Editor's note: This week, we looked at the road each of the eight singles players and eight doubles teams took to qualify for this year's GNP Seguros WTA Finals Cancun in Mexico.
Season at a glance
Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva's qualification for the WTA Finals couldn't have come down to the wire more. Heading into the final week of the regular season, they needed nothing less than the Nanchang title to seal their spots in the year-end finale. They promptly did so -- a remarkable feat on more than one level.
The pair's most significant accomplishment together -- winning the 2020 US Open in their first tournament as a team -- came in a year when the WTA Finals were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, Siegemund will make her tournament debut at the age of 35, and Zvonareva will return to it for the first time in 12 years. The 39-year-old's last of five singles appearances was in 2011, and her only previous doubles appearance was 18 years ago, with Elena Likhovtseva in 2005.
Even more impressively, Siegemund and Zvonareva have accomplished this despite an abbreviated season. They resumed their partnership in March following Zvonareva's 11-month layoff with a foot injury and lost in the first round of three of their first five tournaments back.
But they hit their stride at Wimbledon to reach the quarterfinals and then returned to a second US Open final two months later. Along the way, they picked up trophies in Washington, Ningbo and that all-important Nanchang title.
By the numbers
2023 win-loss record as a team: 25-11
Titles won as a team: Washington (500), Ningbo (250), Nanchang (250)
Grand Slam record: Australian Open DNP, Roland Garros R1 (l. Gauff/Pegula), Wimbledon QF (l. Bouzkova/Sorribes Tormo), US Open F (l. Dabrowski/Routliffe)
Siegemund ranking: 9
Zvonareva ranking: 16
Siegemund previous WTA Finals appearances: None
Zvonareva previous WTA Finals appearances: 2005 SF (with Likhovtseva)