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2018 French Open; Ashleigh Barty v Serena Williams

ASHLEIGH Barty hopes to strike a delicate balance between offence and defence in her bold bid to cut short Serena Williams’ much-hyped grand slam return in Paris.

Tennis’s two comeback queens clash in centre-court showstopper at Roland Garros on Thursday night (EST), with bookmakers handing Australia’s 17th seed slight favouritism against the returning three-time French Open champion.

Blessed with one of the sharpest tennis minds in the business, Barty’s game plan will be to boss Williams from side to side in an attempt to exhaust the underdone grand slam colossus.

Ashleigh Barty is a slight favourite in battle with Serena Williams.Source: Getty Images

Williams conceded she was unable to fully gauge her level in her first major championship outing in 16 months against big-serving Czech Kristyna Pliskova, such was the soaring ace tally and lack of extended rallies in their first-round tussle.

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