Ion Tiriac, the former player and current owner of the Madrid Open, has heard the complaints about the blue clay courts at his tournament. He's sympathetic to them. As a result, the Transylvanian billionaire has announced his plan to take everyone's mind off the color of the clay next year. He'll do this by freaking everyone out with the color of the balls.
Tiriac tells a Spanish newspaper that he plans to use phosphorescent tennis balls at next year's event. "We think it fluorescent green or fluorescent orange, which grabs more light and works best in contrast with the blue clay," he said.
Let me just say how much I love this. No, not the possibility of bright green or orange tennis balls; that sounds lame. I love that Tiriac has been catching hell for the past three weeks for stomping on tennis tradition and he responds by piling on some more. Judging by that response, he'll probably make the balls bigger next year too.
I don't think Tiriac's idea will get past the spitballing stages. The ATP has caught enough flak for allowing the switch to blue courts. It's not going to go further toward the circus with orange balls. Even with its non-existent leadership, it'll manage to rein in Tiriac this time.