Chan is No. 1 in women's doubles but she needs to find a new partner
Chan is the latest Asian woman to reach No. 1 in doubles but she faces a major hurdle to stay there
Current WTA World No.1 doubles player Latisha Chan was in Singapore over the weekend to promote the launch of ticket sales for the final edition of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
The Taiwanese has said repeatedly how proud she felt to represent Asia at a global level. She also revealed when she was starting out, she used to look up to Zheng Jie, China's Grand Slam doubles champion.
In the past two decades, Asia has seen a surge of success in women's doubles.
Prior to Zheng, Ai Sugiyama from Japan was a former world No.1 doubles player who qualified to compete in both singles and doubles at the WTA Finals in 2003.
A wave of Asians followed, including Sania Mirza, Hsieh Su-wei, Peng Shuai, and today Chan, who have all held the world No. 1 ranking in doubles and also tasted Grand Slam success.
Mirza, who won both her WTA Finals titles in Singapore, has established herself as the most successful Indian tennis player in history, and is one of the most high-profile and well-paid athletes in the country.
Doubles is a game of quick reflexes, flamboyant net-play and fast-paced serve-and-volley action.
It is a game which provides a different type of entertainment where unique strategies like the "I Formation" and poaching are used to change the match's rhythm to keep opponents guessing.
In the past two decades, Asia has seen a surge of success in women’s doubles.Melissa Pine, on the likes of Sania Mirza, Hsieh Su-wei and Latisha Chan, who have all been world No. 1 in doubles
Many professional tennis players carve out a career as doubles specialists, focusing most of their training specifically on perfecting their volleys, serves, approach shots and return of serves.
In doubles, placement is critical and rallies occur more often at the net which requires players to develop outstanding accuracy and ball control.
Watching the best doubles teams, you will see various formations, patterns of play and switch-ups.
Doubles players need to be quick-thinking, creative, adaptable and have a multi-dimensional game to outsmart and outlast their opponents as a team.
It involves a lot of collaboration and communication between partners.
Similar to any relationship, the level of trust and respect between doubles partners is a major contributing factor to their success.
At 29, Chan already holds 28 WTA doubles titles, including a US Open doubles title. She also reached the semi-finals of the 2015 WTA Finals Singapore with her sister, Angel Chan.
In what was arguably her breakout year in 2017, she partnered Martina Hingis and qualified for the third consecutive time to play in Singapore, and reached the top of the rankings.
But this season, she will have to find a new partner after Hingis retired last year.
She touched on it over the weekend, how it seemed as if she would have to undergo a complete reboot of her system.
She wants to make it back here in October, so keep your eyes peeled on the Porsche Race to Singapore as a new doubles partnership looks to join elite company at the Indoor Stadium.
Melissa Pine is the vice-president of WTA Asia-Pacific and the tournament director of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. She is also a former NCAA player at Washington State University and served as assistant coach of the team post-graduation. To find out more about the WTA Finals, visit www.wtafinals.com