“Cannot Find Words To Describe This Court”: When Rafael Nadal Threatened To Boycott Madrid Open

Published 05/01/2021, 10:30 AM EDT
PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER 31: Rafael Nadal of Spain announces his withdrawal from the Rolex Paris Masters due to an abdominal injury on October 31, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)


Over the years, Rafael Nadal has emerged as an asset for tennis. He has given fans some amazing memories that will be cherished for the years to come. The veteran, who has been on Tour for close to two decades, has a very likable attitude and goes about his business in a professional manner.

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As Rafael Nadal gets ready to compete at the Mutua Madrid Open 2021, we take a look back at an incident that took place at this venue in 2012 when the tournament was played on blue clay courts.

Why Rafael Nadal wasn’t happy with Madrid Open

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During the 2012 season, Rafa lost in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open, which ended his 22-match winning streak. He was unhappy with the conditions at the venue and found it highly inconvenient. Consequently, he threatened to boycott the event in the future if this pattern continued.

Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a forehand against Guido Pella of Argentina in their quarter final match during day six of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters at Monte-Carlo Country Club in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

After the match, Rafa had stated, “I cannot find the words to describe this court. The ATP and the tournament can do what they want, I tried my best, I’ve trained here since Thursday. I was as prepared as I could be. I was not good enough to adapt my game to this court. If things continue like this, it will be very sad. Next year this will be one less event for my calendar.”

Rafael Nadal did not favor the blue clay courts at the Madrid Open 2012

The five-time Madrid Open champion conducted himself like a thorough professional and stated he gave his best shot. He was unable to adapt to the changes made to the surface of the court. Besides Rafa, other players like Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka had been critical of the blue clay. 

ACAPULCO, MEXICO – FEBRUARY 29: Rafael Nadal of Spain gestures during the singles match against Taylor Fritz of the United States during Day 6 of the ATP Mexican Open at Princess Mundo Imperial on February 29, 2020, in Acapulco, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

Reflecting on the current season, players are in Madrid ready to fight it out for the second ATP Masters 1000 clay-court event. Stars like Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev are headlining the event.

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Recently crowned Monte Carlo Masters champion Stefanos Tsitsipas is part of the tournament too. Dominic Thiem is resuming his season after a brief period on the sidelines due to injury and stress issues. It will be interesting to see how the players fair as the French Open is around the corner.  

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Rohan Kollare

575 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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