BEIJING, China - No.3 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yifan are through to the China Open semifinals after a straight sets win over Alicja Rosolska and Abigail Spears - and in the process, the pair are booking a trip to the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global for the second year in a row.
Dabrowski and Xu, who lifted trophies in Sydney and Eastbourne and reached the Wimbledon semifinals, grab the No.5 spot on the Race.
It wasn’t an easy road to the semifinals for Dabrowski and Xu by any means, with Rosolska and Spears putting up a mighty effort in Beijing. The first set alone featured six breaks of serve as both teams wrestled for the momentum - it was the No.3 seeds who came out on top with four of those breaks to take the set in 30 minutes.
But while the first set was a rollercoaster, the second set was a tense battle with only one break making the difference. Rosolska and Spears held break points at 5-4 that would have sent them into a match tiebreak, but Xu and Dabrowski held tight to deny them the chance. They edged through to win 6-2, 7-5 and sealed their spot into the Beijing semifinals - and the Singapore Top 8 - after an hour and 15 minutes.
Rosolska and Spears’ defeat also means the rest of the doubles field is set in Singapore, as the following teams have all also secured WTA Finals berths: Mallorca champions Andreja Klepac and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez at No.6, Prague champions and Wimbledon finalists Nicole Melichar and Kveta Peschke at No.7, and US Open and Miami champions Ashleigh Barty and CoCo Vandeweghe at No.8.
Also in action in Beijing, No.7 seeds Lucie Hradecka and Ekaterina Makarova knocked out the top seeds in the upset of the day, defeating Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos 6-4, 2-6, 10-5.