The seventh edition of the Rio Open presented by Claro, taking place in February 15-23 at the Jockey Club Brasileiro, has its first commitment: Austrian Dominic Thiem. World No.5 and runner-up at the French Open for the last two years, the 26-year-old will play in Rio for the fifth time in a row.
Since the beginning of the event, in 2014, Rio Open has brought players from the top 10 of the ATP rankings to Brazilian courts. In 2019, the champion was Serbian Laslo Djere, in a final against Canadian NextGen Felix Auger-Aliassime. The tournament welcomed 50,000 spectators this year.
Thiem won at the Rio Open in 2017, one of his 10 titles on clay and 14 in total. The Austrian is considered to be the best clay court specialist after Rafael Nadal, also a former champion in Rio, in 2014.
During this season, Thiem has achieved outstanding results, such as the French Open final. In the semifinals, he beat Novak Djokovic in one of the best matches of the year. The Austrian also won his first Masters 1000 title on the hard courts on Indian Wells, with a win against Roger Federer in the final.
Other trophies came this year in Beijing, Barcelona and Kitzbuhel. These results guaranteed his spot for the fourth time in a row in the ATP Finals, the tournament that closes the season with the eight best players of the world.
“I am going through a very important year in my career, but I am already thinking about 2020 and I am glad to confirm my return to the Rio Open. It is a tournament that can help me prepare for my goal, which is to win in Roland Garros, besides being in a place where I feel very comfortable. The energy of the Brazilian audience is always really special”, said Thiem, coached by Chilean Nicolás Massú.
The complete entry list of the Rio Open will be revealed in January. “It is always really nice to be able to guarantee a top 5 player in our tournament, specially someone who is a reference on clay like Thiem. Brazilians have been following closely his evolution and 2020 will surely be a season with even more great wins for him”, said Luiz Carvalho, Tournament Director.