Andy Murray happy with Madrid courts ahead of Masters challenge
Andy Murray is delighted the Madrid Masters organisers have brought back red courts for this year's tournament.
Last Updated: 07/05/13 5:56pm
Last year the tournament was played on blue clay, which met with a storm of disapproval, as much for the standard of the surface, which was deemed too slippery, as the colour.
Murray - who will play either Marinko Matesevic or Florian Mayer in the second round - missed last year's tournament through injury but he has practised on the surface and given it the thumbs up.
"The courts are fantastic. They're excellent," he said.
The defending champion, Roger Federer said: "There was a lot of criticism about the colour, about the quality of the court as well, being extremely slippery.
"I don't know if that was due to the colour, but this tournament has, in the past, had issues with the quality of the court.
"I think this year, from what I'm hearing from the players, it's a good quality court and the players are happy. In the process, hopefully we'll see better tennis this year."
Home favourite Rafa Nadal said: "The courts this year fortunately are really good. The only thing I can say is thankyou to the tournament, you know, for the money that they have invested to have the highest quality courts in here.
"I think that obviously the court last year was not up to the level that we needed."
Murray is seeded third behind Novak Djokovic and Federer, and he is in the top half of the draw along with the world No 1.
Nadal is in the bottom half along with Federer and fourth seed David Ferrer, who lost in the final in Portugal on Sunday.
German Mayer, the world No 27, is now something of a veteran at 29, but he is capable of an upset. He likes clay and arrives in form, having reached the semis in Bucharest. He will be favourite to beat Bosnia's Matosevic, a lucky loser from qualifying who advanced to the main draw when Tomasz Bellucci was forced to pull out with an injury.
If the results go according to the seedings, victory would put Murray through to face Gilles Simon and then Tomas Berdych in the quarters.
Djokovic is then his likely semi-opponent but Murray will simply be hoping to go deeper into the draw than his last tournament at Monte Carlo when he was well beaten by Stan Wawrinka in the third round.