MONTREAL (Ticker) - Despite some notable absences, 12 of the top-20 female players in the world will compete in the Rogers AT&T Cup, beginning on Monday.
The $1.3 million event, which alternates between Montreal and Toronto every other year, will feature Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova of Russia and seventh-ranked American Jennifer Capriati.
No. 11 Francesca Schiavone of Italy headlines Monday's action, taking on Canadian Marie-Eve Pelletier. No. 17 Mary Pierce of France will begin with a match against Marlene Weingartner of Germany on Monday.
Serena Williams, who was expected to be the top seed, was forced to withdraw with left knee inflammation on Sunday. She was replaced by fifth-ranked Anastasia Myskina of Russia.
Lindsay Davenport, the leader in the Porsche Race to the Championships, has elected to take the week off after reaching the finals in each of the last three tournaments. Davenport defeated Myskina, 6-1,6-1, to win the Acura Classic on Sunday.
Defending champion Justine Henin-Hardine, who is recovering from an illness which has kept her from competing for most of the last four months, announced two weeks ago that she would be unable to compete in the tournament she won in Toronto last year.
No. 2 Amelie Mauresmo of France won this hardcourt event in 2002, the last time it was in Montreal. After a first-round bye, she will take on either Marta Marrero of Spain or Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand in the second round.