Ladies tennis is Serena Williams’ world, her opponents just live there, but even the undisputed queen of the courts isn’t invincible.
Instead, she prefers to confound those who support her for Grand Slam glory by exiting though the side doors at irregular intervals.
Her preferred method of departure is the completely unforeseen shocker making backing her one for tournament success one of the most thankless short-odds tasks around.
She’s the 13/100 favourite to prevail against 19/4 outsider Ekaterina Makarova in the US Open semi-final.
But how is it possible to gauge whether tonight is one of those nights her highness will board one of her periodic flights to the Bermuda Triangle?
Williams has won 11 of the 33 completed slams in which she has competed over the last ten seasons.
Of the 22 tournaments during that period where, for whatever reason, she has failed to exert her dominance by landing the laurels, 12 have ended by the fourth round.
She went down in the quarter-finals on a further seven occasions, meaning that, having booked her ticket in the last four she has failed to land the trophy in just three of the last 22 Grand Slams in which she’s competed.
The moral of the story is the deeper Serena goes the less prone she is to a sudden flake out.
So far so good for favourite backers, but one of the other harbingers of doom for the world number one and two-time defending champion is lurking in the wings.
Namely the complacency inspired by slaughtering the paper-thin resistance offered by the adversaries she encounters early in the competition.
In each of her exits from the big four competitions since losing in the first round to Virginie Razzano at Roland Garros in 2012 no opponent has taken more than three games in a set in the preceding rounds.
Much like Flushing Meadows 2014 then….