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Rio de Janeiro plays host to a new ATP 500 event in the ATP calendar. It is the only combined ATP Whorl Tour and WTA International event in South America. The tournament’s first edition in 2014 includes a total prize money pot of US$1.5m and will be held on the eight clay courts of the Jockey Club, Brasileiro, and includes a 6,200 stadium.
“The ATP is proud to welcome Rio Open presented by Claro hdtv. We are very excited with the inclusion of the newest ATP World Tour 500 event to the 2014 calendar. What a wonderful city. I have been in Rio years ago and I am looking forward to come back and watch all the action”, said Chris Kermode, CEO and president of ATP.
There are only 11 ATP World Tour 500 events around the world and the Rio Open is part of this select group of cities, becoming, as a combined event, one of the 20 most important tournaments in the international calendar. This also entitles the Rio Open to be the biggest annual sporting event in Rio’s capital and one of only 3 ATP World Tour that are held on clay, along with Barcelona and Hamburg.
The tournament has already confirmed the names of world number one Rafael Nadal and world number 5, David Ferrer, for the inaugural edition. Thomaz Bellucci, Bruno Soares, and Marcelo Melo are amongst the local favourites.
“It is very important for the South American tennis to finally have an ATP 500. It is a great achievement for Brazil and I'm eager to play for the first time in Rio de Janeiro. I've heard lots of cool stuff about the town and now I will finally have the opportunity to be there. Everywhere I play around the world I always get a great affection from Brazilians fans", said Rafael Nadal, the world number 1.
“I have been to Brazil before, but that was a while ago. We have longed for a tournament in Rio, the place where everybody wants to be, especially athletes. The minute I heard about the plans for the Rio Open I knew it was going to be in my schedule. I am looking forward in playing in front of the Brazilian fans in the city that will host the World Cup finals and the Olympics,” said Ferrer.