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Madrid's Blue Courts Have Stars Seeing Red

A. Martinez/Mutua Madrid Open

With two key warmup events before the French Open remaining, the talk in the tennis world is not about the return of Roger Federer after a relatively extended break. Nor is the conversation centered around the possibility of yet another Rafael Nadal-Novak Djokovic final. Rather, the topic consuming the sport the last few days is the color blue. More specifically, the blue clay courts used at the Madrid Masters event this week.

Legendary tennis figure and Madrid tournament director Ion Tiriac never lacks for innovative and controversial ideas, such as his use of models as ballgirls during the tournament. And he decided to use blue clay to make the ball more visible for fan and player alike. Of course, the clay isn't naturally blue. It's really the natural red clay that...

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