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Nadal To Play Inaugural Rio Open

Rafael Nadal

Nadal© Cynthia LumRafael Nadal will join David Ferrer in Rio.

Rafael Nadal, the reigning US Open and Roland Garros champion, will be in Rio de Janeiro from 15-23 February to play South American’s biggest tennis event, the inaugural Rio Open.

“I am looking forward to playing for the first time ever in Rio de Janeiro. I have heard so much about the city, and now I will finally have the opportunity to be there,” said Nadal. “All around the world, when I play, I can feel the love of the Brazilian people.”

Nadal became the first man to win the same Grand Slam tournament eight times with his Roland Garros victory this year and is one of only seven players in the history of the sport to have won the career Grand Slam.

Having finished two seasons as the Emirates ATP Rankings World No. 1 in 2008 and ‘10, Nadal is close to reclaiming the year-end top spot once more in 2013. He is having one of the most consistent seasons of his career, already winning 10 titles. As well as lifting the Roland Garros and US Open trophies, the Spaniard won the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles in Indian Wells, Madrid, Rome, Cincinnati and Montreal, the ATP World Tour 500s in Acapulco and Barcelona and the ATP World Tour 250 in Sao Paulo. He is one of three players to have already qualified to play the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London in November.

Aiming to have another strong season on tour in 2014, Nadal included the Rio Open in his schedule and celebrates the opportunity that the country is having. “It’s very important for South American tennis that we finally have an ATP World Tour 500 event. It’s a great victory for Brazil.”

Nadal will be joined at the Rio Open by fellow Spaniard, David Ferrer, meaning two of the Top 4 players in the Emirates ATP Rankings and the two Roland Garros finalists will play. Nadal won his eighth crown in Paris defeating Ferrer in the final match.

“Nadal is one of greats of the history of the sport. His commitment to play the Rio Open already states that the event is aiming to be one of the most important on the ATP World Tour and that the wonderful city of Rio de Janeiro attracts the biggest stars of the planet, especially on the way to the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games. Having already confirmed Ferrer a couple of months ago, we will have the Roland Garros Champion and runner-up  competing here,” said IMX Sports’VP, Marcia Casz.

The Rio Open is a new event in the ATP and the WTA calendars. It is the only combined ATP World Tour 500 and WTA International event in South America.

The tournament, distributing a total prize money of U$ 1,5 million (US$ 1,25 million for the ATP) will be held on the eight clay courts of the Jockey Club Brasileiro, including a Stadium. The Rio Open will have an interactive area, a Food Court and a Village for the public. Tickets go on sale in November.


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