ATP China Open 2023 – why is the draw so stacked this year?

For those of you with your finger on the pulse concerning the ATP schedule, you’ll know that the China Open is officially here. Specifically, the ATP China Open schedule shows us that the event will run from September 28th to October 4th. This is the first ATP 500 level event to be played in Asia during this time of the season. However, the start of what people occasionally call the Asian Swing actually kicked off last week with a couple of ATP 250 tournaments played in China. 

Yet this week, the level of competition is set to go up a few gears. Not only is this true in terms of the grade of the ATP China Open, but it is also true in terms of the players who are competing in the event as well. Because of this, many tennis fans are puzzled about why the ATP China Open is full of the world’s best players this year. And this is perfectly understandable given that this is merely a 500-level event. 

ATP China Open Draw

Now, I don’t say this to diminish the importance of the China Open. Instead, I say this to highlight the fact that you wouldn’t expect such a strong lineup of players unless we were looking at a 1000-level tournament or even a Grand Slam. So such comparisons can be made with this tournament when you look at the individuals involved.

With this in mind, if you are curious as to why the 2023 ATP China Open is so strong this season, I’d like to give you three answers to this question right now. 

2023 ATP China Open draw – reasons why the top players have flooded in for this 500-level tournament

As I have stressed above, a typical ATP 500-level event would not have so many top-level players competing for the title. Normally, you might expect one or two top 10 players to be hunting down any single 500-level event. But looking at the ATP China Open draw, there are 8 top 10 players involved. Needless to say, that’s pretty staggering for an event of this level, and it’s normal to be confused as to why this is the case.

Anyway, as promised, and without further ado, I’d like to shed some light on why the 2023 China Open is so strong.

First higher-level event since US Open

Assuming that you are an enthusiastic tennis fan, you will be fully aware that the fourth Grand Slam of the year was completed just a few weeks ago. Of course, it was Novak Djokovic who reigned supreme in New York this year, yet pretty much all of the top guys competed in that tournament. Therefore, as we have seen in many previous seasons, several of the top players in the sport decided to take a break in order to rest after the US Open. 

As for the ATP calendar, besides the Davis Cup and Laver Cup, the few weeks that followed the US Open were a rather relaxed period on the ATP Tour. And given how grueling the season can be, it’s understandable that the top guys took the opportunity to have a small break from competing. However, since the ATP China Open is the only 500-level event that is played in September this year, this rest period looks set to end for the world’s best. 

Important for the 2023 ATP Finals

Another critical factor concerning the strength of this tournament relates directly to the 2023 ATP Finals. As you might be aware, the ATP Finals isn’t all that far away, at the time of writing. In fact, The 2023 ATP Finals are set to commence in around 6 weeks time! Adding to that, only three guys have qualified for the event so far. These guys include Carlos Alcaraz, Novak Djokovic, and Daniil Medvedev. 

Therefore, because the qualification process for the ATP Finals is based on tournament results and points, those who are still trying to qualify are viewing the China Open as a prime opportunity to snag a spot in the ATP Finals.

Immediately before the Rolex Shanghai Masters

The third and final reason that has fueled the strength of the 2023 China Open relates to its place in the schedule. More specifically, if you check the ATP calendar, the Rolex Shanghai Masters, which is a 1000-level event, is set to take place the week after this tournament. And if you think about it, the top guys wouldn’t want to take a break of close to one month after the US Open only to jump straight into a Masters event. 

They are all looking to sharpen up in order to prepare for this bigger tournament, and the ATP China Open is the ideal tune-up.

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