Serena aside, Sharapova will fear no one at French - Evert

French Open 2018 Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova Are the Most Wanted Female Tennis Players in Roland Garros As per Google Trends

Serena Williams | Maria Sharapova

Williams, a three-time French Open champion, is playing in her first major since giving birth to her daughter in September.

Serena Williams recently returned to tennis following maternity leave. However, in the second round she could face 17th-seeded Ashleigh Barty, and the fourth round could bring either sixth-seeded Karolina Pliskova (Kristyna's more accomplished sister) or the 28th-seeded Sharapova.

Williams, a three-time French Open champion, is now ranked No. 453 in the world, meaning she could be up against other top-ranked players in the early rounds in Paris.

The clay-court Grand Slam tournament starts on Sunday.

Asked to assess her outlook heading into the season's second major, she told reporters: "I think I'm a better player if we compare it to a year ago".

Ivanka Trump has joined the chorus of voices protesting a Women's Tennis Association's rule which denies Serena Williams a seeding at the French Open.

Jelena Ostapenko proved a surprise victor in Paris previous year, upsetting now world number one Simona Halep - who remains favourite with the bookmakers to end her own wait for a major title this time around. Without a seeding, Williams was drawn in the same quarter as Sharapova, who was seeded 28th.

Ivanka Trump is fuming over a ruling that effectively punishes tennis star and new mom Serena Williams for taking maternity leave.

The decision announced by French Open organisers that they would stick to current WTA rankings has not gone down well with many observers.

His influence was certainly there when she defeated Williams in Miami, such a seismic win that the great American hasn't played since.

Paris - Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova insisted on Friday that the French Open was right not to hand Serena Williams a special seeding for the event. 'So, yeah, I definitely think that would be a nice change'. The daughter of the derided president, Donald Trump, said the supposed punishment she suffered was wholly unfair.

While she was No. 1 when she left the tour to give birth, Williams is now ranked No. 453. This features the out of touch defending champion, Jelena Ostapenko, the fitness doubts Victoria Azarenka and Madison Keys, as well as Johanna Konta, Venus Williams and Naomi Osaka who all do their best work away from clay.

The tournament should bring a lot of drama and excitement and it may be one of the best Roland Garros in the last 10 years, with many other players looking for their opportunity if some of the favorites hit an early exit.

Champions League: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp ready for Real Madrid showdown
Max Verstappen crashes in final Monaco practice