French tennis fans are hoping the "Yannick Noah factor" can lift the jinx off home hope Amelie Mauresmo and clear her path for what would be a highly emotional title win in the French Open women's singles.
Mauresmo, who briefly rose to world No. 1 late last year, has been touted as a potential winner at Roland Garros since she burst on to the scene at the Australian Open in 1999.
But year after year she has failed to deliver, let down by a fragile temperament that has buckled under the weight of expectations.
Thus Noah, the hugely-popular winner of the 1983 men's singles title, has been brought in to sit down with Mauresmo and basically "get her head straight."
Now known more for his reggae-inspired rock concerts than his tennis skills, the dreadlocked Noah is seen as a master motivator.
"It's worth trying. They both admire each other," said Guy Forget, the former player who has captained both French Davis Cup and Fed teams.
"Yannick is the one who can really inspire Amelie or at the very least make her understand what matters and what doesn't.
"He can unlock her mystery. She will have to open the door herself, but Yannick can help her to put the right key into the lock."
The Mauresmo enigma is just one of many imponderables in what is gearing up to be one of the most open women's tournaments for years at Roland Garros.
There is the Belgian pair Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters, both of whom have clawed their way back from debilitating injuries in spectacular fashion this year.
Indeed Henin-Hardenne, winner here in 2003, has won her last three tournaments - all on clay - at Charleston, Warsaw and Berlin.
But her long-time coach Carlos Rodriguez has warned that she may never be totally free from the menace of the viral condition that left her exhausted last year and two weeks on the slow Paris claycourts will be a major test of her resistence.
For Clijsters, the problem is two-fold, firstly whether the wrist tendon injury that sidelined her last year can withstand the rigours of a Grand Slam event and secondly whether the injury she sustained to her right knee in Berlin earlier this has healed in time. Her participation is still in doubt.
Winner in 2002, Serena Williams has made but the briefest of appearances at the usual claycourt warmup tournaments, dropping an uninspired straight setter to Italy's Francesca Schiavone in the first round of the Rome Masters.
The American promptly headed home and has not been seen since.
Sister Venus has been in action in Europe but her results have only confirmed that while she can still give the ball a whack she is nothing like the force she used to be especially on clay.
World No. 1 Lindsay Davenport is another who scarcely conceals her dislike for the surface and she will head to Paris with no great ambitions in what could be her final appearance at the only Grand Slam event she has not won.
That leaves the Russian armada who were the shock troopers of last year's tournament when Anastasia Myskina defeated Elena Dementieva in an embarrassingly one-sided final.
Myskina looks unlikely to repeat the dose this year as she has struggled with injuries and loss of form all year and only confirmed late that she would take part at all.
Dementieva is also carrying an injury, while glamour girl Maria Sharapova admits she is still learning how to play on a surface which is not suited to her battering ram style of play.
Best bet among them could be Svetlana Kuznetsova, last year's US Open champion who has been based for years at the Sanchez-Casal Tennis Acaemy in Barcelona - the best claycourt school in the world.
Another outsider is Switzerland's Patty Schnyder who gradually has honed an effective all-court game on clay that saw her come close to defeating Mauresmo in the final of the Rome Masters last Sunday.