Stefanos Tsitsipas and Felix Auger-Aliassime join strong Beijing field


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Stefanos Tsitsipas and Felix Auger-Aliassime join strong Beijing field

Back in 1993, the ATP Tour made some changes in the calendar to expand tennis beyond Europe, North and South America, launching the new events in Qatar, Dubai, and Beijing. The tournament in the Chinese capital stayed in the calendar for five years, with Michael Chang as a three-time champion before it was canceled after 1997.

The China Open was restored in 2004, with a great field of players and big prize money that drew Marat Safin and Rafael Nadal as the first champions. In 2006, Beijing became the first tournament outside the USA with a hawk-eye system and two years later they built the Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Center, a state of the art complex with the best possible facilities for the players.

In 2011, the organizers added 11 new courts together with the new 15,000-seat Stadium and a retractable roof, standing as one of the best tennis complexes in the world. Since 2009, Novak Djokovic has become the dominant figure in Beijing, winning six titles in the next seven years while Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal lifted the trophy in 2016 and 2017.

Juan Martin del Potro and Alexander Zverev led the draw in 2018 and the organizers will give their best to gather another notable field of competitors for the first week of October, signing Dominic Thiem, Karen Khachanov, Daniil Medvedev and Fabio Fognini as the leading players.

With no intention of stopping there, the organizers have announced two young guns that should fight for the title as well if they bring their best tennis, with world no. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas and Felix Auger-Aliassime joining an impressive field of players to make a debut in Beijing.

The Australian Open semi-finalist Tsitsipas has had a rock-solid season so far, earning 37 wins in 2019 and lifting two titles to gain a fuel in the battle for the place at the ATP Finals in November. His closest rival on the U21 Race to Milan, Felix Auger-Aliassime is on the verge of the top-20 before turning 19 this week, standing as by far the most prominent teenager in the world and the leader of the competitors born after 1999.