Defending champion Petra Kvitova admitted that the status weighed heavily on her shoulders as she scrambled past Uzbekistan Akgul Amanmuradova in the first round at Wimbledon.
The Czech 22-year-old was in trouble at 4-2 adrift in the first set, but then pieced together six straight games and went on to earn a 6-4 6-4 victory. She will play Britain's Elena Baltacha in round two.
The match was interrupted by the first showers of the fortnight during the second set but Kvitova was by that stage over her troubles and approaching the winning line.
With father Jiri and mother Pavla watching from the Royal Box, Kvitova tried to enjoy the occasion of returning to the scene where she beat Maria Sharapova 12 months ago to secure her first grand slam title.
The performance from the left-hander may not have been entirely convincing, but the objective was at least achieved.
It was clear all was not quite right in the early stages, and Kvitova said: "Yeah, I was nervous. It was the first time for me to be the defending champion at a grand slam. It was a huge honour to come to the Centre Court.
"Of course I would like to make everyone happy, but it's not that easy. I'm happy that I stayed calm inside and didn't panic in the important points."
The start was ragged though. Kvitova dropped her opening service game and Amanmuradova's consistent serving kept her ahead for a while.
But then the champion's extra class began to tell, and breaks in the seventh and ninth games turned the set around.
Fourth seed Kvitova asserted herself with a further break of Amanmuradova's serve in the opening game of the second set, and held on her own delivery to win that sixth game in a row.
At six foot, Kvitova is among the taller players in the women's game, but remarkably Amanmuradova has a height advantage of three inches over her.
She has never been able to make that count at Wimbledon though, losing in the first round now in all five of her appearances, having made her debut in 2008.
The rain delay, lasting half an hour, forced the players to take shelter and the court covers to go on.
But Kvitova returned to play a love service game and clinch a second-round tussle against Baltacha, who benefited from an injury to Italian opponent Karin Knapp and won their match in three sets.