The Rio Open presented by Claro may have only been added to the ATP schedule in 2014 but it has already become Brazil’s first and only ATP 500 event, offering a total prize fund of just less than $2,000,000.
The tournament is played on the outdoor clay courts of the Jockey Club Brasileiro, with the biggest matches taking place on the 6,200-seater Stadium Court.
King of clay Rafa Nadal claimed the first ever title here in 2014, with David Ferrer, Pablo Cuevas, and Dominic Thiem lifting the trophy, respectively, in 2015, 2016, and 2017, before Diego Schwartzman won the 2018 edition.
Rio Open 2019 Tennis Betting Forecast
Dominic Thiem 2/1, Diego Schwartzman 8/1, Fabio Fognini 8/1, Pablo Cuevas 20/1, Leonardo Mayer 33/1
World number eight Dominic Thiem is seeded number one here as he tries to win a second Rio Open title. He arrives here in reasonable form after reaching the semi-finals in Buenos Aires last week and it will be a shock if he doesn’t make it to the quarter-finals with the minimum of fuss.
His most likely opponent in the quarters is Guido Pella, who was the loser in the other semi-final in Argentina last week. Pella also won his first two matches with Thiem, though it the number one seed that has won their last two meetings in straight sets, the last of which was on clay in Buenos Aires in 2018.
If number three seed Marco Cecchinato has been celebrating his victory at last week’s Argentina Open, he could be in trouble against first-round opponent Aljaz Bedene who has beaten him on all five previous occasions they’ve played each other. Bedene has won the last four matches without Cecchinato winning more than two games in any set.
Number eight seed Nicolas Jarry also faces a tough first-round opponent, with Roberto Carbales Baena having won two of their previous four matches. That makes the second quarter a potential minefield for punters.
The third quarter doesn’t look much easier to get a handle on. Defending champion Diego Schwartzman arrives in good form after reaching the final in Argentina last week, but has lost two of his five matches against first-round opponent Pablo Cuevas, who was in decent form last week before losing 2-1 to Thiem in the quarter-finals.
The other half of the quarter offers no form lines, so it may be that the winner of Schwartzman vs Cuevas has an excellent chance of making the semi-finals.
It looks worth taking on number two seed Fabio Fognini in the final quarter, as he comes into this week having not made it past the last-16 in his last two tournaments.
Number eight seed Dusan Lajovic also looks worth taking on as he faces potential second-round stumbling blocks in Jaume Munar and Leonardo Mayer, with the winner of that match a potential semi-finalist.
ATP Rio Open Outright Free Tips
No player looks to have a clear path to the finals this week, but the favourite Dominic Thiem should make it to the quarter-finals where he will be a big fancy to beat whoever he meets. As the second-quarter could produce a shock or two, Thiem also looks worth backing in the outright market as the next player in the world rankings is the out-of-form number 15 Fabio Fognini.
If you fancy following an outsider this week, it could be worth chancing Leonardo Mayer. The 31-year-old may be past his best, but he looks to have a fifty-fifty chance against many of his likely opponents in the fourth quarter and, if he reaches the semis, he also has decent records against the likes of Cuevas and Schwartzman.
ATP Rio Open Free Tips:
Dominic Thiem @ 3.00 SkyBet, Unibet
Leonardo Mayer (Each-Way) @ 34.00 BetVictor, PaddyPower