NEW YORK, NY, USA - Reigning Roland Garros champions Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic are top seeds at the newly unveiled 2019 US Open women's doubles draw, and will look to go one better than their runner-up finish last year at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Babos and Mladenovic were a point from winning the 2018 US Open, ultimately falling to Ashleigh Barty and CoCo Vandeweghe - who are back this year with Victoria Azarenka and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, respectively - but shook off the defeat to win the WTA Finals in Singapore and capture their first major title as a pair this spring in Paris - launching Mladenovic up to doubles World No.1. They will commence their campaign against the Aussie/Mexican team of Jessica Moore and Giulia Olmos.
Azarenka and Barty are the top seeds' projected quarterfinal opponents, and they open against a tricky team in Margarita Gasparyan and Monica Niculescu, who reached the 2017 Wimbledon final with Chan Hao-Ching.
Hsieh Su-Wei and Barbora Strycova are the No.2 seeds and the tour's most recent major doubles champions, winning at Wimbledon over Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yi-Fan - who are the No.3 seeds in Flushing and Babos and Mladenovic's projected semifinal opponents.
Strycova, who also reached the semifinal of that event in singles, became the new doubles World No.1 by winning Wimbledon - her first major title in any discipline - and is the No.2 seed alongside Hsieh, with whom she has won titles on all three surfaces in 2019: the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on hardcourts, the Mutua Madrid Open on clay, and the Nature Valley Classic on grass.
Opening against the all-American duo of Lauren Davis and Maria Sanchez, Hsieh and Strycova face a potentially tough second round against defending champion Vandeweghe and Mattek-Sands, who previously won the BNP Paribas Open back in 2016.
The bottom half of the draw also features a quarter anchored by No.7 seeds and sisters Chan Hao-Ching and Latisha Chan, who won the Qatar Total Open earlier this season, and No.4 seeds Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka, who won the Indian Wells-Miami "Sunshine Double" in March.