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Despite strong opposition from the 'king of clay' and other top players, the tournament will still be played on blue clay.
As a protest against the proposed changes to the ranking system, Nadal had recently quit his position as the vice-president of the ATP player council. A part of the reason for his resignation was the fact that he was offered no support from Federer who is the President of the ATP players council.
After suffering a clash of views with Nadal over the election of Brad Drewitt as ATP president too, Federer finally agreed with Nadal on the matter of blue clay. The Swiss is fully behind the Spaniard in opposing the new blue clay.
"I'm against it because Nadal is against it and we would have other options," Federer said. "But tournament director Ion Tirias has insisted ad nauseam. In the end we said: He does a lot of good things for tennis so we let him go with this one. But it isn't good that he has such things in his hands. I have no idea how this will go. We were against it, Nadal even vehemently and I support him. He fears that a tradition is getting broken and that one tournament director wants to have blue clay, the other one grey, green or red one. I'm also for traditions but I can understand it that new things have to get tested. The clay in Madrid has to be perfect though otherwise it will be a debacle for the tournament."
Federer has also insisted that this(agreeing on the matter of blue clay) is not an effort to mend his relationship with Rafa and also said that it is "normal" to have a "difference in opinion".
"That has nothing to do with it," Federer reiterated. "This topic has been talked about one year ago before our dissensions about the election of the new ATP president or the system of the world rankings." He continued: "We have seen each other not that often. He wasn't in Rotterdam and Dubai, I wasn't in Shanghai and he wasn't in Bercy. We only saw each other in London, Melbourne and briefly in Indian Wells. We have a bit more distance at the moment compared to times when we saw each other for weeks nearly daily. That's one of the reasons why there have occurred certain problems as we couldn't communicate that often. That shouldn't be an excuse though. But I also think it's normal that we have differences in opinion. I don't have a problem with Nadal no matter what he says or thinks."
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