1. Caroline Wozniacki: In what is sure to become a talking point -- and point of criticism -- she's the top seed, despite never have won a major (and coming close just once). It bears mentioning that she's playing well and reached the final last year. Likely Round of 16 match with Sharapova is one to anticipate.
2. Kim Clijsters: Bring on ToddlerCam. Clijsters has been there before, she's on her favorite surface, she won a tune-up in Cincy. Says here the defending champ will defend.
3. Venus Williams: Here's a crazy stat: Venus has not won a Slam outside of Wimbledon in nine years. This is a golden opportunity to get back in the conversation, but her game is currently residing at an undisclosed location -- she hasn't played since her mystifying Wimbledon loss -- and comes in a bit banged up.
4. Jelena Jankovic: New York Janky came within a few games of winning the 2008 Open. Since then, the strong results have been few and far between and she's been particularly shaky lately. She has a chance here with a wide-open draw and her hard-court-happy game. But she needs to keep her head and avoid injury for seven matches, which has proven difficult.
5. Sam Stosur: Muscular Aussie looked like a world-beater this spring. But since the French Open final, she's been a shard of her former self, nursing an arm injury. Versatile game and peerless fitness should come in handy in New York, even on hard courts that don't always give her ideal time to set up shots. But where's her self-belief and what's the state of her arm?
6. Francesca Schiavone: Hard to imagine her living up to her seeding. Skeevy's been in a haze, albeit a happy one, since Paris victory. But fans take note: This is the rare opportunity to catch a reigning Grand Slam champ on an outer court.
7. Vera Zvonareva: She's had her share of the crying game. And, fresh off an appearance in the Wimbledon final, she could be for more success. Can she suppress her worst instincts? The guess here is yes.
8. Li Na: A dangerous player who tends to conjure her best stuff at the majors.
9. Agnieszka Radwanska: A cunning, tactical player whom purists ought to appreciate. She's scored some big wins at the Open in the past, but does she have the weapons to win majors? Sadly, no.
10. Victoria Azarenka: After a dreadful first half of the year -- Slogan: Back that Az up? -- talented teen is back to playing at a high level. You wish her hands and feet were free of blisters (an injury that appears petty, but can wreck a tournament), but a player worth watching regardless. We're picking her to reach the Final Four.
11. Svetlana Kuznetsova: A huge wild card. She's had her share of inexplicable losses. She's also a former champ (albeit six -- gulp -- years ago), who seems to find her game lately. Will get tested right away against Kimiko Date Krumm. Which could be a good thing.
12. Elena Dementieva: You wish she came in with more matches, but always dangerous, especially on this surface.
13. Marion Bartoli: A theme of "quirky" has echoed through her career. When she looks thoroughly beatable, she goes on winning jags. When she looks like a top five player, she starts losing.
14. Maria Sharapova: Former champ is a top-five contender. She's been admirably stoic regarding her injuries no one ever quite knows the extent of her banged-up-ness. If she's healthy, she has a real chance.
15. Yanina Wickmayer: A semifinalist last year, Wickmayer has cooled off, most recently getting thrashed in New Haven.
16. Shahar Peer: Tends to play well at the Open but, like so many players, it's been a blah year.
17. Nadia Petrova: Wish there were more consistency, but an athletic player who can compete with most everyone on a given day.
18. Aravene Rezai: See above.
24. Daniela Hantuchova: In the autumn of her career, but still capable of pulling out some (often uncessarily) hard fought wins.
25. Alexandra Dulgheru: Perhaps the best player you've never heard of.
26. Lucie Safarova: Has a hard time stringing together wins, but can be a giant-killer.
30. Yaroslava Shvedova: Athletic player fresh from a fine Wimbledon.
Dinara Safina: If she was never a proper No.1, neither is she a proper No. 70. Apart from being entirely plausible, a strong showing would be poetic justice.
Ana Ivanovic: When was the last time two players who ascended to No. 1 within the past 25 months weren't even seeded?
Melanie Oudin: For old time's sake. Been a rough year for the Georgia Rambler, but a) she always fights and b) she won't want for crowd support. Confidence!
Anna Chakvetadze: Former top tenner has fallen far, but shown signs of life recently.
Kimiko Date Krumm: The ultimate "unretirer." Alas, she drew a seed in her first match.
Sharapova v. Jarmila Groth: Groth reached the second week in Paris and Wimbledon. Can she go three-for-three?
Kuznetsova v. Date Krumm: Tough first match for both.
Safina v. Hantuchova: A rematch from New Haven (Safina won) pits two former top-fivers.
Ayumi Morita d. Schiavone
Someone other than Williams-Williams or Black-Huber? Dulko and Pennetta.
Sharapova v. Zvonareva
Azarenka v. Clijsters
Clijsters vs. Sharapova