St. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The WTA announced Monday the doubles teams of Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Demi Schuurs, Elise Mertens and Hsieh Su-Wei, and Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai have secured qualification for the 2021 Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara.
They join Czech pairing of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova and the all-Japanese partnership of Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara in the doubles field, leaving three qualification places remaining.
Mertens and Hsieh, the current World No.1 and No.2 in doubles, will be making their debut appearance as a team at the WTA Finals and head into the tour’s crown jewel event following a title-run at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells over the weekend. It marked their second tournament triumph of 2021. Earlier this year, they won their first Grand Slam title together at The Championships, Wimbledon.
This will be Hsieh’s fourth appearance at the WTA Finals. She reached the title match every time she has appeared at the season-ending tournament. She was crowned champion in 2013 and finished as the runner-up in 2014 and 2019. Mertens now has qualified for the WTA Finals for the third consecutive time.
Another duo making their team debut at the WTA Finals is Melichar-Martinez and Schuurs, who have reached four finals across the season. They won the Qatar Total Open and Credit One Charleston Open and finished as the runners-up at the bett1open in Berlin and the Viking International Eastbourne.
Neither player is a stranger to the WTA Finals. Each has qualified previously with different partners, with Schuurs’ best result coming with a semifinal run on her most recent appearance in 2019, while Melichar-Martinez first qualified in 2018.
Making their second consecutive appearance as a team at the WTA Finals, Stosur and Zhang have enjoyed an end-of-season surge toward qualification, earning their place by winning two titles during the summer’s North American swing, at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati and the US Open, their second Grand Slam title together.
This will be Stosur’s fifth appearance in doubles at the WTA Finals. The Australian is a two-time champion (2005 and 2006). Zhang made her debut appearance alongside Stosur in 2019 with the pair reaching the semifinals, losing to eventual champions Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic.
In singles on the Porsche Race to the WTA Finals Leaderboard, Paula Badosa enters the Top 8 for the first time this season following her impressive run to the title Sunday at the BNP Paribas Open. Iga Swiatek, who reached the Round of 16 at Indian Wells, moves up two places to No.5. Four singles players have secured qualification so far for the 2021 AKRON WTA Finals Guadalajara – Ashleigh Barty, Aryna Sabalenka, Barbora Krejcikova and Karolina Pliskova – with four places remaining.
Guadalajara is playing host to the season-ending tournament for this year only, with the event returning to its home in Shenzhen, China in 2022.
The 2021 WTA Finals features the Top 8 singles players and doubles teams on the Porsche Race to the WTA Finals – which includes 51 WTA tournaments and four Grand Slams, competing in a round-robin format with the singles champion lifting the WTA Finals Billie Jean King Trophy and the doubles champions earning the WTA Finals Martina Navratilova Trophy.
The Porsche Race to the WTA Finals Leaderboard is updated each Monday and can be found here.