Rio Open to feature four of world’s top 20 players

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Rio de Janeiro, Jan 8 (IANS) The 2015 Rio Open will feature four of the world’s top 20 players as ranked by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).

Spain’s No.3-ranked Rafael Nadal and No.10-ranked David Ferrer will be joined by fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo and Italy’s Fabio Fognini, the world’s No.17 and No.19, respectively, in the second edition of the tournament, to be held Feb 16 to 22, reports Xinhua.

Nadal, who won the inaugural edition of the Rio Open in 2014 by defeating Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov, will once again headline the tournament to be played on outdoor clay courts at the exclusive Jockey Club in Rio de Janeiro’s tony Gavea district, organisers announced Wednesday.

Spain will be fielding a total of eight players in the year’s first South American tournament of the ATP World Tour 500 series, including Nicolas Almagro, Marcel Granollers, Albert Ramos, Pablo Andujar and Pablo Carreno Busta, in addition to Nadal and Ferrer.

The list of confirmed players also includes Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer, Federico Delbonis, Diego Schwartzman, Juan Monaco and Carlos Berlocq, Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo and Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas.

Host Brazil only have one player competing in the event, national champion Thomas Bellucci, ranked 64 in the world. Last year, Bellucci lost to Ferrer in the quarterfinals.

The full list of 32 competitors will be completed pending qualifiers held prior to the Open, from which four players will classify.

Of the remaining five, four will be invited by the organisers and one will be chosen by the ATP.

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