Gabriela Dabrowski and partner Yifan Xu arrived in Singapore for the WTA Finals for the first time in their career this week. The Canadian-Chinese pair were handed a tough draw, opening against defending champions and Olympic gold medalists Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.
Makarova/Vesnina defeated Dabrowski/Xu 6-1, 6-1, eliminating the pair from Singapore.
Makarova/Vesnina are the no. 2 seeds in the draw this year. Dabrowski/Xu won the only previous meeting with the Russian duo earlier this year in the quarterfinals of the Miami Open in March, 7-6(3), 6-1.
After Vesnina held to start the match, Dabrowski was broken in her marathon first service game. That was the start of a five game streak for the Russians who took the opening set 6-1 in 27 minutes.
The Russians continued their aggressive game plan into the second set, breaking Dabrowski/Xu to go up and early break.
Dabrowski/Xu earned their first break opportunity down 2-1 in the second set, but a 1-2 punch play from Vesnina saved it. It was one-way traffic from there as the Russians comfortably secured the win and a place in the semifinals.
Singles matches in Singapore have a round robin format with the top two players in each group progressing to the semifinal stage. In doubles, however, it is automatic elimination once a team loses.