Beijing: Karolina Pliskova and Julia Goerges knocked out No 7 seeds Martina Hingis and CoCo Vandeweghe, 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 at the China Open in Beijing on Wednesday, and also ensured their qualification for the year-ending WTA Finals. With Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova's loss in the second round in Beijing, all eight women's doubles teams for Singapore are now decided.
Here are the final eight women's doubles teams to have qualified for Singapore:
1. Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic
2. Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza
3. Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina
4. Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova
5. Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova
6. Chan Hao-Ching and Chan Yung-Jan
7. Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka
8. Julia Goerges and Karolina Pliskova
Of the eight teams, Pliskova and Goerges are the only ones making their debut at the season-ending championships. Garcia and Mladenovic have been the most successful doubles team in the last 12 months, with a Grand Slam title and another major final to their name.
Mirza and Hingis were the first to qualify for the finals, but split up in August. Despite playing with different partners, 'SanTina' — as they are fondly called — will be a strong team to watch out for. They had together put up a 41-match winning streak which ended in February. They are also the defending champions.
Two-time major winners Hlavackova and Hradecka were runners-up at the finals in 2012, and made the semi-finals in 2015. The Chan sisters also made the last four 12 months ago.
In the singles section, meanwhile, Agnieszka Radwanska and Karolina Pliskova booked their spots this week, while three places are still up for grabs. Madison Keys and Petra Kvitova will face-off in the quarter-finals of the China Open and the result would likely decide their fate. Kvitova, who won Wuhan Open last week, needs to at least reach the finals to have a shot at making the top eight.
Johanna Konta and Svetlana Kuznetsova are the other contenders still alive in the race for Singapore.
1. Angelique Kerber
2. Serena Williams
3. Simona Halep
4. Agnieszka Radwanska
5. Karolina Pliskova
The chasing pack:
6. Garbine Muguruza [lost in Beijing R3 - no other events entered yet]
7. Dominika Cibulkova [lost in Beijing R2 - plays Moscow next]
8. Madison Keys [in Beijing quarter-finals]
9. Carla Suarez Navarro [lost in Beijing R1 - playz Linz, Moscow next]
10. Svetlana Kuznetsova [lost in Beijing R3 - plays Tianjin next]
11. Johanna Konta [in Beijing quarter-finals]
12. Petra Kvitova [in Beijing quarter-finals]
The top eight players will qualify for the season ending WTA Finals in Singapore, which starts on 23 October. It will feature two round-robin groups, followed by the semi-finals and final. The year-ender is generally considered to be the fifth most prestigious event on the women's tour after the four Grand Slams. It also has the largest prize money and ranking points after the majors.