Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova remain in pole position and know that victory this week in Tianjin will book their tickets to Singapore.
However, also in Tianjin is the team directly below them on the Road To Singapore, Martina Hingis and Flavia Pennetta.
Kudryavtseva and Rodionova have a handy lead of 499 points, meaning that Hingis and Pennetta needed to reach at least the quarterfinals to keep their WTA Finals dream alive. They did just that with a win over Magda Linette and Zhang Ling on Tuesday.
As the No.1 and No.2 seeds in Tianjin, the two rivals cannot meet before the final. Kudryavtseva and Rodionova made a bright start in their attempt to keep that date, winning their first round and quarterfinal matches in straight sets.
Even if Hingis and Pennetta do leave China with the silverware, they will then need another deep run in their final tournament to overturn the gap.