TOKYO (Ticker) — Five-time champion Monica Seles looks to win her second straight title this week at the talent-depleted Princess Cup tennis event.
On Saturday, Seles won her first title since returning from injury when she defeated Jelena Dokic, 6-3, 6-3, in the final of Brasil Open.
After being sidelined for five months due to an injured right foot, the 27-year-old American returned in July to reach two finals and a pair of semifinals before falling to Czech teenager Daja Bedanova in the fourth round of U.S. Open two weeks ago.
Seles won her second WTA title of the year and the 49th of her illustrious career. The former world No. 1’s last title came in February, when she captured the IGA U.S. Indoors at Oklahoma City.
Defending champion Serena Williams and world No. 2 Jennifer Capriati withdrew from this $565,000 hardcourt tournament in the wake of the terrorist attacks in the United States.
The two Americans told the WTA Tour that they were not mentally prepared to to take part in this event after the attacks in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.
Williams was runner-up to her sister Venus at the U.S. Open, where Capriati — winner of the Australian and French Opens — reached the semifinals.
Instead, Kim Clisjters of Belgium is the top seed. Clijsters appeared in her first Grand Slam final at the French Open, won the Bank of West Classic this summer, was runner-up at Indian Wells and reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
Dokic, seeded third this week, failed to win her second career tour title on Saturday. In May, the Yugoslav captured the Italian Open, defeating Amelie Mauresmo of France.
Sandrine Testud of France is the fourth seed. Testud lost to a Williams sister in each of her previous three tournaments but won her first title in three years Sunday on Sunday at the Big Island Championships in Hawaii.
The four seeds all received first-round byes.
Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario of Spain is seeded fifth, followed by Iroda Tulyaganova of Uzbekistan, Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand and Cristina Torrens Valero of Spain.
Tanasugarn was the only main draw player in action Monday when she defeated Italian Rita Grande, 7-6, 6-4.
First prize is $90,000.