The test event at the Olympic Tennis Centre took place across three days ©Rio 2016

Brazilian players have hailed the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Centre following the completion of the Brazil Mastercup tournament at the venue.

Acting at the Rio 2016 test event, the 20th to be held this year, the competition was the first to be stage in the Barra Olympic Park and marked the inauguration of the new tennis facility.

A total of 74 Brazilian players took part in singles and doubles matches during the three days of competition, including men’s and women’s stars, as well as wheelchair players.

“It was very important to take part because it allowed me to feel the conditions on the court, the type of surface, the speed of the balls and the temperature,” reflected Bruno Soares, who with his men’s doubles partner Marcelo Melo will be tipped for medal success next year.

“I’ve already started to imagine playing with the stands full of fans, and we are going to arrive well-prepared.”

The facility boasts a total of 16 courts, 10 for competition and six for training, including the permanent 10,000-seat centre court, which has been named after Brazil’s most successful player Maria Esther Bueno.

The 76-year-old, winner of seven singles and 12 doubles Grand Slam titles during her career, was joined by former men’s world number one and three-time French Open Champion Gustavo Kuerten at the inauguration.

Both Brazilian tennis legends claimed the facility, which also includes two other show courts with 5,000 and 3,000 temporary seats, will leave a crucial legacy after Rio 2016 with the facilities set to boost the country’s elite athletes and youngsters, while allowing Brazil to host more major tournaments.

Three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten was among those to praise the venue
Three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten was among those to praise the venue ©Rio 2016

In addition to hosting the world’s top tennis stars next year, such as Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and Switzerland’s Roger Federer, the venue will also stage wheelchair tennis and five-a-side football during the Paralympic Games.

Rio 2016 claim the test event had a “very positive” outcome, with the focus having been placed on the competition area and workforce operations.

“We received a lot of feedback from the players, about the speed of the court,” said Rodrigo Garcia, Rio 2016’s sports director.

“Of course we still need to make some adjustments, for example in the colour of the panels at the back of the court, but this is why we have test events.”

Thiago Monteiro and Gabriela Ce won the men’s and women’s titles respectively, while Natalia Mayara claimed the women's wheelchair tournament.

Olympic tennis competition is scheduled to take place from August 6 to 14, while Paralympic events will be held from September 9 to 16.

Related stories
October 2015:
 Rio 2016 Barra Olympic Park "more than 90 per cent complete" claims host city's Government
September 2015: Canoe slalom course at Rio 2016 venue officially unveiled
September 2015: Rio 2016 claim several Olympic venues are approaching completion
September 2015: Rio 2016 BMX course ready to roll after unveiled by city's Government
August 2015: Rio 2016 Olympic Village workers living in conditions similar to "slavery", Brazilian prosecutor claims