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Beyond the Baseline

Players' initial reactions to Madrid Open's controversial blue clay

Madrid Open The Madrid Open's new blue clay has caused a wide variety of reactions. (Photos courtesy Kevin Fischer/WTA)

Maria Sharapova described it as "unique." In Charleston, Serena Williams told me it was "ridiculous." And Rafael Nadal has been the most vocal critic of all, saying Madrid's blue clay is an affront to all that is holy in the sport of tennis (paraphrasing, of course). As the players are trickling into Madrid in order to get some early preparation we're finally beginning to get some feedback as to what the surface is actually like, asĀ opposedĀ to speculation and conjecture.

Initial reactions? It's messy, it's slippery, and it's bouncing lower than usual, which is a key observation given the fact that Madrid's altitude has typically led to a very fast, high-bouncing court. Oh, and it's blue. Oh so blue.

After the jump check out some of the players' initial reactions. I'm sure we'll get more as the tournament nears.

http://twitter.com/SvetlanaK27/statuses/197633119543767041

http://twitter.com/milosraonic/statuses/197739187909312513

http://twitter.com/juliagoerges/statuses/197739638805377027

http://twitter.com/SvetlanaK27/statuses/197728804184141824

http://twitter.com/lisaraymond73/statuses/197720857907445760

https://twitter.com/#!/galo_blanco/status/197728486998290432

http://twitter.com/AllaK11/statuses/197643864616607744

Good humor and an open mind. That's what'll help the players adjust quickly and treat the surface as less of a novelty and more like the state of play at the moment. Of course, it's all fun and games until you start losing on it. Can't wait to see what they say then.
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