Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic qualify for the WTA FInals
Mladenovic and Babos will make their third appearance together at the WTA Finals | Photo: WTA

Defending champions Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic have successfully booked their spots at the year-ending WTA Finals held in Shenzhen. Lifting the trophy in Singapore last year, the Hungarian-French pairing will compete at the new competition venue for the first time and will look to replicate their successes.

Babos and Mladenovic reached their fourth and fifth Grand Slam finals together this year, being one of the most successful partnerships on the tour with deep runs at every Major tournament, becoming the only team to reach at least the quarterfinals at all four Grand Slams. They reached the final of the Australian Open in their first tournament of the year, although they endured through a three-match losing streak since.

The pair rebounded in outstanding fashion, capturing the title at the Istanbul Cup where they sailed through the draw as the top seeds and winning the French Open in front of Mladenovic’s supportive home crowd. Yet another Major semifinal appearance followed, this time losing to eventual champions Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova.

Babos and Mladenovic maintain a good relationship on and off the court | Photo: Elsa
Babos and Mladenovic maintain a good relationship on and off the court | Photo: Elsa

Participating in just eight tournaments together this year yet being able to be ranked third on the Porsche Race to Shenzhen leaderboard, it is an incredible feat for both Babos and Mladenovic. They will be defending 1500 points there and could find the route to defending those points more difficult since they are employing a round-robin format this year.