Dominic Thiem is the first main star announced to play ATP Buenos Aires (12-18 February) and Rio de Janeiro (19-25 February) events on clay. In Argentina the World No. 7 won 2016 title, beating Rafael Nadal in the semifinals and Nicolas Almagro in the final.
Earlier this year he had chosen to play Rotterdam instead of Buenos Aires. Rio de Janeiro tournament will be played for the fifth time in tennis history. In 2017 the Austrian player became the fourth winner of Rio Open, after Rafael Nadal (2014), Pablo Cuevas (2015) and David Ferrer (2016).
'I am very happy to be back at Rio Open and be able to try to defend my title', Thiem said through a statement on Tuesday. 'The tournament is improving every year and it's special for me. I have great feelings in front of Brazilian crowd and in a wonderful city like Rio de Janeiro.' In 2017 Thiem defeated Pablo Carreno Busta in the final to triumph for the first time ever in Brazil.
'For people, it's great that the defending champion is already confirmed for 2018', the tournament director Luiz Carvalho said. 'Thiem is improving season by season, he is a potential future World No.
1.' Thiem played in Rio in 2016 too, losing to Guido Pella in the semifinals. In February he will also be in Acapulco, on hard-courts, just after Rio.
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