The Aussies have had a tough run of luck at this year's Roland Garros.

First Nick Kyrgios' persistent elbow comes back to bite him, denying the showstopper a blockbuster first round clash against the resurgent Bernard Tomic. 

It may have just proved the motivation either needed to make in-roads in the tournament, but unsurprisingly Bernie then exited to a lucky loser. Then Jordan Thompson lost in five sets, leaving no Aussie man in the second round of the French Open for only the second time since 1945.

Now Barty - who appears Australia's best shot at a Grand Slam over the next few campaigns - faces un-seeded Serena Williams, returning from the birth of her daughter - in the second round.

After storming through her first round Russian opponent, Barty will be as full of confidence taking on Williams as one can be against the 'catsuit' wearing force of nature. 

The 22-year-old has the groundstrokes to hurt Williams - her powerful baseline approach will test the 36-year-old's movement and her stamina and tenacity will allow her to counter Williams' oppressive serving.

"There has to be a very good balance between being aggressive and then being able to defend as well," Barty told ABC Sport.

"There are not all times when you're in control and sometimes things are out of your control with bounces and [balls] hitting the lines and so forth."

Barty's an entirely different opponent to Williams' first round clash against the massive-serving Karalina Pliskova, so the Aussie has her chips stacked high. But there are question marks over her ability to finish off big matches. 

While she showed a propensity to come from behind at the Australian Open, when she takes the lead against a big player she can often withdraw, lose aggression and momentum. 

If she can overcome the Williams' fear factor - her 23 Grand Slam wins is one short of the all-time record - the confidence imparted could be exactly what Barty needs.

Barty plays Williams tonight, 7pm AEST. Former French Open finallist Sam Stosur also plays Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova tonight, 7pm AEST.