ATP returns to Beijing: What to expect at China Open 2023? Is Alcaraz, Djokovic playing? A look at complete draw
2023 China Open will mark the return of the sport in Beijing, with eight of the top 10 players set to battle it out for the ATP 500 trophy.
China Open has long been an annual event on the ATP calendar year, since its inception in 1993, before the Covid-19 pandemic saw the men's event being cancelled between 2020 and 2022. On Thursday, the main draw for the 2023 China Open will kick off marking the return of the sport in Beijing, with eight of the top 10 players set to battle it out for the ATP 500 trophy.
Who are the players playing in 2023 China Open?
Top-ranked players in Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev will be part of the tournament with both making their debut. This is in fact Alcaraz's first ever ATP event in China, as the two-time Grand Slam winner will be making a comeback to the tour for the first time since losing to Medvedev in the US Open semifinals earlier this month. The Spaniard has been seeded No. 1 in Beijing and will be making the most of the tournament to gain an edge over absent Novak Djokovic in the ATP Live Race To Turin as he stands only 770 points behind while also hoping to edge closer to the Serb in the ATP rankings chart. Alcaraz will be opening his draw against Yannick Hanfmann.
Medvedev, seeded second, will be hoping to extend his sheer dominance on hardcourts in 2023, having earned 38 wins this season en route to four titles. However, the finalist at this year's US Open will have a tough start when he takes on World No. 13 Tommy Paul.
Other top seeded players include (in order) - Holger Rune, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev, Jannik Sinner, Casper Ruud and Alexander Zverev.
Why will Novak Djokovic not be part of 2023 China Open?
More than a week back the world No. 1 had confirmed that he will not be part of the Asian leg of the 2023 ATP calendar year, hence opting out of Shanghai Masters. He was however not in the entry list for China Open, an event won for a record five times in his career, four of which came in a row between 2012 and 2015 after his maiden title haul in 2010.
"Over the years, some of the best support I receive anywhere in the world is in China,” Djokovic had said on social media. “Shanghai has always been one of my favourite tournaments in the season. I will be missing my NoleFam in China. I hope that I can come back to China in the future and play in front of all of you again.”
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Who is the defending champion in China Open?
Dominic Thiem had won the title when ATP 500 China Open was held last time in 2019. He had defeated Tsitsipas in the final to claim his first title in the tournament. The former US Open winner will however not be part of the event this year as he opted to play in Astana instead.
A look at the 2023 China Open draw:
The draw has thrown some blockbuster first-round matches where Rune, who will be making a return after an injury scare in Cincinnati last month followed by a shock round-one exit in US Open, will face Felix Auger-Aliassime, while 2016 champion Andy Murray will take on Alex de Minaur and Medvedev will be be up against Paul.
Alcaraz, who will be opening his campaign against a qualifier, will face one between Karen Khachanov or Lorenzo Musetti in the second round before possibly taking on seventh seed Ruud in the quarterfinal in a repeat of the 2022 US Open summit clash.
The top-half of the draw also has third seed Rune and No. 6 Sinner, who could set up a mouth-watering quarterfinal tie with the winner likely to face Alcaraz in the semis.
In the bottom half, Alexander Zverev, who opens his campaign against Diego Schwartzman, is seeded to take on Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals, while Medvedev could face his friend Rublev, who will take on Cameron Norrie in his opener, in the last eight.