Rio Open presented by Claro is the first ATP World Tour 500 tournament in Brazilian history and was the first WTA tournament held in Rio de Janeiro. It is part of a selected group of thirteen tournaments named ATP 500, and one of the 22 biggest events in the ATP calendar. It is also the most important annual sporting event in the city, and one of the few ATP 500 tournaments played on clay, along with Barcelona and Hamburg.
Some of the greatest stars in the sport were part of the tournament: Spaniards Rafael Nadal, 2014 champion and global icon, 2015 champion David Ferrer and Tommy Robredo, Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Austrian Dominic Thiem, American John Isner, Croat Marin Cilic and Italian Fabio Fognini. Among the ladies, we have had the presence of Italians Sara Errani, 2015 champion, and Francesca Schiavone, Roland Garros champion and winner of Rio Open in 2016.
In addition to the matches and practice sessions in nine clay courts, including the Center Court with a 6,200-seat capacity, we have Leblon Boulevard, an area with stands, stores and food courts for the audience.
Starting in 2017, Rio Open became an ATP-only tournament. It was a strategic decision by IMM and the Instituto Carioca de Tênis to provide more comfort for both athletes and audience.
The sixth edition of Rio Open, in 2019, had the breakthrough of two promising players: Serbian Laslo Djere, who beat Dominic Thiem in the first round and won the title, and runner-up Felix Auger-Aliassime. The 18-year-old Canadian became a crowd favorite. More than 50,000 people attended the tournament.
In 2020, Rio Open was one of the last tournaments played before the pandemic. Dominic Thiem arrived as the favorite, after being a runner-up at the Australian Open. However, Cristian Garin won the trophy. The Chilean made it through the rainy days in Rio, defeating Italian Gianluca Mager in the final. Spaniard Marcel Granollers and Argentinian Horacio Zeballos were the doubles champions. Singer Fernanda Abreu sang the National Anthem before the final match. 50,000 spectators attended the tournament during the Carnival in Rio.
The 2021 edition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Rio Open had a successful return in 2022, with the participation of Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud, who would finish the year in the top 3 of the rankings. Alcaraz won the event, breaking several records as a 18-year-old, and the Italians Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli triumphed in the doubles draw.
Alcaraz returns to defend his title in 2023, now as World No.1.