By Britwatch Team
- Top Seeds: Kei Nishikori, Dominic Thiem, Pablo Cuevas, Pablo Carreno Busta
- Defending Champion: Pablo Cuevas
- CLICK our featured players for stats from TennisAbstract
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Pablo Cuevas returns to defend his title as the ‘Golden Swing’ continues on the clay courts of Latin America
Draw & Results
|Order of Play|
|Qualifying Singles | Doubles|
|ATP Rio de Janeiro $1,461,560||R2||24 Feb|
|D Thiem  (AUT)||62 63||D Schwartzman (ARG)|
|P Carreno Busta  (ESP)||76(4) 67(2) 10 RET||A Dolgopolov (UKR)|
|A Ramos-Vinolas  (ESP)||62 63||N Kicker [Q] (ARG)|
|C Ruud [WC] (NOR)||62 76(2)||T Monterio (BRA)|
|ATP Rio de Janeiro||R2||23 Feb|
|P Carreno Busta  (ESP)||62 46 62||V Estrella Burgos [LL] (DOM)|
|A Dolgopolov (UKR)||76(4) 46 64||H Zeballos (ARG)|
|T Monterio (BRA)||76(8) 36 63||T Bellucci (BRA)|
|C Ruud [WC] (NOR)||67(4) 64 76(3)||R Carballes Baena [Q] (ESP)|
|ATP Rio de Janeiro||R2||22 Feb|
|N Kicker [Q] (ARG)||63 63||A De Greef [Q] (BEL)|
|D Schwartzman (ARG)||64 76(1)||F Delbonis (ARG)|
|A Ramos-Vinolas  (ESP)||62 63||F Fognini (ITA)|
|D Thiem  (AUT)||62 75||D Lajovic (SRB)|
|ATP Rio de Janeiro||R1||21 Feb|
|A Ramos-Vinolas  (ESP)||62 60||S Robert (FRA)|
|F Fognini (ITA)||62 64||T Robredo [PR] (ESP)|
|T Monterio (BRA)||26 76(4) 64||G Elias (POR)|
|F Delbonis (ARG)||46 61 64||P Lorenzi  (ITA)|
|P Carreno Busta  (ESP)||63 62||J Souza [WC] (BRA))|
|H Zeballos (ARG)||62 63||C Berlocq (ARG)|
|T Bellucci (BRA)||64 63||K Nishikori  (JPN)|
|A Dolgopolov (UKR)||64 64||D Ferrer  (ESP)|
|V Estrella Burgos [LL] (DOM)||62 75||G Pella (ARG)|
|D Thiem  (AUT)||64 75||J Tipsarevic [WC] (SRB)|
|ATP Rio de Janeiro||R1||20 Feb|
|A De Greef [Q] (BEL)||63 36 75||P Cuevas  (URU)|
|R Carballes Baena [Q] (ESP)||63 61||J Sousa  (POR)|
|N Kicker [Q] (ARG)||75 60||M Cecchinato [Q]|
|D Lajovic (SRB)||64 64||F Bagnis (ARG)|
|C Ruud [WC] (NOR)||63 64||R Dutra Silva (BRA)|
|D Schwartzman (ARG)||62 36 64||R Olivo (ARG)|
For what seems like eternity Nishikori fronting up in Memphis was as certain as death and taxes. However this year he opted for the clay courts in Latin America ahead of the Indian Wells and Miami scrum, and it seems to have paid off.
His first ATP World Tour title came in Houston on the dirt, he won Barcelona in 2014-2015 and had Rafael Nadal in Madrid on the ropes before his fragile lotus-flower body gave out and lost out on a Barcelona three-peat to Nadal. He knows how to handle the dirt.
He is making his debut here, but after a shaky start in Buenos Aires dropping his first set he has gone from strength to strength and ought to have a good run here.
Our raised eyebrows are getting overtime – first Nishikori turning his back on Memphis and now Thiem’s packed schedule takes in the clay in the middle of his hard court endeavours. That being said, after a measly opening round loss in Sofia, he managed to salvage some face with a run to the Rotterdam quarter-final, before racking up his air-miles for a jaunt to Rio.
Maybe we are being a little harsh – Thiem is a talent, of that there is no doubt, but despite juggling with injuries over last year, he does not seem to have learned his lesson about too much scheduling. In fairness though he does have form in Rio – he reached the semi-final last year on his debut.
The defending champion has had a bit of downturn in his form and has yet to even notch up a back to back win in 2017. No doubt the match of his career was his win over Nadal in the semi-final and he capped off a dream run with closing out the Golden Swing with a second title in Sao Paulo.
He was bounced out of Buenos Aires by finalist Alexandr Dolgopolov and his first two rounds will be qualifiers which might serve to give him a little confidence under his belt.
Busta arrives as a fourth seed once more, he too falling to the Buenos Aires finalist Dolgopolov. However Rio has not been a great place for the Spaniard to ply his trade. He has won just won match in his previous three visits to the tournament, including the indignity of losing to Nadal, twice in a row!
With no Nadal here, he starts against a home-home wildcard and ought to have the current form to at least make it a couple of rounds.
The Rio Open takes place between 20-26 February – (GMT -3 hours).
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