It is hard to know what to expect from Serena Williams on her return to grand slam action at the French Open, but her chances of claiming a truly remarkable victory certainly appear to have been enhanced by the draw for the women's singles.
Twenty years on from her first appearance in the main draw at Roland Garros, Williams is in the unusual position of being unseeded for the coming fortnight - a somewhat controversial consequence of her absence from the WTA Tour for more than a year either side of the birth of her first daughter in September.
Many felt Williams, who won last year's Australian Open despite being in the early stages of her pregnancy, should have been awarded a seeding, but the French Tennis Federation thought otherwise and the 36-year-old was therefore at risk of being drawn against a top-ranked opponent in the opening rounds.
While a player boasting 23 grand slam singles titles is unlikely to fear anyone, Williams will surely need time to get back up to speed in Paris.
She came back from a 13-month hiatus with a Fed Cup doubles outing in February, but subsequent appearances in Indian Wells and Miami were followed by another break as the 36-year-old sought a return to peak fitness.
Having not played competitively since March, Williams would have been up against it had she been pitted against one of the game's other leading stars early on.
However, Williams has been handed an opening clash with world number 70 Kristyna Pliskova and cannot face a top-10 opponent until round four at the earliest. She could hardly have hoped for more.
Serena Williams will open against Kristyna Pliskova. #RG18— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) May 24, 2018
That is not to say Serena faces an easy ride. Ashleigh Barty and Julia Goerges - ranked 17th and 11th in the world respectively - are potential rivals in the second and third rounds.
Williams, though, could easily have drawn the likes of Simona Halep or Garbine Muguruza in round one. Instead, she seemingly has an opportunity to work her way into the tournament, knowing she can only meet an elite opponent once she has at least three wins under her belt.
If Williams' victory at Melbourne Park 16 months ago represents her greatest career achievement to date, given the subsequent revelation that she was pregnant at the time, claiming a fourth Roland Garros title at the age of 36 would be truly extraordinary, especially given her lack of match practice.
At this stage, such an outcome remains a long shot. Yet Williams may have received just the break she needs to have a shot at the most glorious triumph.
23 de junio 2018
|Messi is not a leader, he is no Ronaldo, claims Petit|
|Better than Ballack? Hodgson backs Loftus-Cheek to shine against Panama|
|Svitolina and Garcia suffer upsets|
22 de junio 2018
|Walker responds to Ferdinand criticism|
|Djokovic still hungry for more after reaching major milestone|
|Ellis drop goal earns Castleford dramatic win|
|Nigeria hero Musa unsure on Leicester City future|
|X marks the spot - Granit´s rocket sets World Cup first|
|Xhaka and Shaqiri follow the script as Serbia are derailed|
|Chandimal appeal against ban rejected|
|Real Madrid sign teenage goalkeeper Lunin|
|Serbia 1 Switzerland 2: Shaqiri strikes late to clinch crucial comeback victory|
|Suspended Srna joins Serie A side Cagliari|
|Cilic sets up Kyrgios showdown as Djokovic reaches milestone|
|Kudla up next in Federer´s Halle ´fight´|
|Assistant Farbrace to take charge of England for T20 games|
|Hummels hoping to be fit for Sweden clash|
|Hend surges clear as Fleetwood struggles again in Pulheim|
|Giant-killers Mexico embrace sudden weight of expectation|
|Roma complete €17.25m Kluivert deal|
|Pakistan name strong group for Zimbabwe tour|
|Choc Horror: Boullier insists McLaren do not hand out Freddos as bonuses|
|Neymar: Not everyone knows what I went through|
|Poland v Colombia: No time to dwell on regrets, warns Aguilar|
|Musa shows Messi how it´s done to set up critical Argentina showdown|
|Nigeria 2 Iceland 0: Musa brace boosts Super Eagles & Argentina|
|McLaren and Renault open to Ricciardo talks|
|We must win, we have no other choice - Maaloul|
|Germany will respond against Sweden, insists Low|
|´The best among all Asians´, South Korea trust in Son against Mexico|
|Stalin´s bunker an unlikely site for Russia´s World Cup charm offensive|
|England v Panama: Rashford tipped to start as Southgate´s side aim for last 16|
|Erasmus wary of ´wonderful´ Cipriani|
|Hummels to miss Germany-Sweden, confirms Low|
|Murray accepts Eastbourne wildcard|
|St Petersburg madness lines up Neymar and Brazil with heroes of the past|
|Martinez happy to be ´boring Belgium´|
|Japan v Senegal: Squeaky clean Group H rivals eyeing huge step towards last 16|
|Argentina team the worst in history - Ardiles|
|Ravanelli upsets wife by taking Arsenal job...in Kiev|
|Federer moves a step closer to 10th title in Halle|
|Brazil 2 Costa Rica 0: Coutinho and Neymar score in stoppage time to snatch win|
|Andersson: Sweden embracing big occasion as bug sweeps through team|
|LeBron in ´good dialogue´ with Cavaliers|
|Ronaldo will always be the best, Fonte claims|
|Southgate criticises press for England team leak|
|O´Mahony: Series win in Australia would be up there with Grand Slam|
|Khedira thrilled with Can capture, staying with Juventus|
|Samuel open to Higuain-Icardi swap deal|
|It´s just a game - Milligan disappointed by Kruse criticism|
|From drug-testing lab to gastro pub: Sochi happy not to forget dark past|
|Ronaldo will do what is best for him, says Carvajal|
|Kohli: India will feel at home in England|
|Barca target Lenglet yet to decide future|
|Germany perform best under pressure, Klose claims|
|Juanfran signs one-year Atletico Madrid extension|
|Julian Nagelsmann: The remarkable rise of RB Leipzig|
|Sterling: my daughter is Liverpool through and through!|
|Van Bommel to take charge of PSV|
|Hansen urges France not to ´squeal´ over decisions|
|Intelligent Jones will turn England´s fortunes around - Moody|
|Nainggolan confirms imminent Inter transfer|
|U.S. Open missed cut may be blessing in disguise - McIlroy|
|Schmidt in no rush to decide on his future|
|Wallabies treating decider as grand final - Hooper|
|Salah won´t leave World Cup, Egypt FA boss claims|
|Chandimal, Hathurusinghe and Gurusinha admit ´serious´ conduct breach|
|Mikal Bridges´ 76ers dreams dashed in dramatic draft twist|
|They want to pull you down - Sterling hits out at tabloid press|
|Lazaridis wants West Ham to stick with Mexico star Hernandez|