Last year's finalist Garbine Muguruza survived a second-set wobble to beat Camila Giorgi 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in the opening round of Wimbledon on Monday.
The second-seeded Spaniard looked on course for a pretty quick victory after taking the first set courtesy of three breaks of serve, but it turned into a real grind against the Italian in the last two sets.
Giorgi found another level and started frustrating her opponent, returning her powerful groundstrokes with aplomb and claiming the only break of serve of the second set in game 12 to level the scores.
Muguruza piled on the pressure during a marathon third game in the decider, however, and after saving five break points, Giorgi finally relinquished the third, handing her opponent the decisive opening.
From there, Muguruza was able to hold serve and close out the match after a lengthy two hours and 35 minutes on court.
It was far from a vintage performance, but Giorgi is a fairly tricky opponent to receive first up, having reached the fourth round of Wimbledon in the past.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 27, 2016
Elsewhere, Japan's Kurumi Nara earned a hard-fought 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 victory over American Madison Brengle, while Serena Williams' big sister Venus edged Donna Vekic 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.
The in-form Madison Keys is seen as a dark horse at this year's tournament, having just triumphed in Birmingham and entered the world's top 10 for the first time in her career, and her skills were in full evidence as she dispatched Germany's Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-1 in just over an hour.
— WTA (@WTA) June 27, 2016
Meanwhile, Ana Ivanovic's struggling season continued, as she went down 6-2, 7-5 to Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova, a player ranked outside the world top 200.
Ivanovic blamed an injured right wrist for her untimely defeat.