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.


Monday: No.1 Sabalenka | No.2 Swiatek

Tuesday: No.3 Gauff | No.4 Rybakina

Wednesday: No.5 Pegula | No.6 Jabeur

Thursday: No. 7 Vondrousova | No.8 Sakkari 


Monday: No.1 Gauff and Pegula | No.2 Hunter and Mertens

Tuesday: No.3 Aoyama and Shibahara | No.4 Krejcikova and Siniakova

Wednesday: No.5 Krawczyk and Schuurs | No.6 Siegemund and Zvonareva

Thursday: No.7 Dabrowski and Routliffe | No.8 Melichar-Martinez and Perez

Maria Sakkari: Season at a glance

Maria Sakkari did some soul-searching this year. At the US Open, after suffering her third straight Grand Slam first-round loss, she considered taking a break from tour.

"I cannot describe in words the amount of love and support I got," Sakkari told WTA Insider when discussing those vulnerable emotions. "I believe that there are good people out there, and when they see someone who works hard, of course they want things to go well for other nice people."

Things can turn on a dime in sports. After confronting those feelings, Sakkari surged through the rest of the year, and next week she will make her third straight WTA Finals appearance.

Sakkari had quality results at the biggest WTA events, but for the first half of the year, she was often stymied in the semifinals. 

Sakkari eventually reached a final at Washington, D.C., but she fell to Coco Gauff. It was Sakkari's sixth straight loss in a final, as she still sought her first title since 2019.

Moreover, in the Race to the WTA Finals, her lack of success at the Grand Slams negated her consistency at WTA events. After the US Open, Sakkari was No.15 in the Race.

Season highlights:

  • Won first WTA 1000 title in Guadalajara -- her first WTA singles title since 2019
  • Reached final at WTA 500 Washington, D.C.
  • Made six additional semifinals, including at WTA 1000 events in Indian Wells and Madrid
  • Held her Top 10 ranking for the entire season -- the second straight year she has never left the Top 10

However, less than a month later, Sakkari came to Guadalajara, where she had been runner-up one year before, with a shift in perspective.

"I only had one goal this week: Just to be happy," Sakkari said. "If you watched a couple of my matches, you saw me smiling more than usual on the court. That was my goal."

Sakkari zipped to the title without the loss of a set. At last, she was a champion on tour again -- and at a WTA 1000 event to boot.

"I'm just very proud of myself," Sakkari said. "Being like that at the US Open, wanting to take a break and then finding the joy again during the week."

Sakkari brought that momentum to Asia, where she made the Tokyo semifinals and the Beijing quarterfinals. Sakkari finished the Race at No.9, clinching the first alternate spot.

This week, she was boosted into the field after an injured Karolina Muchova withdrew.

Sakkari's record in Mexico bodes well for a deep run in Cancun -- she has won 12 tour-level main-draw matches in that country, more than the other seven players in the field combined.

And if you know anything about the gritty Sakkari, you can never count her out -- especially after she overcame some demons during an ultimately successful season.