After all, conventional wisdom is that the 23-time Grand Slam champion doesn't enter tournaments unless she thinks she has a chance to win.
The three-time French Open champion and 23-time Grand Slam victor will next take on Australia's Ash Barty in the second round.
Williams dropped the first set to Barty 6-3. The 17th-seeded Barty, Australia's top-ranked woman here, withdrew from her semifinal in Strasbourg last week after experiencing back spasms the day before, but told reporters she's ready to play.
Barty knows balancing offence and defence on the Roland Garros clay will be key to cut short Williams' much-hyped grand slam return in Paris.
"I lost the first set and just thought "you know what? I always wanted to be a superhero, and it's kind of my way of being a superhero".
"It's how the cookie crumbles", Barty said, unfazed about the challenge and being diplomatic over Williams' non-seeding.
Halep said in her post-match interview that she struggled initially against the left-hander's shots with topspin.
She then gestured to her bicep and said, "This is me, and this is my weapon and machine".
Williams told Harper's Bazaar that although she was now ready to have another child, she had gone through some tough times before returning to the court for the first time at the Fed Cup in North Carolina in February. "But not yet. Maybe this goes without saying, but it needs to be said in a powerful way: I absolutely want more Grand Slams".
The outfit called to mind Williams' black "catsuit" that she wore at the 2002 U.S. Open. She needs to win five more matches, and it only gets more hard from here.
She missed the 2016 French Open while serving a doping suspension, then was denied a wild-card entry by the French tennis federation past year, when her ranking was too low to earn automatic entry.
Honestly, sometimes I think I still have to deal with it.
So it proved just over an hour later as Serena was roaring again and holding her arms aloft in triumph after setting up a third round showdown with Germany's 11th seed Julia Goerges.
But just as the half-full crowd enjoying the late evening sunshine in Court Philippe Chatrier anticipated a quick kill, Williams came storming back, reeling off four straight games for 4-1.
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