By Lisa-Marie Burrows
Mutua Madrid Open, Madrid – It was evident when walking into the press room that Novak Djokovic was not a happy man. He clearly felt that his loss was due to the courts, claiming he ‘wants to forget this week as soon as possible and move onto the real claycourts.’
When the notion of a the use of a fluorescent ball was put to the fiery Serb, he simply scoffed and said:
“They can do whatever they want, I will not be here if this clay stays. This is what is in 2012 and if in 2013 they come up with fluorescent balls or whatever I will not be here for sure.”
Djokovic reminded everybody that he has been here over a week now trying to adjust to the courts and get in to some of these matches and he does not consider the surface as clay, but as something totally different.
Djokovic was still angry with the ATP as he looked around the packed press room with a stern look on his face and repeated once again that it is their fault and has nothing to do with the tournament organizers or director, only the ATP:
“I hope the ATP will strongly consider what we feel and what we think. If the ATP has protection for their players and back them up, there is no way they would use the blue clay. I don’t need to meet anybody [and talk about it] it’s simple in my eyes – no blue clay.”
The defending champion pointed out that he was here to do exactly that – defend his title – which he has now failed to do and wishes not to put any pressure on his body and worry about getting injured, as the court is so unpredictable in his eyes. His point of view was that ‘it is the players who are the losers this week.’
After reiterating that it is not the fault of the tournament, the organizers or its director – Manolo Sanana – Djokovic spoke once more about his loathing towards the ATP and their decisions at this time:
“We had a couple of discussions about this last year and we were more than clear that we didn’t want it. This is a clear example of how our system does not work in favour of players. I cannot blame the new president because he came here in January and started his presidency, he did not make the decision, the old one. It’s very simple, he was going away he knew that his contract is not renewed and he made this decision on his own. I will not go into what was going on behind closed doors but something was going on definitely because he didn’t care about tennis and what the players think, only himself and his own interests.”
Lisa-Marie Burrows is currently in Madrid covering the Mutua Madrid Open and will be at the Rome Masters next week. Catch her as a regular contributor for TennisBloggers.com and on Twitter: @TennisNewsViews.