Cancun, Mexico, 31 October 2023 | Rhys de Deugd

Cancun, Mexico

Australian Storm Hunter and her partner Elise Mertens have opened their account at the WTA Finals with a strong win over AO 2023 finalists Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara from Japan.

In their first round-robin match in Cancun, Hunter and Mertens had their serve broken on just one occasion, as they prevailed 6-4 6-2.

The Australian-Belgian combination’s striking record together now improves to 29-10 for the year.

Hunter is searching for her third WTA title of the season and is also in contention to finish a career-best year as the No.1 women’s doubles player in the world.

In their next match in the WTA Finals group stage, Hunter and Mertens will face fellow Australian Ellen Perez and American Nicole Melichar-Martinez.

Perez and Melichar-Martinez are yet to play their opening match of the WTA Finals, with rain delaying the start of their scheduled showdown against fifth-seeds Desirae Krawczyk and Demi Schuurs. The match has been re-scheduled for Wednesday.

This is first time in 17 years, two doubles teams featuring Australian players have qualified for the prestigious WTA Finals.

Aussies in action – WTA Finals

Women’s doubles, group stage
[2] Storm Hunter (AUS)/Elise Mertens (BEL) d [3] Shuko Aoyama (JPN)/Ena Shibahara (JPN) 6-4 6-2

Women’s doubles, group stage
[8] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) v [5] Desirae Krawczyk (USA)/Demi Schuurs (NED)

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