Carlos Alcaraz will be heading up the 22nd edition of the tournament as it returns to the calendar for the first time since 2019. The World No. 2 has not competed since the US Open, where he failed to defend his title after losing to third seed Daniil Medvedev in the semi-final. The 20-year-old will start his run against a qualifier, but could potentially face Medvedev in the final.
This would be an interesting clash between the top two seeds, with the 27-year-old's recent victory leveling their head-to-head at 2-2. Nevertheless, prior to the New York Slam, Alcaraz had won their two most recent meetings and will likely be looking for revenge in Beijing.
However, in order to get that far, Medvedev will have to make it through a difficult draw, including a first-round clash with World No. 13 Tommy Paul. The Russian has only faced the American once before, defeating him in four sets at the 2021 French Open. The winner of this match at the China Open will go on to face either World No. 12 Alex de Minaur or former World No. 1 Andy Murray.
Rune, Tsitsipas, and Rublev among the many big names set for China Open
Meanwhile, World No. 4 Holger Rune will be aiming for a deep run here after a back injury contributed to several early exits over the summer. Recently, he was forced to withdraw from the Davis Cup Finals Group Stage and the Laver Cup but has since said he is excited for the China Open. He will have the challenge of Canadian player Felix Auger-Aliassime in the first round.
The Dane and the Canadian have both been struggling to re-gain their winning form as of late, but Auger-Aliassime showed a lot of promise at the Laver Cup this week, helping Team World to a landslide victory over Team Europe.
Stefanos Tsitsipas will also be looking for redemption here after a few early defeats in recent weeks. He will take on big hitter Nicolas Jarry in the first round. Meanwhile, fifth seed Andrey Rublev will face World No. 17 Cameron Norrie to make two matches where the players have a head-to-head of 2-2.
The sixth seed will be Jannik Sinner, who will play against Dan Evans for the first time in the opening round. Seventh seed Casper Ruud will meet Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round, who is coming back from an injury that forced him to miss a large part of the season. Rounding out the top eight is Alexander Zverev, who will open his campaign here against Diego Schwartzman.
With the Nitto ATP Finals taking place in just under two months, qualification will not be far from the minds of many of the top-ranked players here.