Nadal to play in Rio Open

Rio de Janeiro, Oct 23 (IANS) Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal said that he will play in February’s Rio Open on his ‘favourite’ clay surface.

The 14-time Grand Slam winner won the inaugural edition of the ATP 500 event in 2014 before being eliminated by Italy’s Fabio Fognini in the semifinals of this year’s tournament.

“The Rio Open is an important event on the tennis calendar in a special country,” the 29-year-old said in a statement on Thursday, Xinhua reported.

“I have developed a great relationship with the Brazilian public over the last two years and I love going back there,” Nadal said.

Nadal endured a frustrating 2015, failing to win a Grand Slam for the first time in a calendar year since 2004.

The 2016 Rio Open will be played at the Brazilian Jockey Club from February 15 to 21.

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