Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport are expected to be the women to watch this week as the WTA tennis season draws to an end at the Chase Championships in New York.
A number of high-profile withdrawals have left Hingis and Davenport as strong favourites to contest the last final of the season for the third year in a row. Injuries and illness have led to pullouts by Anke Huber, Mary Pierce, Amélie Mauresmo and the Williams sisters.
After beating Davenport in the 1998 Chase Championships final, Hingis was beaten by the American last time around. Having lost to Davenport in Philadelphia at the weekend, Switzerland's world number one will be looking for double revenge in New York.
Hingis's possible route to the final appears to be slightly less challenging than Davenport's. The Swiss player has been drawn against doubles specialist Julie Halard-Decugis in the first round. The Swiss-based Frenchwoman has lost all four of her previous encounters with Hingis.
Davenport, on the other hand, is set to take on rising star Elena Dementieva, the 19-year-old Russian who made headlines with her runs to the semi-final of the US Open and the Olympic final in Sydney.
While the withdrawal of some of the game's top stars will not have pleased the organisers, Swiss number two Patty Schnyder could have cause to celebrate. Currently ranked 25th in the world, the Basel-born player has been named as first choice substitute should any more of the 16-strong field be forced to pull out.
swissinfo with agencies