The Road To Singapore reached its climax on Sunday, as Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova became the eighth and last team to qualify for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. All eight singles players for the event were already locked in.
Kudryavtseva and Rodionova had to win the Tianjin Open title to book their spots in Singapore and that's exactly what they did, missing out on four set points in the first set but eventually rallying to win the final against Sorana Cirstea and Andreja Klepac in a match tie-break, 6-7(6), 6-2, 10-8.
Kudryavtseva and Rodionova were the No.2 seeds at the event - No.1 seeds Martina Hingis and Flavia Pennetta, who were the only other team in the running for that eighth and last spot in the doubles field at the WTA Finals in Singapore, actually fell to Cirstea and Klepac earlier in the tournament.
This was the third WTA doubles title of the year for Kudryavtseva and Rodionova, who had also won Premier-level titles earlier in the year at Brisbane and Dubai. They have two other WTA doubles titles together from previous years, conquering 's-Hertogenbosch in 2010 and Québec City in 2013.
"First of all we're very happy to win this title," Rodionova said. "We weren't thinking about bigger picture this week - first we were playing this tournament, and our goal this week was to win this tournament. We're very happy how we played and that we could win our third WTA doubles title of the year.
"But getting into Singapore is great. It wasn't our last chance - we had another chance next week - but to do it here is definitely the cherry on top of the cake. We're really looking forward to it."
Both the Russian and the Australian will be making their career debuts at the WTA Finals.
Stacey Allaster, the Chairman & CEO of the WTA, commented on the announcement.
"Alla and Anastasia have worked hard all season to qualify for the WTA Finals," she said.
"This year's doubles field features the best eight doubles teams in the world, each with a unique playing style that is sure to create excitement for the fans in Singapore and around the world."
And so, the WTA Finals field is set - Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Eugenie Bouchard, Agnieszka Radwanska, Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic in singles, and Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai, Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, Cara Black and Sania Mirza, Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears, Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik, Garbiñe Muguruza and Carla Suárez Navarro, and Kudryavtseva and Rodionova in doubles.