Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears, who have reached the semifinals or better 10 times at WTA events this year, including titles at Birmingham and Cincy, have become the fifth team to qualify for the doubles event at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
They've come close to qualifying for the WTA Finals before - two years ago they were just one win away, falling to Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova in the semifinals of Moscow in a match where the winner would make the cut - but Kops-Jones and Spears have made 2014 their breakthrough year.
“We're super excited to have qualified for the WTA Finals," Spears said of the news. "We've been working really hard this year. The last couple of years we were so close. It's a dream come true to make it to Singapore. Reaching the WTA Finals has been a season-long goal for us. The WTA has worked so hard to make the WTA Finals a spectacular event, so it's an honor to be competing in Singapore."
"Raquel and Abi are a passionate doubles duo, and I am excited that they have qualified for the WTA Finals in Singapore," Stacey Allaster, the Chairman & CEO of the WTA, said on Thursday.
"In 2012 they were one win away from qualifying but just missed out, so their resilience and hard work to reach the WTA Finals this year is an inspiration to their peers and fans around the globe."
Kops-Jones and Spears have won 10 WTA doubles titles together over the years - one in 2009 (Oeiras), one in 2011 (Québec City), four in 2012 (Carlsbad, Seoul, Tokyo and Osaka), two in 2013 (Stanford and Carlsbad) and twi in 2013 (Birmingham and their milestone 10th WTA doubles title in Cincinnati).
They also recorded their best Grand Slam result this year, reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open - their previous best results were quarterfinals at the 2008 US Open and 2012 Wimbledon.
Kops-Jones and Spears join Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai, Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, and Cara Black and Sania Mirza in the field. Three spots are left.