MADRID (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal’s uncle and coach Toni joined the world number one on Monday in criticizing Melbourne Park’s faster hardcourts which, he felt, will ruin the spectacle for the Australian Open fans.
The speed of the blue Plexicushion courts has polarized opinions with Roger Federer and Australian Lleyton Hewitt welcoming it while Nadal questioned the logic behind the change.
“The spectators want a bit of rallying, a bit of tactics. People don’t go to Barcelona’s stadium to watch Lionel Messi taking penalties,” Toni Nadal was quoted as saying in Spanish sports daily As.
”This year everything is a bit quicker, that’s my feeling and also Rafa‘s.
“I don’t know if it’s because of the courts or the balls, which I think have been changed, but I don’t think it’s good for the spectacle,” he added.
Nadal, who won his sole Australian Open crown in 2009, plays his first-round match against local hopeful Bernard Tomic on Tuesday.
“Rafael is coming into this tournament in Melbourne at a good level after winning the title in Doha,” Toni said.
Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Amlan Chakarborty