China Open, which takes place in Beijing, is without any doubt the second-best men's tennis event in Asia after Shanghai. The best players are always in Beijing, with bigger appearance fees and better quality of the tournament attracting them.
Thomas Ross, who runs the event, is proud about how the event has developed in the last few years. 'I had been to this tournament in the early days, over 10 years ago, when it was just a start-up,' Ross told AFP. 'In that small gym over a decade ago it would have been hard to envision it becoming as big as it has here at this venue.'
On the women's side, the China Open is a Premier Mandatory, the biggest tournament category after the Majors. On the men's side, there's always the possibility that it could be upgraded to a Masters 1000 from a 500 tournament. 'The recognition is coming for this event, the biggest combined WTA/ATP event in Asia, in the capital of China, it’s only a matter of time,' added Ross, saying that it would be 'incredibly important' to have elite Chinese players in the mix. The 2017 junior US Open champion Yibing Wu seems to be the biggest prospect in the men's category, while among the women, Shuai Peng is the highest-ranked Chinese player at no. 25.