Serena Williams can win a fourth French Open title this year despite not playing a single competitive clay-court match in 2018, says her coach Patrick Mouratoglou.
The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion only returned to professional tennis in February following pregnancy induced problems and will not be seeded for the major tournament.
Williams – who won Roland Garros in 2002, 2013 and 2015 – has slipped to No 449 in the WTA rankings and suffered early exits at Indian Wells and the Miami Open this year.
She has not played a professional match on a red court in 2018, sitting out both Madrid and Rome, but has been training at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy near Nice as she prepares to add to her trophy haul.
“Serena will play the French Open to win it,” Mouratoglou told the WTA website.
Serena Williams briefly returned to the WTA Tour before pregnancy issues ruled her out again
“Can she do it? Serena can achieve anything – after being her coach for six years, I’m even more sure of that statement.”
Williams landed her most recent grand slam title at the Australian Open in 2017 and it was later revealed that she was eight weeks pregnant at the time.
Her most recent Roland Garros success came in 2015 when she defeated Lucie Safarova over three sets.
This year’s French Open gets underway on 27 May with Simona Halep expected as top seed, despite losing the Italian Open final to Elina Svitolina on Sunday.