BIRMINGHAM, England - For Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua, their breakthrough year in doubles last year ended prematurely - after making three of the four Grand Slam finals, they narrowly missed out on a spot at the four-team WTA Finals doubles event, finishing just one spot out at No.5.
This year, with the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global increasing the doubles format to eight teams, everything has changed - and Barty and Dellacqua are more inspired than ever.
"Casey and I just missed out last year - we were fifth and only four were accepted - so it was pretty heartbreaking," WTA Rising Star Barty said from the Aegon Classic in Birmingham. "Now having eight in singles and doubles is really exciting, not just for us but for everyone on the tour. You can have a few good tournaments, especially in the Slams, and you're right up there contending with everybody."