Rio de Janeiro: Rafael Nadal flew into Brazil Wednesday to defend his title at the Rio Open -- but also to experience first-hand "the incredible energy" of the city`s world-famous carnival.
"I really want to learn about the carnival in Rio. It has an incredible energy, carnival here is like a religion," the world number three from Spain told reporters shortly after his arrival.
"I was always fascinated by the carnival and was eager to see it live. It will be a show," said Nadal, who will join a parade on Sunday with compatriot David Ferrer and Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten.
The Rio Open begins on Monday.