ATP outlaws Madrid's blue clay
The controversial blue clay used by the Madrid Masters was banned by the ATP on Saturday, a move which will head off a potential boycott by top players of the crucial French Open warm-up event.
The surface, which was introduced for the first time at this year's tournament, was widely condemned by Rafael Nadal who insisted he would not return to the event in 2013 if the blue clay remained.
"After careful consideration, I have decided that blue clay courts will not be allowed next year," said ATP executive chairman and president Brad Drewett.
"I very much believe in innovation and exploring ways to enhance our sport.
"While the blue clay may have offered better visibility on television, there were clearly issues with the quality of the courts in Madrid this year, which were not acceptable at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, one of our top events worldwide.
"Regardless of colour, we must first ensure that courts are safe and fair for players."