Coverage: Live commentary every day on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra plus TV highlights on BBC Two from 21 January; live text on selected matches on the BBC Sport website.
She also lost the French Open final, to Garbine Muguruza, before winning Wimbledon to equal Steffi Graf's open era record of 22 grand slam titles.
Having dealt with shoulder and knee problems, Williams says her health has returned to the levels required to challenge the world's best.
But any discussion about catching Margaret Court's all-time record 24 slams is off limits as the 35-year-old focuses exclusively on regaining the Open crown she relinquished to Angelique Kerber 12 months ago.
Seeded two, Williams, who lost the top world ranking to Angelique Kerber past year, has her work cut out if she is to go one better than Graf.
Kerber won the Australian and U.S. Open titles previous year, so will be attempting to defend a major for the first time in Melbourne. Evert believes health and happiness are key to Williams attaining her major goals.
She said it is hard to deal with the level of expectation on her. It's never easy for me.
"I didn't come here to lose in the first round, or the second round, or at all". I was really happy about it.
"It's nearly a little unreal right now because I haven't taken it in". Well, I can't get worse, so that's also very exciting.
But the 22-time grand slam champion said she wanted not to think about it until after the year's first major.
ESPN analyst Patrick McEnroe asserts recent injury-induced inactivity makes Serena more vulnerable to an early-round exit in Melbourne, but believes if she withstands first-week challenges she will contend in the end.
"I look forward to playing Sam".
"If she's (Williams) healthy, she's happy, I don't worry about the fact that she already lost a match, because basically she needs a couple matches to really get into it", Evert told the Herald Sun. I'm being rather selfish and focussed on my career'. "It's always there, I'm used to it". She contested the finals in five of her eight tournament starts last season.
The German faces Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko, ranked 61st, in the first match of Monday's night session. One of her nicknames is "The Magician" because of her shot-making ability, and she won the WTA Shot of the Year for the fourth year in a row in 2016.
But right now, the bombshell athlete is focusing on her tennis career and the Australian Open kicking off next week!