Nadal left feeling blue
World number two Rafael Nadal says he will not compete in the Madrid Open next year if organisers persist with the blue clay surface.
Nadal suffered a shock 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 defeat in the third round in Madrid on Thursday to compatriot Fernando Verdasco and the Spanish star believes the blue clay-court hampered his chances.
Nadal, who blew a 5-2 lead in the final set, believes the blue surface contributed to his first loss on clay for almost a year and admitted he will drop the Madrid Open from his calendar next season if organisers don't revert to the red surface.
"Being able to move is very important for me and if I can't move well, I can't hit the ball well either," said Nadal.
"If things don't change, this will be one less tournament on the calendar for me.
"This surface destabilises the game. It is a completely different game and I don't want to take risks."
A number of players have stated the blue clay is slippery and world number one Novak Djokovic indicated he would follow suit and miss the tournament next year if they stick with the surface.
"They are claiming that the court is exactly the same as red clay, which is not true because there is a big difference," Djokovic said. "You are tripping, slipping all the time, sliding. The winner will be the one who doesn't get hurt by the end of the week."
Despite his criticisms, Djokovic secured a spot in the quarter-finals with a 7-6, 6-4 win over Stanislas Wawrinka and will face Janko Tipsarevic in the last-eight, while Verdasco will take on Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals.