PARIS, France - The WTA Doubles No.1 will belong to either current World No.1 Latisha Chan, the team of Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina, Makarova alone, or Hungary's Timea Babos after Roland Garros.
A semifinalist here last year with the now-retired Martina Hingis, Chan will need to reach the quarterfinals to add points to her ranking. With a significant chunk of points to defend over the fortnight, Chan must make the semifinals to have a chance at retaining her No.1 ranking.
Currently the No.1 doubles team on the Porsche Race to Singapore, Vesnina and Makarova opted not to partner up for Roland Garros but they can still finish the tournament sharing the No.1 ranking and become the first Russian women to hold the doubles No.1 ranking since Anna Kournikova in 2000. If Makarova does not reach the third round, Chan falls before the semifinals, and Babos does not reach the final, Makarova and Vesnina would hold the co-No.1 ranking.
Vesnina teamed up with Jelena Ostapenko for the fortnight but the pair bowed out in Round 1 against Sorana Cirstea/Sara Sorribes Tormo. That opening loss opens a path for Makarova to finish the tournament as the outright No.1.
Makarova, who is playing with Anna Kalinskaya, will need to reach the third round in order to have a chance of claiming the top doubles ranking outright.
Babos and her partner Kristina Mladenovic are the reigning Australian Open champions and sit at No.2 on the Porsche Race to Singapore behind the Russians. Babos is bidding to become the first woman from Hungary to hold the No.1 ranking in either singles or doubles. She will need to reach the final with other results falling in her favor, or win the title, in order to claim the top spot.