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By Chris Oddo

Sara Errani French Open (October 15, 2012) – The race for the final WTA Championships spot in doubles is coming down to the wire this week in Moscow.

Only 32 points separate the fourth-place team of Nadia Petrova and Maria Kirilenko from the surging American tandem of Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears. The American’s have almost caught up to Petrova and Kirilenko, thanks to a 14-1 run in Asia that has seen them win titles in Seoul, Tokyo and Osaka.

The 2012 Wimbledon quarterfinalists are each at a career-high spot in the rankings on Monday, with Kops-Jones (age, 29) coming in at No. 15 and Spears (age, 31) coming in at No. 16. They are slated to meet Kirilenko and Petrova in the semifinals of this week’s Kremlin Cup in Moscow, if both teams advance that far.

On Monday, Kirilenko and Petrova advanced to the second round with a hard-fought win over Karolina and Kristyna Pliskova, 6-4, 4-6, 11-9. Kops-Jones and Spears will meet Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke in the first round. Peschke and Groenefeld won the title in Linz last week, and in doing so Peschke moved into sixth on the WTA’s all-time doubles title holder list with 24.

Kops-Jones and Spears need to finish one round better than Kirilenko and Petrova to qualify for their first WTA Championships.
(Photo Credit: KDB Korea Open)


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