Tennis - The globalization of tennis continues with the addition of a new event in South America on the tennis calendar.
The WTA and ATP announced that the Rio Open in Rio de Janerio will be added to the tennis calendar next year and will be held in mid-February. The event will be held by IMX, a joint venture of sports and entertainment between EBX Group and IMG Worldwide.
The Rio Open will be South America's largest tennis tournament and also the only ATP-WTA combined event in South America. The event will offer $235,000 in prize money for the WTA competitors and $1.25 million in prize money for the ATP participants. The event will take over from the Memphis events n the WTA and ATP circuit.
Alan Adler, CEO of IMX, commented, "It is a great privilege for IMX to bring an event of this magnitude to Brazil. The Rio Open is here to stay and it will be the largest annual sporting event in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The date acquisition of Memphis in 2012 was the first step to enter the world of tennis and the next will be holding the event in 2014, with the presence of big names in the sport."
WTA Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster commented, "We look forward to bringing another WTA tournament to Brazil, providing growth and development of the sport in a very important market. We applaud the commitment of Rio de Janeiro to tennis; this event is a great showcase for the sport."
Brad Drewett, ATP Executive Chairman and President commented, "We are very pleased that the calendar in 2014 includes a new ATP World Tour 500 in Rio de Janeiro, a renowned destination and that will be the focus of the sporting world in the coming years with a series of major events. I'm sure that Rio will be an extremely popular destination among our players, who are eager to bring the best to the passionate Brazilian fans of tennis. We wish all the best for the organization, with IMX ahead of this first edition of the tournament in 2014."