Carlos Alcaraz

Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz gestures as he leaves the court docket after dropping the US Open tennis match males’s singles semi-finals match in opposition to Russia’s Daniil Medvedev on the USTA Billie Jean King Nationwide Tennis Heart in New York Metropolis, on September 8, 2023. (Picture by kena betancur / AFP)

World quantity two Carlos Alcaraz mentioned Wednesday his “stunning battle” with Novak Djokovic on the high of males’s tennis was driving him on as he ready for the China Open in Beijing.

Alcaraz beat top-rated Djokovic in a memorable Wimbledon last in July and will shut the hole on the Serb on the high of the rankings with a robust efficiency within the Chinese language capital.

Requested by AFP at a media briefing on Wednesday if his tussle with Djokovic was giving him further impetus, Alcaraz mentioned: “Sure, after all.”

“Now we have a very stunning battle for the primary spot after the nice efficiency Djokovic had within the American season,” the Spaniard mentioned.

“For me, the primary spot is among the essential objectives,” he mentioned.

Alcaraz is the highest seed for the China Open and can doubtless kick off his marketing campaign with a match in opposition to a qualifier on Thursday.

Djokovic, who received the US Open this month, is a notable absence from a match that has nonetheless lured a bunch of huge names.

They embrace Daniil Medvedev — runner-up in america — who faces American powerhouse Tommy Paul in a troublesome first-round draw.

Medvedev, ranked third on the planet, mentioned at a briefing on Wednesday a “aggressive” subject was pushing him to complete the season strongly.

“Generally the tip of the season could be difficult as a result of all of the Grand Slams are completed, so you must discover this motivation,” the Russian mentioned.

“The motivation is… to proceed proving to your self which you could win these large tournaments, large titles, in opposition to large opponents,” he mentioned.

World quantity 4 Holger Rune will even tackle Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada within the first spherical.

Different main individuals embrace Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev and Jannik Sinner.

Worldwide tennis has returned to China this yr after Beijing ended its years-long, isolationist zero-Covid coverage.

The China Open is being held for the primary time since 2019 and follows males’s and girls’s tournaments within the cities of Guangzhou, Zhuhai and Chengdu.

The ladies’s tour is again in China after its world governing physique ended its boycott of the nation.

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The WTA had suspended its engagements there after Chinese language participant Peng Shuai made sexual assault allegations in opposition to a high authorities official.

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