WTA Rogers Cup: Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina leads the doubles field

The recent Wimbledon champions look to continue their good run of form at the Rogers Cup held in Toronto as Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina plays their first tournament after their triumph at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, headlining a stellar field with many other quality pairings.

WTA Rogers Cup: Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina leads the doubles field
Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina poses with their trophy at the Rogers Cup last year | Photo: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images North America

As according to Olly Marz on Twitter, Wimbledon champions Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina headline the entry list of the doubles competition at the Rogers Cup as they look to gain the top spot in the Porsche Race to Singapore leaderboard, gunning for their third title of the year. They would be joined in the field by other notable pairings such as Martina Hingis and Chan Yung-jan, who is looking to clinch an incredible sixth title together this year.

Top seeds in the tournament

The top seed would be the all-Russian pairing of Makarova and Vesnina, who are also the recent Olympics Gold Medalists and WTA Finals champion. The winner of five WTA doubles titles this year, Chan and Hingis are the second seeds in the tournament and they do not own a losing record against any of the other pairings in the entry list.

Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in action at last year's Rogers Cup | Photo: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images North America
Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in action at last year's Rogers Cup | Photo: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images North America

Following close behind are a couple of relatively new pairings, with the Olympics Bronze Medalists Barbora Strycova and Lucie Safarova being partners once again after a successful outing in Rio last year. Being good friends and compatriots, Strycova and Safarova managed to defeat the invincible Williams sisters in a blockbuster first round clash at the quadrennial competition. Safarova's long-term partner, world number one Bethanie Mattek-Sands, would not be in action after enduring through the horrific injury at the Wimbledon Championships. Former world number ones Sania Mirza and Peng Shuai would pair up together for the first time in their careers as the all-Asian pairing look to cause some damage in the draw as the fourth seeds.

Despite pairing up only in May, Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova has already reached two finals and four semifinals overall but fell short in the Grand Slams as they fell earlier than expected at both the French Open and Wimbledon Championships, losing to lower-ranked pairings.

The solid all-Czech pairing of Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova are in search for their fifth final this year, but they have yet to clinch a piece of silverware as they are winless in the finals they reached together. As the sixth seeds in the draw, the Czechs own the golden opportunity to progress deep in the draw.

Katerina Siniakova and Lucie Hradecka in action at the Taiwan Open, where they were runner-ups | Photo: WTA Taiwan Open
Katerina Siniakova and Lucie Hradecka in action at the Taiwan Open, where they were runner-ups | Photo: WTA Taiwan Open

French Open finalists Casey Dellacqua and Ashleigh Barty are currently ranked in the Top 20 despite being out of the Top 100 at the beginning of the year and experienced a career resurgence as they returned to being one of the best pairings in the world after reaching three Grand Slam finals back in 2013. Chan Hao-ching and Raquel Atawo rounds off the seeded pairings with this being just their second tournament together.

Other notable pairings

A surprise pairing found in the entry list sees Kristina Mladenovic partner Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, with this being a very interesting combination. Fans can also witness the two “Daria”s in action as good friends Daria Kasatkina and Daria Gavrilova are part of the entry list, having earned some impressive wins in the past. The world number one player in singles Karolina Pliskova makes a return to the doubles competition as she will team up with her twin sister Kristyna Pliskova, having won three WTA titles together in the past.

The Pliskova twins in action at the Wimbledon Championships back in 2015 | Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images Europe
The Pliskova twins in action at the Wimbledon Championships back in 2015 | Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images Europe

Veteran pairings such as Anna-Lena Gronefeld/Kveta Peschke, Katarina Srebotnik/Abigail Spears and Andreja Klepac/Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez will also be vying for the title, looking to use their years of experience to beat the higher-ranked teams.

The defending semifinalists Christina McHale and Asia Muhammad looks to replicate their impressive run last year, having defeated then-world number ones Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza, seventh seeds Raquel Atawo and Abigail Spears, and the all-German pairing of Angelique Kerber and Andrea Petkovic to reach the semifinals.

Christina McHale and Asia Muhammad discuss tactics in their semifinal match against Makarova and Vesnina at last year's Rogers Cup | Photo: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images North America
Christina McHale and Asia Muhammad discuss tactics in their semifinal match against Makarova and Vesnina at last year's Rogers Cup | Photo: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images North America

Defending finalists Simona Halep and Monica Niculescu would not be back to defend their points, but the crafty Niculescu is in this year’s entry list with another partner, Barbora Krejcikova. Krejcikova reached the semifinals in the doubles competition at the French Open just last year, reaching a career-high ranking of 26 soon after.

Main draw play at the Rogers Cup would begin on the 7th of August, with the men’s competition held in Montreal and the women’s competition being played in Toronto. The defending champions are the top seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, having to defend a massive 900 points over the week.