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Dyed surface gives Djokovic the blues

Posted on 09/05/2012 in Tennis

It seems blue-dyed clay has achieved a feat the likes of Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal seldom manage – serve up something Novak Djokovic struggles to cope with.

Anyone wanting a tennis bet may be wise not to put it on the Serb for the Madrid Open after he slipped and slid on the controversial surface in the second round of the tournament before condemning the underfoot conditions.

Although he won his match, he said keeping his footing was so hard he had to rely on his serve and unforced errors to get through.

Afterwards, he commented: "For me that's not tennis. Either I come up with the football shoes or I invite Chuck Norris to advise me on how I should play on this court."

The blue clay is the idea of tournament organisers, who believe it makes the balls easier for spectators to see than when they are bouncing off a naturally-shaded red surface.

Andy Murray – who won the tournament in 2008 when it was played on a hard court – is missing the event on medical advice after sustaining a back injury.