An elite 16-player field competes for the WTA Tour's season-ending title. Top-seeded Martina Hingis will retain the world's No. 1 ranking regardless of the outcome, but No. 3 Venus Williams has a chance to overtake No. 2 Lindsay Davenport. Williams also has the chance to avenge her U.S. Open semifinal loss to Hingis. Williams and her sister, No. 4 seed Serena, are on opposite sides of the draw and could meet in the final.

The tournament also features five Frenchwomen, led by No. 5 seed Mary Pierce, who will face Anna Kournikova in the first round. Davenport will start against Australian Open runner-up Amelie Mauresmo; Venus Williams faces Conchita Martinez.

Three-time Chase champion Monica Seles will not compete because of a stress fracture in her right foot. Five-time champion Steffi Graf and 1997 champion Jana Novotna have recently retired from professional tennis, but both will be honored at the event.

WTA Chase Championships

Where: Madison Square Garden.

When: Monday through Sunday.

TV: Monday, midnight (HTS, taped); Tuesday, midnight (HTS, taped); Wednesday, 8 p.m. (HTS, taped); Thursday, midnight (HTS, taped); Friday, midnight (HTS, taped); Saturday, semifinals 1 p.m. (HTS); Sunday, final 2 p.m. (WRC-4, WBAL-11).

Purse: $2 million.

Surface: Carpet.

Defending Champion: Martina Hingis.