Perhaps the clay court is dangerous for the players. As far as I'm aware other players have complained. They're just not TOP players. Does anybody think a tournament director will take much notice of a lower ranked player? I don't think so. If Nadal speaking out improves safety for the players then surely that's a good thing.
Has anyone seen the picture of the court with the moving lines?
That wouldn't even be permitted, or expected, in a local tennis club never mind a stadium like this.
However, I'll repeat part of what I posted on the "Will Andy win a clay tournament" thread after I watched Nadal struggle to defeat the world #140 Joao Souza (the Brazilian player, that is - not the Portuguese Joao Sousa that Andy played in the AO) 6-3, 6-4.
I don't know if anyone else watched this match, but I'm inclined to agree with the comm who said during the 2nd set that "Nadal's mystique has gone". Sousa played a reasonably solid game, helped by some very good serving, but Nadal would have lost against a better and more experienced opponent. The fact is that these guys are no longer going to fear Nadal and so will just go all out because they have nothing to lose. Souza never looked fazed, but Nadal, whether or not it was the after-effects of Chile, seemed nervous (the bum-tugging was well on the go, which is always a bad sign) and his movement round the court was sluggish. Also it seemed to me that he was limping very slightly when he was was walking, so if his knee was giving him pain that wouldn't have helped either. Rather amusingly though it was Nadal who was obviously getting impatient when Souza went in for a bit of time-wasting and insisted that the umpire show him the exact spot where his return had landed and been called out (it was).
I hadn't read this thread then, so didn't know about Nadal's complaints about the court, and that might have been of concern to him as well, although everything looked perfectly OK to me, those in charge of looking after them having obviously ensured that any defects had been rectified.
I really do think though that Nadal should be keeping his mouth shut on other matters until he's had a little more time to re-establish himself. Probably had too much time on his hands during his lay-off to mull things over.
Yup - I agree - heads so far up their own arses, they could see daylight. Thank goodness for Andy!
Are you seriously trying to tell me that Andy has never complained about court conditions? What about the slippery grass at Queens last year and the rain-affected courts at RG in 2011? He certainly had justification for doing so, but then so had the players who complained about the blue clay in Madrid. Andy didn't play there but I don't think he'd have been happy with it either.
Thanks Ruthie. I read a shortened version on the BBC's red button tennis section, which, incidentally, it looks like they're trying to improve, and not before time either.
It makes sense, but will Nadal heed his doctor's advice, given that he's ignored it before when he was strongly advised to change his playing style and reduce the number of tournaments in order to preserve his knees? However, I don't think that he can realistically wriggle out of IW and Miami unless his knee condition flares up - although why not IW given that the Williams sisters have refused to play there ever since what their father
claimed was an incident of racial abuse back in 2001? I can see Nadal tanking though and making an early exit at both, although it's possible that he might get beaten quite legitimately.