Williams are among those to have expressed their unease – will soon pass.

“They play on green grass, on red clay, and on brown courts, they play on cement, on all sorts of surfaces, so why not blue clay? It’s a new thing, and if I was a player I would have said the same thing, that I only want to play on red clay so close to the French Open. But, after one or two rounds, it will be forgotten whether it’s blue or red or green or whatever.”

Thoughts on blue clay
“In general, I’m a fan of innovations. You always have to better yourself and try improvement. This was the idea of Ion Tiriac, one of the inventors of many things in tennis [as well as being the tournament consultant and Becker’s former manager], and I’m sure it has something to do with television and how you can see the ball better, and something to do with being different. At the end of the day, players have to see for themselves, and judge for themselves, whether blue clay is a good idea or not.

“I believe that once the top players have won their first or second match, they won’t notice it anymore. They play on green grass, on red clay, on brown courts, they play on cement, on all sorts of surfaces, so why not blue clay? It’s a new thing, and the fact I’m being ask about it is already a success for Ion Tiriac. He’s a clever businessman. He’s done many marketing things in tennis that no one had done before, and many have then adapted.”

On complaints from Nadal, Federer and others
“They will show up, they’ll play and Ion will invite them to have some spaghetti and everything will be fine. If I was a player I would have said the same thing, that I want to only play on red clay so close to the French Open. But, after one or two rounds, it will be forgotten whether it’s blue or red or green or whatever.”

Boris Becker is a supporter of the Barclays Ball Kids scheme.