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Coach Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Alcaraz prepare ahead of Beijing.

Alcaraz: 'No. 1 Is One Of The Main Goals'

Spaniard making debut at China Open

Carlos Alcaraz arrives at the China Open with double motivation. If the Spaniard can capture his seventh tour-level title of the season at the ATP 500, he would close the gap to 315 points on Novak Djokovic in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin.

The Spaniard is chasing a second consecutive ATP Year-End No. 1 presented by Pepperstone finish.

“As I said a few times, we have a really beautiful battle for the No. 1 spot after the great performance Djokovic had in the American season,” Alcaraz said. “He's the No. 1 right now. I'm coming here with extra motivation to try to recover it in the Race, of course, in the ranking. As I said, it's something that I have in my mind every time that I practise, in every tournament.

“It's not obligatory for me to recover that, but of course you have to put the goals in the year. So for me No. 1 spot is one of the main goals for me. In these great tournaments, I'm looking to do great to be able to be close or recover that number.”

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Alcaraz, who opens against qualifier Yannick Hanfmann in Beijing, is competing for the first time since he reached the semi-finals at the US Open earlier in September (l. to Medvedev). The 20-year-old is pleased with how his preparations have gone ahead of the Asian Swing.

“We have [had] quality practice at home before coming here, played some sets with players from the academy that are playing great,” said Alcaraz, who is 58-7 on the season. “I'm feeling great coming here. I had my first practice yesterday at the centre court. It was amazing to get in and step on the court see how it is to be playing in that court.”

Alcaraz is making his debut in Beijing as the ATP Tour returns to the Chinese capital for the first time since 2019. While Alcaraz may lack experience at the hard-court event, his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero does not. Ferrero has competed five times in Beijing, reaching the semi-finals in 2005. Alcaraz is hoping to lean on Ferrero’s experience this week.

“He told me a little bit about this tournament. Of course, since 2004 until now the tournament has improved a lot. It is almost a different tournament. But he told me great things about this tournament,” Alcaraz said. “He played great the years that he has played here. Yeah, he told me that he enjoyed a lot playing here. Hopefully I feel the same way that he felt when he was playing.”

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