Carlos Alcaraz has learned his projected path to winning an ATP 500 tournament in Beijing. Since Beijing doesn't reward with first-round byes, top-seeded Alcaraz will be starting his campaign by playing against a qualifier.
After playing a qualifier, Alcaraz could meet former world No 8 Karen Khachanov in the round-of-16. In the Beijing quarterfinal, we could see a rematch of the 2022 US Open final as Alcaraz is projected to meet seventh-seeded Casper Ruud there.
The Beijing semifinal could feature one of the most intriguing matchups of the younger generation as Alcaraz and sixth-seeded Jannik Sinner could meet in that stage. Also, Alcaraz could potentially meet third-seeded Holger Rune in the Beijing semifinal.
In the Beijing final, there are several star names that Alcaraz could meet, including Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev.
Alcaraz to play his first tournament since the US Open
After losing in the US Open semifinal, Alcaraz withdrew from the Davis Cup Finals group stage and didn't represent Spain in Valencia.
Alcaraz received criticism for not playing in the Davis Cup but Novak Djokovic - who played in Valencia - came to the 20-year-old Spaniard's defense. "Maybe you guys are upset he's not playing for Spain, because he's 20 years old and I'm 36, and how he's tired and I'm not.
It's important to understand he's got a lot of time ahead of him. He won the US Open last year and after a few days he was here playing for his heart and his passion for his country. I have skipped the Davis Cup several times, I know the backlash and reaction from my country was not so great and there's a lot of negativity when you skip playing for your country.
It's difficult to always be perfect and always available. We're part of an individual sport, you represent your country but also yourself and there's a lot of tournaments, and he has played a lot. Even though he's 20 years old, it doesn't mean he's a Superman.
He needs to rest as well ... It's better for us, the Serbian team that he's not here, honestly, but I'm sure he'll be back and bring a lot of joy to Spain," Djokovic said of Alcaraz in Valencia.
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