RANK/SEED: No. 2/2. BEST OPEN FINISH: Winner (2003).
COMMENT: The defending champ is 60-12 with nearly $2-million in earnings this year but will be pressed in a difficult draw that includes former champ Marat Safin. ROGER FEDERER
RANK/SEED: No. 1/1. BEST OPEN FINISH: Fourth round (2001, 2002, 2003).
COMMENT: Has won the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and has just six losses in 2004. Hasn't played well at the Open but is primed for a big event. He's 7-1 against Roddick.
RANK/SEED: No. 5/4. BEST OPEN FINISH: Winner (2001).
COMMENT: The fiery Aussie is having a phenomenal season and has the baseline skills to shine again in New York. He's also in the weakest part of the draw. ANDRE AGASSI
RANK/SEED: No. 7/6. BEST OPEN FINISH: Winner (1994, 1999).
COMMENT: Injury-plagued for much of the season, Agassi has played better of late and should be a factor. World's best returner of serve has a storied history in New York. Could this be his final Open?
RANK/SEED: No. 14/13. BEST OPEN FINISH: Winner (2000).
COMMENT: An inconsistent player, Safin does his best on hardcourt surfaces. Lost to Federer in this year's Australian final. When motivated is capable of beating any player in the field.
THE PICK: Hewitt.
RANK/SEED: No. 1/1. BEST OPEN FINISH: Winner (2003).
COMMENT: Henin-Hardenne has won three of the past five majors in which she has played and enters the Open having just won Olympic gold. Overcame fatigue to claim last year's title.
RANK/SEED: No. 11/3. BEST OPEN FINISH: Winner (1999, 2002).
COMMENT: Believe it or not, Williams has won just one tournament in 2004 and hasn't won a major in 14 months. If healthy, she'll be in the mix, but that's a big if. She missed the Olympics with an injured left knee.
RANK/SEED: No. 8/8. BEST OPEN FINISH: Semifinals (1991, 2001, 2003).
COMMENT: The Saddlebrook resident has been strong at recent Opens. She has the game, and the draw, for another deep run. LINDSAY DAVENPORT
RANK/SEED: No. 4/5. BEST OPEN FINISH: Winner (1998).
COMMENT: Nobody on tour is playing better. The 28-year-old Davenport is 50-6 with six tournament titles this year, four since mid July. Davenport has reached at least the quarters in every Open since 1997.
RANK/SEED: No. 3/4. BEST OPEN FINISH: Quarterfinals (2003).
COMMENT: The French Open champ might be the WTA Tour's most fierce competitor. The question is, does she have the power to succeed on the hardcourt surface?