The South American phase of the ATP World Tour will reach Brazil as the nation will play the host to an ATP 500 tournament this week. While a lot of stars will miss this tournament, World No. 4 Dominic Thiem will look to make the most out of this opportunity and claim his second Rio Open title.
The Brazilian fans will not witness the Clay Court King and the first ever winner of the Rio Open, Rafael Nadal in action this year however, they can expect some high quality tennis as there are several top 50 players in the competition. Here are the 3 players who will have every tennis fan's attention at the Rio Open.
#3 Guido Pella
After making it to the semi-finals of Wimbledon last year, Guido Pella will look to replicate that performance on clay court this year. The Rio Open offers him the perfect opportunity to win the second ATP title of his career. The Argentine player will look to draw inspiration from the fact that his compatriot, Diego Schwartzman had lifted this trophy in the year 2018.
The former World No. 20 holds the fourth seed in this competition which means that if he brings his 'A' game to the table in the final phases of the tourney, he can end this week posing with the Rio Open trophy in his hand.
#2 Fernando Verdasco
The veteran tennis player from Spain, Fernando Verdasco holds the ninth seed in the 2020 Rio Open which means that even if he makes it to the semifinals, he will better the expectations from him. Verdasco was once a top 10 player as he held the 7th rank in the ATP rankings a decade ago.
His performances have dipped over the years but the Spaniard plays his best tennis on the clay courts. He had made it to the fourth round of the French Open in 2018 which showcases that he can make it big in Brazil this week.
#1 Dominic Thiem
Former two-time French Open finalist, Dominic Thiem is the firm favorite to win the Rio Open championship this year. The Austrian star had won the silverware in 2017 and seeing how his performed at the Australian Open, his chances of winning the Rio Open once again are very high.
Thiem will not face a stiff challenge in this edition of Rio Open as none of the Top 20 players except him are present in the main draw. The second seeded Dusan Lajovic may give Thiem a run for his money but, the world number 4 would look to improve his ranking with a dominant performance in Rio.