The China Open 2023 is looking to finish with a big bang as the final four men have been determined in Beijing.
With world number 1, Novak Djokovic, being absent in Beijing, one of the next gens will surely be looking to clench the title for themselves. Namely, Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev, who have been the heavy favourites to lift the trophy since the beginning of the tournament.
The first semifinal we have on Diamond Court is that of Alexander Zverev, who is facing Daniil Medvedev. Both players are having a great tournament, although Zverev seems to have struggled the most. In every match played in this year’s ATP tournament, Zverev has played a tiebreak in every match and has lost each and every one of them. He’ll be hoping to avoid playing a tiebreak against the Russian, Daniil Medvedev.
Alexander Zverev versus Daniil Medvedev is scheduled to start at 10:30 CET.
The second semifinal of the China Open 2023 will follow the Zverev/Medvedev match, with Carlos Alcaraz going up against Jannik Sinner
Carlos Alcaraz has raced through his 12th semifinal of the season, disposing comfortably of Casper Ruud in the Quarter Final and Lorenzo Musetti before that. The Spaniard will be playing against the Italian who is eyeing his seventh title of the season. This semifinal game will be played at 13:30 CET in front of the audience in Diamond Court.
The Tennis Ball Controversy at the China Open 2023
The names of the final four have been locked after several complaints and concerns have been raised. These concerns are all focusing on the fact that different balls are being used for different tournaments. Players are furious about such actions, mainly because of the increase in risk of picking up a wrist injury.
Concerns about this matter have also been raised in the previous week by Zizou Bergs, the 24-year-old Belgian player. Bergs is only just returning from a wrist injury (torn ligament) he picked up earlier during the season.
Bergs: “Many players are getting wrist injuries, which could possibly be prevented by not changing the balls every week.”
Medvedev states “We’re basically playing 30-shot rallies because it’s almost impossible to hit a winner.”
“With these balls, you have to be 100% on every point, until the last point of the match. I managed to do it well so this, I’m happy about.”
However, this issue is one that world number 2, Carlos Alcaraz, seems to have accepted this change. The Spaniard may even use the discomfort that this is causing other players to his advantage. Who knows?
Alcaraz spoke and said “I felt it since the first practice that I did here in Beijing. It is something tough but the tennis player has to get used to that,” said the world No. 2.
What ball is being used at the China Open 2023?
One thing which has caught the attention of many tennis fans is the fact that Dunlop is said to be the “official ball of the ATP Tour”. However, Dunlop balls were used at the Australian Open, while Wimbledon and the US Open made use of Slazenger and Wilson-branded balls, respectively.
The China Open 2023 is making use of Head tour tennis balls. No comment has yet been made by any ATP official.
In this current tournament, no concerns have been raised in the WTA tour. However, Iga Swiatek has expressed her thoughts about this matter. Her frustrations align perfectly with what is currently being said by the ATP pros.
Apart from Bergs and Medvedev, the Swiss player, Stan Wawrinka and Stefanos Tsitsipas have also voiced their concerns over the frequent ball changes that tennis players are experiencing after each tournament.
What do you think? Are you following the China Open 2023? Do you agree that tournament organisers are making life unnecessarily more difficult for tennis players? Do you think this can force players to not reach their peak due to injuries?