World No. 6 #Dominic Thiem has been confirmed for next year's #Rio Open. Austria's Thiem is set to make his third consecutive and third ever appearance in Rio de Janeiro. The 24-year-old is becoming a regular participant at the Brazilian clay-court event.

Thiem has had success so far in his career at the Rio Open. Thiem won it all on the clay of Rio de Janeiro this past February. The Austrian defeated rising Pablo Carreno Busta in the final to win his maiden Rio title. The 24-year-old didn't drop a single set in five matches played on his way to capturing the title.

Thiem also had a notable campaign at the Rio Open in his debut appearance in 2016.

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The world No. 6 demolished Spain's David Ferrer in the Rio Open quarter-finals. Surprisingly, he then fell short to Argentine Guido Pella in the semi-finals. Pella remains the only player who has beaten Thiem at the Rio event so far.

Thiem will certainly be a top favorite to make it all the way next year as well. However, it won't be easy as some other notable players have been confirmed for the Rio Open. It remains to be seen can defending champion Thiem win back-to-back Rio titles.

Cilic to play as well

2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic is also set to play at the Rio Open. World No. 8 Cilic has no previous appearances at the Brazilian event. However, it won't be his first visit to Rio de Janeiro. The Croatian represented his country at last year's Rio Olympics. Back then, France's #Gael Monfils saw off Cilic in the round-of-16 stage.

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Cilic's decision to play on the clay of the Rio Open next year comes as a bit of surprise. Cilic prefers faster surfaces over clay. The Rio event is played in February -- when the clay season is still not officially started. Most players prefer to play hard-court events after January and the Australian swing.

Cilic will have to make a transition from hard to clay in February. The Croatian will then have to make a transition from clay to hard once he concludes his campaign at the Rio Open. The Indian Wells Masters and Miami Masters -- both played on hard -- start in March. It could be a potentially tricky situation for the world No. 8.

Monfils joins Thiem and Cilic

World No. 46 Monfils is also expected to play at the Rio Open next year. The Frenchman is set to make his debut at the Brazilian ATP event. As mentioned above, Monfils has played some tennis in Rio de Janeiro in the past. The Frenchman fell short to Kei Nishikori in the Rio Olympics quarter-finals after beating Cilic in the last-16. Monfils, who prefers clay over any other surface, will certainly be eyeing to have a positive debut in Rio de Janeiro.