Rafael Nadal had THREATENED to boycott Madrid Masters after second-round defeat blaming the surface

Rafael Nadal was knocked out in the Round of 16 by Fernando Verdasco in the Madrid Open 2012.


Rafael Nadal had THREATENED to boycott Madrid Masters after second-round defeat blaming the surface

Rafael Nadal at Madrid Open 2012 (Image Credit: The Washington Post)

The Madrid Open organizers once had an outrageous idea of replacing the traditional red clay with blue clay as a surface for the Madrid Open 2012. The change was made to make the event visually more appealing for TV viewers.

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This caused a great amount of disruption to the rhythm of both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Both the players struggled to maintain their smooth movement and footwork right on the blue clay.

The Spaniard lost to compatriot Fernando Verdasco in the Round of 16 match with whom he enjoyed back then 13-0 lead. It was the first time he lost to Fernando Verdasco.

The ATP and the tournament can do what they want. I tried my best to prepare but I wasn’t good enough to adapt my game to this court. The movements are very important for me and here I cannot move so I cannot hit the ball the way that I want,” dejected Rafael Nadal had remarked.

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Rafael Nadal was so disappointed with the blue clay surface that he threatened to not return to the tournament if the organizers do not revert back to the traditional red clay surface.

The colour has to change and it has to be a proper clay court. I am not prepared to risk something happening next year if nothing changes. 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,” he had added.

Roger Federer won the Madrid Open that year by beating Tomas Berdych in the final. It was the third and last time the Swiss legend had won this tournament in his career.

The next year, Madrid Open organizers took the boycott threats coming from Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic seriously and reverted back to traditional red clay surface. The tournament is now played on red clay ever since and this year too it will be on a red clay surface in an outdoor stadium.

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Rafael Nadal withdraws from Madrid Open 2023

Rafael Nadal (Image Credit: TennisBuzz)
Rafael Nadal (Image Credit: TennisBuzz)

The Spaniard has this year decided to withdraw from the Madrid Open as he is still not recovering from the injury he sustained during his second-round match at the Australian Open. Rafael Nadal lost that match against Mackenzie McDonald 4-6, 4-6, 5-7 and is ever since have not got fit enough to play in a professional match on the tour.

Tennis fans had hoped that as the European clay swing of the season will begin, Rafael Nadal will make a tremendous return. However, nothing of this sort happened. He was absent from both Monte Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open.

Now, his absence from the home tournament, Madrid Open has raised worries among tennis fans about whether will he be fit enough to play and defend his French Open crown. The Italian Open will be played before the Roland Garros. Tennis fans and organizers will breathe a sigh of relief if he makes it to Rome. Hence, eyes are set on if Rafael Nadal does make his comeback and when.

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