The pairings become the third and fourth teams to secure their spot at the $7 million year-end event, joining Barbora Krejcikova/Katerina Siniakova and Kristina Mladenovic/Timea Babos in Singapore, with four spots remaining.
Sestini Hlavackova and Strycova started their consistent partnership with a stellar clay court season, including a runner-up finish at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome) and semifinal showings at Roland Garros and the Mutua Madrid Open. The pair lifted their first title as a team at the Connecticut Open (New Haven) and reached two additional finals, at the Toray Pan Pacific Open (Tokyo) and the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open to secure their debut appearance as a team at the WTA Finals.
Sestini Hlavackova will make her fifth appearance at the year-end event, and her fourth consecutive showing. She returns as the defending champion in Singapore, where she lifted the WTA Finals Martina Navratilova Trophy alongside Timea Babos in 2017. Strycova is set to make her debut at the WTA Finals.
“It’s a great honor to qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore,” said Sestini Hlavackova. “Winning the title last year is one of my favorite memories, so I look forward to coming back and try to defend my title.”
Strycova added, “I’m excited for my first WTA Finals experience. Qualifying for Singapore has been one of my goals and I am happy to finally make it.”
Mertens and Schuurs earn their career first qualification at the WTA Finals after reaching a tour-leading five doubles finals this season, most recently winning their third title of 2018 today at Wuhan. The Belgian-Dutch duo also lifted the trophies at the Hobart International and Libéma Open (‘s-Hertogenbosch), and finished runners-up at the Nature Valley Classic (Birmingham) and Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati). They also reached the quarterfinal stage at the US Open and the semifinals at the Miami Open.
“We are happy to qualify for the WTA Finals for the first time in our careers,” said Mertens. Schuurs added, “Elise and I have an incredible season together. We look forward to ending the season on a high note with some great matches in Singapore.”
Staged at the Singapore Sports Hub from October 21-28, the 2018 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global is a 10-day tennis festival featuring the world’s best players vying for a US$7 million in prize money and two of the most prestigious titles in women’s tennis. The Top 8 singles players will compete in a round-robin format with the winner taking home the Billie Jean King Trophy. The Top 8 doubles teams will compete in a knock-out format for the WTA Finals Martina Navratilova Trophy.
The Porsche Race to Singapore Leaderboard is updated each Monday (every two weeks during Grand Slams events) and can be found here.
Get your tickets to the WTA Finals here.