After four years the ATP Tour finally makes a stop in Beijing for the 2023 China Open. Who will lift the trophy in early October?
2023 China Open
The National Tennis Center in Beijing will be a bee hive of activities later this month as it opens its doors to the 2023 China Open. As the norm, this hard-court tournament will include both the ATP 500 and WTA 1000. The ATP event will run from 28th September to 4th October while the WTA will run from 30th September to 8th October.
The star-studded ATP entry list includes 32 talents from across the world, while the WTA entry list will include 64 equally decorated participants. The prize money for this year’s ATP 500 is $3,633,875, while that for the WTA is a record-breaking $8,127,389.
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Who Will Be the Likely Winners?
With the world number one and six-time former champion Novak Djokovic sitting this one out, the ATP China Open still carries the promise of the high-octane tennis matches it has come to be associated with. 9 out of the world’s top 10 tennis players will be in the house, battling it out for glory in some high stakes matches the world’s tennis fraternity can’t wait for.
All eyes will be on the reigning Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz as he makes his maiden Beijing appearance. The top-seeded Alcaraz is the ATP event’s clear favorite, according to most pundits. But it will not be an easy sail for him with the likes of Stephano Tsitsipas a finalist in the last outing in Beijing, bringing his experience and looking to build on his last campaign. Alexander Zverev who also made it to the main draw, is a former two-time China Open semi-finalist eyeing a top-10 return and will also be looking to upset the status quo. Bulgaria’s 2016 finalist, Grigor Dimitrov, will be on his 6th outing in Beijing and is a talent you shouldn’t take your eyes off.
WTA Event in Beijing
The WTA event has also attracted the best tennis talents in women’s tennis. Only three of the world’s top 50 will miss out on the event. Naomi Osaka, who won the last tournament, will also be conspicuously missing as she is currently on maternity leave. She is, however touted to make a comeback to the tournament in 2024.
All eyes will be on Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka, the world’s top two players. Most predictions are on Aryna, who recently replaced Iga as world number one after a successful campaign in the just concluded US Open. She has momentum but will need to dig deep if she has to walk away with bragging rights come the 8th of October. Iga, on her side, has held the world’s number one position for 75 weeks and will also be looking to make a big statement in Beijing.
Preparation of Rackets
Like in any other tournament, a dedicated army of racket techies will ensure the rackets are in optimal conditions before any game. This team works behind the scenes and ensures it meets the high demands these top tennis players have regarding the racket conditions
.The stringing room at the National Tennis Center will be one of the busiest places throughout the tournament as the players drop their rackets before matches are strung. The tension on the strings has to be at the right level, as this can be the difference between victory and defeat.