Every year, there is always a game of musical chairs in doubles – both on the ATP and WTA sides.
But this year? Absolute carnage for the women as one season ends, the other is under way in less than two months.
If the digging Open Court has done turns out to all be accurate – and we’re pretty confident in our sources – SIX of the eight teams that qualified for this year’s WTA Finals in Cancún are done, or all but done.
And the new combinations we’re hearing may get together will definitely add some spice to a 2024 season that is sneaking up on us faster than we realize. Too soon to know if they’ll all make it to the starting line. But as of now, per my sources, these are the plans.
There are always changes at the end of every season. But we’re trying to remember if there were ever THIS many, at the very top of the women’s game.
Czechs have Czeched out
The Czech pair of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, who’ve been together – and winning together – since they were juniors? They are no more. Siniakova’s decision, per reports.
The two definitely looked out sorts in Cancún, and in Sevilla, as well.
Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva, who won the WTA Tour Finals after being the last team to qualify? Done.
Desirae Krawczyk and Demi Schuurs? No more.
Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens? Finito.
Ena Shibahara and Shuko Aoyama? All but done, as Shibahara said in Cancún that she would be focusing on singles in 2024. She might play a few big events – but that’s about it.
Even Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula, who have played far too much tennis the last few years between singles and doubles and have been the best team in the world for much of that time, are looking to significantly scale it back in 2024.
Also: “Taylah” is no more
On the Canadian content side, the blockbuster is that the entertaining and popular team of Leylah Fernandez and Taylor Townsend has … also gone for the high jump.
The two might well have been in Cancun with the rest – except Townsend chose to prioritize he singles after the US Open and didn’t go to Asia.
Had Siegemund and Zvonareva not won their final regular-season match in the Nanchang final, “Taylah” would have been in Cancún instead of them. And the German-Russian pair ended up winning the whole thing.
On such fine margins, do great things happen.
The survivors: Dabrowski-Routliffe and Perez-Melichar
Of all those teams, the only two that look to still be thriving as the 2024 season begins are Ellen Perez and Nicole Melichar-Martinez, who reached the finals in Cancún.
And, of course the newbies – the Cana-Kiwi combination of Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe, who only teamed up in Montreal in August and got all the way to the semifinals in Mexico.
It’s all to play for, for that pair, whose dynamic worked out better than either of them might have imagined.
All of this is going to give women’s doubles a whole new look.
New look for 2024
Now, the second part of the equation.
Open Court did a TON of journalisming today. And we’re nearly 100% sure that these new pairings will be gracing a doubles court near you in 2024.
They are surprising teams, when you think about it. This 2024 season is an Olympic season, when players vie for medals but have to play with a countrywoman.
And none of these new duos reflect that.
Takeaway: some of these are just … wow.
Digest, and discuss!