China’s Zhang Shuai and her partner Samantha Stosur of Australia have been kept away from the world’s top two doubles pairings in the WTA Finals draw ahead of the season ending showdown in Mexico. The draw was announced at the opening gala of the event on Monday night at the Palacio Municipal de Zapopan, with the group names a nod to the cities of pre-Columbian Mexico. US Open champions Zhang, 32, and Stosur, 37, have been drawn in the Group Tenochtitlán at the Guadalajara event. The veteran fifth seeds will face the Japanese second seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara, fourth seeded Nicole Melichar-Martinez of the US and Demi Schuurs of the Netherlands, and seventh seeds Darija Jurak of Croatia and Andreja Klepac of Slovenia. Making their second consecutive appearance as a team at the @WTAFinals ! @bambamsam30 and @zhangshuai121 have enjoyed an end-of-season surge @Porsche | #RaceToTheWTAFinals pic.twitter.com/iY9u6jMjpi — wta (@WTA) October 20, 2021 The other pool play – in the Group El Tajin – sees top seeded Czech duo Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova joined by third seeds Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan and Belgium’s Elise Mertens, along with sixth seeds Alexa Guarachi of Chile and Desirae Krawczyk of the US, and Sharon Fichman of Canada and Giuliana Olmos of Mexico. Wimbledon winners Hsieh and Mertens are ranked No 1 and No 4 respectively on the WTA doubles rankings, which were updated on Monday, with Siniakova at No 2 and Krejcikova at No 3. Former China No 1 Wang Qiang drops out of WTA Top 100 Round robin group action begins on November 10 in Mexico, where the season ending event was moved from Shenzhen. In the singles draw, top seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus leads the Group Chichén Itzá along with the in-form fourth seed Maria Sakkari of Greece, fifth seed Iga Swiatek of Poland and Spanish seventh seed Paula Badosa. The Group Teotihuacán sees second seed Krejcikova and her compatriot Pliskova, the third seed, joined by Spain’s sixth seed Garbiñe Muguruza and eighth seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia. As well as playing for the WTA Finals Billie Jean King Ttrophy in the singles and the WTA Finals Martina Navratilova Trophy in the doubles there is also US$5 million in prize money on offer.