Two titles for Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yi-fan meant that it was an impressive 2018 season for them, especially after labelling themselves as the pair to beat through a series of solid and excellent results. The Canadian-Chinese doubles pair are now ranked fourth in the Porsche Race to Singapore leaderboard and will look to end off the season on a high in Singapore having qualified for their second consecutive WTA Finals.
Excellent 2018 allows Dabrowski and Xu to qualify for Singapore
In just their second tournament of the year at the Apia International Sydney, Dabrowski and Xu rolled to the title without losing a set having defeated top seeds Latisha Chan/Andrea Sestini Hlavackova in the final. They carried their momentum into Melbourne but fell to eventual finalists Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina in the quarterfinals despite winning the opening set 6-0.
Consecutive semifinal appearances in St. Petersburg and Indian Wells followed, but they went on a barren run which started from Miami throughout the clay-court season. However, the pair started the grass-court season on a high note, winning the title in Eastbourne having saved match points against Hsieh Su-wei/Aryna Sabalenka in the last four before going all the way into the semifinals at Wimbledon, where they defeated former Major champions Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Lucie Safarova.
They had a decent Asian Swing as well, reaching at least the quarterfinals in all three events they had participated in. Dabrowski and Xu stormed to the final in Beijing at the China Open, with Xu capitalizing on her home advantage to produce the deep run.
Looking to ride on their momentum entering Singapore, this is the perfect chance for them to consolidate their position towards the top of the rankings since they are seeded fourth and will not face any other fellow top-four pairings in the quarterfinals. They had also qualified last year but was completely outclassed by Makarova/Vesnina with a one-sided 1-6, 1-6 scoreline.