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Djokovic likes change, but not blue clay

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Originally published on: 04/05/12 00:00

Novak Djokovic admitted that he needed time before making a definitive judgement on Madrid’s blue clay courts, but the world No.1 did not seem overwhelmed after his first practice session in the Spanish capital. “The first impression is that the bounce is a little bit different,” Djokovic told the tournament’s official website. “Especially with the slice, it bounces low.”

Like most of the top players, Djokovic is not happy with the decision to stage next week’s Masters 1000 event on a new surface. “Sometimes change is good,” he admitted. “I like innovative and creative people.  Sometimes to be able to have that ability, to be brave enough to have some change, is worth appreciation in some ways.

“But, on the other hand, it's going to be the only blue clay-court tournament in the world, the first time ever in history. To be honest with you, as far as I know, most of the top players I talked to, nobody agreed on that. I never played on blue clay. Rafa didn't. Roger didn't.”

Djokovic and Rafa Nadal are particularly unhappy that the decision by the Association of Tennis Professionals to approve of the blue surface was taken without the agreement of players. “There is a certain rule within the ATP that the president is able to make the decision by himself,” Djokovic said. “That rule has to be changed because it's not fair. That's what happened last year. That is why Madrid has blue clay.”

He added: “If you don't have the top players agreeing on that, it doesn't make sense for me really. I understand that we all want to see a certain change and improvement in our tennis world. But on the other hand you need to hear out what the players say, especially the top ones, because we need to feel that our opinion matters. That was not the case this time.”

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