Simmering Serb Novak Djokovic has charged that former ATP boss Adam Helfant orchestrated the undercover switch to blue clay in Madrid that has the world No. 1 up in arms and out of the event in the semi-finals.
Djokovic, the holder, crashed out to good friend Janko Tipsarevic 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 and joined Rafael Nadal in vowing never to return to the admittedly slippery blue clay. "There is no discussion in my mind - no blue clay for me."
Djokovic said that the fault for the crisis rests with the ATP which allowed Madrid to go ahead with the project. Tournament officials earlier spelled out their side of the case, with assurances that given enough time (months) to season, the blue court will play exactly like the classic red clay variety.
That was hardly enough to soothe Djokovic. "I don't blame the new president (former player Brad Drewett). He only came to the job in January.
"It was the last president. (American Adam Helfant). He was going away and knew his contract was not renewed, He made the decision on his own. Something was going on behind closed, doors, he didnít care about tennis and what the players thought. he was only interest in himself and his interests."
Helfant had explained at a round-table that the actual decision to try out the grand plan was made by a newly formed competition committee.
Djokovic added: "The loser this week are the players and their opinions," said Djokovic. "I hope the ATP will strongly consider what players feel and think. If it has protection for the players in mind, there is no way that Madrid is gonna keep the blue clay."