Mirza and Strycova have lost just once since pairing up in Cincinnati, reaching the quarterfinals of the US Open and taking home a second title at the Toray Pan Pacific Open. Adding 470 points to their Road to Singapore leaderboard total, the pair could yet qualify for Singapore in their own right, giving Mirza the opportunity to pick between Hingis and Strycova should both teams finish inside the Top 8.
Heading into Wuhan, Mirza has enjoyed an uninterrupted reign atop the WTA doubles rankings since April 13, 2015 (77 consecutive weeks, including week of Sept 26th).
But Hingis has another chance to take back the top spot, which she shared with Mirza for 31 weeks between January and August. In opposite halves of the draw, Hingis - seeded No.6 with Vandeweghe - will have to at least the final to have a chance, and could have another battle royale for the No.1 ranking should she and Vandeweghe meet Mirza and Strycova (seeded No.3) in the championship match.
Both teams received byes into the second round; Hingis and Vandeweghe will begin their tournament against Aleksandra Krunic and Katerina Siniakova, the latter of whom previously paired with Barbora Krejcikova to end Hingis and Mirza's bid for the Non-Calendar Year Grand Slam at the French Open. Mirza and Strycova will play wither Arantxa Parra-Santonja and Anastasia Rodionova, or Gabriela Dabrowski and María José Martínez Sánchez in their opening round.
French Reunite In Asia: Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic anchor Hingis and Vandeweghe's section of the draw as top seeds in Wuhan, and are playing for the first time since narrowly losing the US Open final to Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova.
Garcia and Mladenovic have already qualified for Singapore, but will be likely looking to retain match rhythm not only for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, but also the Fed Cup final, which the pair were cleared to play after an issue with the FFT. Their first opponents will be either Irina-Camelia Begu and US Open mixed doubles champion Laura Siegemund or Christina McHale and Peng Shuai.
No.7 seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka are the French pair's first possible seeds and projected quarterfinal opponents; the Czechs are coming off their first title together in 2016 at theCoupe Banque Nationale, which helped them reach No.5 on the Road to Singapore leaderboard.
Bucie In Hingis' Quarter: Speaking of Mattek-Sands and Safarova, the pair's US Open title helped launch them into the Top 8 on the RTS leaderboard at No.7, and could shore up a second straight Singapore appearance with solid performances in Asia.
Seeded No.5 in Wuhan, the two open against the unlikely wildcard pair of Simona Halep and Jelena Ostapenko, and could play the all-Chinese duo of Han Xinyun and Zhu Lin before facing projected opponents Hingis and Vandeweghe.