The China Open is the penultimate stop among multiple tennis tournaments in China, where the ATP Tour marks its return after a four-year hiatus. The tournament commences on September 28th and will run till October 4th, featuring a star-studded lineup.
Fritz and Tiafoe will not be part of the 32-man field in Beijing and have not disclosed their reasons for skipping the ATP 500-level event. But scheduling could presumably be the factor. Matteo Berretini and long-term absentee Pablo Carreno Busta have also pulled out due to injuries.
Fritz and Tiafoe, currently ranked 8th and 11th in the ATP Rankings, respectively, are due to take part in the Laver Cup, which begins on Friday, September 22nd, and will run until Sunday, September 24th. The sixth edition of the Laver Cup will be held in Vancouver, Canada for the first time.
The American duo are part of Team World, which also includes Tommy Paul, Ben Shelton, Felix Auger-Aliassime, and Francisco Cerundolo. The Laver Cup dates and Beijing dates do not clash, as the latter will have a midweek start, but there is a small window for recovery and travel, which could have possibly forced them to make this late change in their schedule.
It is pertinent to note that Fritz and Tiafoe are in the running for one of the eight spots for the 2023 ATP Finals. Currently, 25-year-old Fritz is in a much better position to force his way into the reckoning, sitting in ninth place, just 20 points behind Alexander Zverev, who occupies the last guaranteed slot.
Missing Beijing could be detrimental to Fritz's chances. And that could be the same case for Tiafoe who is less than 1,000 points from 8th spot. Both players will need a deep run in Shanghai to avoid losing further ground.