Carlos Alcaraz Set For China Debut, Motivated By No. 1 Chase With Djokovic

by Staff | September 28th, 2023, 4:04 pm
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Friday in Beijing, Carlos Alcaraz will make his debut in China. The 20-year-old goes into the 500-level event as the top seed and tournament favorite with no former champions remaining in the tournament.

The 2-time Slam winner missed China the last two years due to COVID, but is excited to make his debut in front of some new fans.

“I had my first practice yesterday at the center court,” Alcaraz said Wednesday. “It was amazing to get in and step on the court, you know, see how is be playing in that court.

“I receive the love from the people here, in the practice, and of course in the hotel, as well. I’m really, really excited to play here in Beijing.”

In addition to the title, Alcaraz also has his eye on a second straight year-end No. 1 ranking. He lost the top spot to Novak Djokovic at the US Open.

“As I said few times, we have really beautiful battle for the No. 1 spot after the great performance Djokovic had in the American season, let’s say. He’s the No. 1 right now,” Alcaraz said.

“I’m coming here with, as you said, extra motivation to try to recover it in the Race, of course, in the ranking. As I said, it’s something that I have in my mind every time that I practice, in every tournament.

“Is not obligatory for me to recover that, but of course you have to put the goals in the year. So for me No. 1 spot is one of the main goals for me.”

Alcaraz and Djokovic have already traded the top spot seven times this year.

Alcaraz can’t return to No. 1 this week but can close the 815 point Race gap with Djokovic.

Alcaraz opens play against Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann. It’s his first match since his US Open semifinal loss to Daniil Medvedev.

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