• Blue or red is fine for Fed in Madrid

    5/8/13 4:01 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Blue or red is fine for Fed in Madrid Versatile Roger Federer can take his Madrid clay in any colour, with the Swiss, who won the title last year on slick blue when the rest of the elites were complaining - and losing, giving this year's return to red the highest of marks.

    "I think it's very good. To all the players I've spoken to I think they're very happy," said Federer, a three-time champion in the capital. "I don't think the problem was only last year. I know that added to the whole controversy, the colour, because of tradition and so forth. It was extremely slippery and the court wasn't taking the water well."

    After being pressureised by the ATP to ban the blue and return to the classic combination red or face a boycott from the highly dissatisfied pair of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, organisers have done themselves proud.

    They sought help from the world experts who maintain Roland Garros and have come up with surface which seem to please everyone.

    Federer said players can sense the change that quality makes. "In previous years we had a lot bad bounces and difficult conditions to play in. I don't know if you remember the match point against Nadal a couple years ago in the finals. It came slow and it bounced unbelievable. I even totally missed the ball.

    "That's not going to really happen this year. I think they dug down deeper, which makes it a better court. They spoke to more experts from the French Open and Monaco, and you can tell it's a proper clay court now. It's not just some court they laid down quickly within a few months and hoped for the best."

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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