WUHAN, China - The BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global got a boost at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open over the weekend, as the Czech duo of Andrea Sestini Hlavackova and Barbora Strycova became the third team to qualify for the season-ending championships, followed by the tour's outright leader in titles, the Netherlands' Demi Schuurs, securing a fourth qualifying spot with Belgium's Elise Mertens. The two teams faced off in the Wuhan final, with Mertens/Schuurs prevailing 6-3, 6-3 to win their fourth title together this season.
Both teams joined the WTA Insider Podcast after locking down their Singapore spots in Wuhan, to discuss their respective seasons so far.
First up are the Czech duo from Plzen. Hear from #TeamAngryBirds (Andi = Angry, Bara = Birds) on what makes their team click, how Sestini Hlavackova may be the perfect Singapore tour guide, and why their hometown has a built-in solution to their stubborn feistiness. It all makes sense once you listen.
"They sometimes say that in the water in our hometown there must be something that makes us feisty, but it's true," Sestini Hlavackova said on the WTA Insider Podcast. "I think in my career I achieved things that people didn't expect me to do because I keep on going and I never give up, and Bara works extremely hard and is extremely talented. So it's a combination of both."
"It's nice that we came from the same city," Strycova said. "We're born in the same place and we've known each other since we were children. So it's so nice that we qualified for Singapore together, qualifying together."
Second, you'll hear from Mertens and Schuurs, who are set to make their Singapore debut. Demi discusses her unbelievable season, how exactly you pronounce her name, and why they've tried and failed to come up with a good team name. Maybe you can help!
"In the beginning of the season, they asked me what's your goal at the end of the year, and I told everyone if I end Top 35 I had a really good year," Schuurs said. "Now, I'm No.9. It's unbelievable. It went so fast and I didn't know this was coming."
"It's going to be our first time," said Mertens. "I hope we can do something off-court. They said the hotel takes two days to discover, so I'm really looking forward to that one."
Listen to the full interviews with both teams on the newest episode of the WTA Insider Podcast below: