Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Djokovic Blasts Madrid Surface

World number one, Novak Djokovic, said that he is not a fan of the new blue clay surface at the Madrid Open, after he struggled past Daniel Gimeno-Traver in the second round.

Djokovic beat the Spaniard, who is 136 places below the Serbian in the world rankings, 6-2 2-6 6-3, but he was stinging in his criticism of the surface, nonetheless.

"To me, that's not tennis. Either I come out with football shoes, or I invite Chuck Norris to advise me how to play on this court", said Djokovic.

The 24-year-old is the defending champion, having beaten Rafael Nadal 7–5 6–4 in the final of last year’s tournament. Nadal has also raised concerns, ahead of his first match at the Open, against Nikolay Davydenko, on Wednesday.

Nadal is currently the favourite for the win at the Madrid Open on betting.betfair.com. Djokovic is next, at 5/2.

Djokovic complained about the surface throughout his second-round clash, but he held his game together to take a decisive 4-2 lead in the deciding third set, before sealing his place in the next round.

"I hit five balls throughout the whole match. With everything else, I was just trying to keep the ball in the court", Djokovic added, after hitting 24 unforced errors.

"When you slide on the red clay you have a feeling you can stop and recover from that step. But here, whatever you do [...] you are always slipping. Not a single player – not woman, not man – I didn't hear anyone say 'I like blue clay.'"

The players are using the tournament in Madrid as preparation for the French Open, played on red clay, which begins at the end of May.

Despite Djokovic's complaints, Tomas Berdych, Gilles Simon, Juan Martin del Potro, Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet, and Fernando Verdasco all advanced.

Djokovic will face either Stanislas Wawrinka or Jurgen Melzer in the third round. The pair, whoever they are, meet on Wednesday afternoon.

Fans of tennis should head over to the Betfair French Open 2012 website, for the best picks ahead of the start of the tournament.

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