The Beijing Open promises to be the best ATP 500 event of 2023. This is due to the incredible strength in the draw. Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, and Jannik Sinner are just some of the top players set to play in the Chinese capital. But there have still been some notable withdrawals from the tournament. The draw is so strong in Beijing that some of these big names are from the qualifying draw. This article lists four players who have withdrawn. Two of these are from the main draw, and the remaining two are from qualifying. The replacements for these four players are then given. We at LWOT have also reported on eight withdrawals in total from the WTA this week in Tokyo. This includes Marketa Vondrousova and Karolina Muchova.
Four Players Withdraw From the Beijing Open
Which Players Have Withdrawn?
Ben Shelton is the first player to withdraw from the qualifying draw. No official reason has been given for the 20-year-old’s decision. But it is rumoured that the US Open semifinalist may have been influenced by his participation at last week’s Laver Cup. The American would have needed to recover even quicker, since he was set to be in the qualifying draw. Electing to rest for next week’s Shanghai Masters is probably wise.
Kei Nishikori is the other man to withdraw from the Beijing Open qualifying draw. The former Japanese #1 has been injured since the Atlanta Open back in July. This setback came after Nishikori returned in June, after over two years out with a knee injury. It is tragic to see the 2014 US Open finalist struggling physically again after all his hard work to return. Hopefully he will return soon.
Roberto Bautista has withdrawn from the main draw of the Beijing Open. The Spaniard has not played since appearing on the clay courts of Gstaad over two months ago. It was reported that Bautista Agut suffered a freak injury while looking after his horses. He has not competed since, and a return date is not currently known.
Matteo Berrettini is the second withdrawal from the Beijing Open main draw. This is not a surprise. The Italian sustained a nasty ankle injury at the US Open, which forced him to retire during his match against Arthur Rinderknech. Berrettini has said the injury is not as bad as first feared. But it has still forced him to be absent from the ATP 500 event in Beijing.
Who Replaces Those Four Players in the Draw?
Daniel Altmaier benefited from the withdrawal of Shelton at the Beijing Open. The German has enjoyed a very good 2023 so far. He currently sits at #49 in the rankings, which is a career-high. However, he could not take advantage of this opportunity. Altmaier was swept aside 6-3 6-1 by Lloyd Harris in the first round of qualifying.
Brandon Nakashima entered the qualifying draw due to Nikishori withdrawing. The American is enduring a very rough season, and is desperately seeking a positive run. But that run is not going to come at the Beijing Open. Aleksandar Vukic defeated Nakashima in straight sets. The final score was 6-4 6-4.
Andy Murray is in the Beijing Open draw after Bautista Agut withdrew. Murray most recently played at the Davis Cup, where he helped Great Britain to reach the final eight. The Scot is past his prime, but has still produced some excellent performances this year. An example was Murray’s extraordinary win in five sets against Thanasi Kokkinakis at the Australian Open, which was the longest match of his career. He plays Alex de Minaur in the opening round.
Finally, Jan-Lennard Struff replaced Berrettini at the Beijing Open. Struff returned at the Zhuhai Championships, after being out with an injury for three months. The 33-year-old had been having the best season of his career until his injury, reaching the final of the Madrid Masters and the Stuttgart Open. Hopefully the German can rediscover that form. He battles Casper Ruud in the first round.
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