Results thus far
Together “SanTina” have won five titles this year including the Australian Open, to guarantee their spot at the year-end finals as current leaders on the race to Singapore. Ever since winning US Open last year, they were unbeaten and their streak stretched all the way to the Qatar Open this year. And in that period, they won the Brisbane and Sydney titles before adding another Slam to their collection, the Australian Open crown.
February saw them continue their streak and title quest, lifting up the St. Petersburg trophy. However, their hot streak came to an end in the hands of Russian pair Elena Vesnina and Daria Kasatkina in the quarterfinals at Doha. From then on they fell short with just one win each at Indian Wells and Miami.
They found their groove back on clay reaching back to back finals in Stuttgart and Madrid. Alas, they were beaten both times by the French duo of Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic. They did continue their good form on clay reaching Rome finals and went on to defeat Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina for their fifth title of the year. The pair then looked to bring their clay form to try and complete the “SanTina Slam”, but were stopped short in their quest in the round of 16 by an unlikely Czech pairing of Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova.
Qualification for the finals
Their five titles and deep runs in tournaments has enabled them to be the first team to qualify for the finals. Both players expressed their excitement at being able to come back to defend their title. “We enjoyed every moment in Singapore last year and hope to defend our title amongst the best doubles teams in the world,” said Hingis. Mirza also added her thoughts, “I’m very much looking forward to competing in Singapore once again to try to make it three titles in a row.”
The doubles component at the finals this year will take on a different format from the previous two years whereby instead of a round-robin format, teams will be subjected to a knockout format in a single elimination contest.