Madrid: Top-ranked Serena Williams won her opening match on the red clay of the Madrid Open on Sunday. She and other stars are glad the tournament returned to the traditional surface after its trial with blue "Smurf" clay flopped last year.
After dispatching Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 7-6 (5), 6-1, the defending champion said she liked the new courts at the Caja Magica.
"I think these clay courts are really good," she said. "I think they're a little bit faster than the ones I was practicing on in Paris. For me, that's always a good sign."
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were even more enthusiastic about the removal of the blue clay, which both players had heavily criticized for being slippery after early exits last year....more
11:01 PM, May 05, 2013