Even without Bartoli's presence, four of the Top 10 are in the draw at the Connecticut Tennis Center, headed by Sara Errani.
Twelve months ago, Errani reached the semifinals in New Haven, before heading down the coast to repeat the showing at the US Open. While her summer has hardly been short of wins - she finished runner-up in Palermo and reached the quarterfinals in Toronto - the Italian could do with a few more matches on the hard following an early exit in Cincinnati.
Her conqueror there was doubles partner Roberta Vinci, and the two could meet again next week after being drawn in the same quarter. The other two seeds in the top half are Sloane Stephens and four-time champion Caroline Wozniacki, both of whom will pose a serious threat to Italian dominance if they can build on their encouraging performances in Cincinnati.
Like Errani, both Kerber and Kvitova could do with a few more matches under their belt before New York, but they have been granted few favors by the draw; Kerber, who as No.2 seed receives an opening round bye, is likely to face Elena Vesnina in her first match, while Kvitova starts against Urszula Radwanska before a possible meeting with recent Washington winner Magdalena Rybarikova.
The strength and depth of the singles line-up is replicated in the doubles, with 12 major winners in action. Three of them meet in the pick of the first round as Cara Black and Vania King take on wildcards Martina Hingis and Daniela Hantuchova.