Jittery British No 1 Johanna Konta needed six match points to dispatch world No 88 Natalia Vikhlyantseva in the first round at Wimbledon.
But she said she was pleased with how she controlled her nerves following a narrow 7-5 7-6 (9/7) victory.
“It was a tough match,” said Konta. “She has a big game. She hits quite tricky on grass. She made me work for it very hard.
“It was a great match for me to have. It was a great match for me to battle through and fight through until literally the very last point.
“I think it’s the tough matches, the ones where there’s quite a bit of ebb and flow, when you save set points or you save break points, those are the matches where you come away feeling quite tough.
“I think I have control over how I’m able to compete. Granted, I was probably nervous (during the match points). But I felt I did the best I could to crack on. Nerves are going to be there, nerves are there for everybody. I am definitely not special in that sense.
“I think I competed well. I dealt with the occasion. If it was going to go into a third I was going to continue to compete, I was going to fight very hard.”
Vikhlyantseva, 21, is a talented but inconsistent player with only one grand slam event win to her name, yet she still managed to give the 22nd seed plenty of problems. A break point for Konta came and went in the seventh game, the 27-year-old slipping on the baseline as Vikhlyantseva’s forehand wrong-footed her.
The pair were locked at 5-5, but two double faults, a clubbing Konta forehand and a long backhand from Vikhlyantseva secured the break.
Having served out the opening set, Konta immediately broke again, turning an awkward-looking return into a breathtaking cross-court winner.
It was a great match for me to have. It was a great match for me to battle through and fight through until literally the very last point.Johanna Konta
But a sloppy service game allowed Vikhlyantseva to level matters at 4-4 and Konta then had to fend off two set points on serve.
In the tie-break those first five match points came and went, but Konta made the sixth count with a forehand volley to progress safely – if not entirely convincingly – to round two.
Konta will face Dominika Cibulkova next. The Slovakian only missed out on a seeding when Serena Williams was bumped up from her ranking outside the top 100.