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.
20 de agosto 2018
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|Injured Halep withdraws from Connecticut Open|
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|England face record chase after Kohli smashes India to huge lead|
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|Japan players apologise for ´thoughtless, careless´ actions at Asian Games|
|Henry wants Bordeaux job, Wenger confirms|
|Pogba too inconsistent and not a leader, claims Scholes|
|PCB chairman Sethi resigns in letter to Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan|
|US Open comes too soon for Tsonga|
|Unpredictable results making 2018 F1 season a classic - Wolff|
|Mendy restricts phone use on Guardiola advice|
|Modric brands Inter approach claim ´the greatest nonsense in history´|
|Runners and Ryders: Olesen leapfrogs Poulter into last Team Europe berth|
|Kenedy escapes further action over Camarasa kick|
|England´s Bairstow suffers ´small fracture´ to finger|
|Gonalons joins Sevilla on loan from Roma|
|Modric, Ronaldo and Salah final UEFA Player of the Year nominees|
|Tottenham to play opening Champions League home match at Wembley|
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|Leeds considered €20m Conte offer before turning to Bielsa|
|Modric, Rakitic lead new era for World Cup finalists Croatia|
|Storm´s Chambers banned for three weeks, Smith injury not serious|
|Porte to race Vuelta after recovering from Tour crash|
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|Federer raring to go at US Open after Djokovic defeat|
|Chelsea boss Sarri plans to give up smoking|
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|Astros avoid sweep with win over Athletics|
|Seppi advances, Paire exits Winston-Salem|
|Bale feeling good as Madrid eye sweep of trophies|
|You can´t leave a house three-quarters built – Neville urges United to back Mourinho|
|Dodgers slugger Machado leaves game after being struck by pitch|
|Harden says Carmelo will ´be a good fit´ for Rockets|
|Morata: I never considered Chelsea exit|
|Gavrilova kicks off title defence in New Haven|
|Lopetegui pleased with Bale and Real Madrid after LaLiga opener|
|It´s a very special moment – Djokovic revels in Golden Masters achievement|
|Sorrentino thanks Ronaldo for support after injury|
|Twins place Santana on DL with finger injury|
|Yankees´ Gregorius suffers ´pretty significant´ heel bruise|
|Snedeker ends PGA Tour drought with Wyndham Championship win|
|Spalletti unconcerned despite Inter´s underwhelming start|
|Djokovic makes history with Masters clean sweep in Cincinnati|
|Real Madrid 2 Getafe 0: Bale gives Lopetegui first LaLiga win|
19 de agosto 2018
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|Sassuolo 1 Inter 0: New-look Nerazzurri given early reality check|
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|Navas keeps place as Courtois waits on Madrid debut|
|Ndidi signs long-term Leicester City contract|
|Pandya tears through feeble England to put India in command|
|Alonso creates motorsport history with victory at Silverstone|
|Kovacic: Chelsea and Sarri believe in me|
|Brighton loss a big lesson for United – Pogba|
|Mistakes hit United´s confidence - Mourinho|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 3 Manchester United 2: Murray lifts Seagulls to another win over Mourinho|
|Quickfire Moon treble sets up Rhinos win|
|Manchester City celebrate win with Silva´s son|
|Brentford 2 Sheffield Wednesday 0: Maupay stars as Bees buzz by Owls|