NEW YORK, NY, USA - Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina already clinched their spot at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, riding a 10-match winning streak through victories at Wimbledon and the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
The reigning Olympic Gold medalists arrive to Flushing as the top seeds in the women's doubles event, but without the elusive No.1 ranking, which Lucie Safarova earned last week at the Western & Southern Open.
- Makarova and Vesnina reached the semifinals at last year's US Open, and will therefore need to do no worse than the final to have a shot of ascending to co-No.1 for the first time in their illustrious careers.
- Should Safarova, who continues to partner fellow Olympic Bronze medalist Barbora Strycova in the absence of regular partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands, reach the quarterfinals, Makarova and Vesnina will need to win the title.
Makarova and Vesnina will play their first round match against Americans Jennifer Brady and Alison Riske, while Safarova and Strycova - seeded No.3 - take on Christina McHale and Heather Watson.
No.2 seed Martina Hingis also has a shot of returning to No.1 for the first time since Cincinnati last summer, provided she and partner Chan Yung-Jan win the title and Safarova fall before the Round of 16.
Hingis and Chan are the only other team to already qualify for Singapore, and will kick off their US Open campaign against Yulia Putintseva and Arina Rodionova.
Along with the more established pairs, one of the most surprising combinations turned out to be reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard. Both have enjoyed success in doubles this year, with Ostapenko winning two Premier titles and Bouchard partnering Sloane Stephens to reach the Citi Open final earlier this month.
Ostapenko and Bouchard will play their first round match against Elise Mertens and Demi Schuurs, and could play Makarova/Vesnina in the third round.