Editor's note: From Monday to Thursday this week, we will look at the road each of the eight singles players and eight doubles took to qualify for this year's WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas.
Season at a glance
Between 2014 and 2021, Veronika Kudermetova and Elise Mertens squared off nine times on the doubles court (eight times at tour level) with different partners. In 2022, they brought their talents together.
Kudermetova, who made her debut in the Top 10 in singles Monday, and Mertens were both part of 2021's most successful teams.
Mertens and Hsieh Su-Wei edged Kudermetova and Elena Vesnina in a 3-6, 7-5, 9-7 thriller at Wimbledon. But both Hsieh and Vesnina have been on hiatus in 2022 -- so what made more sense than for Kudermetova and Mertens to join forces? Indeed, in their only previous appearance together they had won the title at Istanbul 2021.
They picked up where they left off, immediately reaching the Australian Open semifinals and then taking the title in Dubai. Kudermetova and Mertens reached the final in four of their first seven tournaments this season, and at least the semifinals of seven of their 11 events.
By the numbers
Mertens had won eight of their nine doubles meetings with Kudermetova before 2021 and also leads their singles head-to-head 4-1.