Second seed Garbine Muguruza survived a tough battle against Camila Giorgi to win 6-2 5-7 6-4 in a tightly contested first-round match at Wimbledon .
The French Open champion's pre-match concerns about transitioning from clay to grass proved telling as she struggled to find her flow against a tough opponent, in front of an expectant All England Club crowd.
Muguruza lost on grass in the first round of the Mallorca Open ahead of her arrival at SW19, where she is hoping to go one better than her 2015 performance when she was beaten in the final by Serena Williams.
The 22-year-old's strong return of serve was on show as she broke Giorgi twice in the first three games of the first set and then overcame strong resistance from the Italian to take the set 6-2.
But former gymnast Giorgi, ranked 67th in the world, contributed to some sumptuous rallies and held nothing back as the second set went with serve for 10 games.
A number of unforced errors from Muguruza helped an increasingly confident Giorgi close out the second set and it was only after six break points and a 10-minute game that the Spaniard finally broke to take a 2-1 lead in the decider.
Muguruza then showed her grand slam credentials with some fine ground strokes as she made sure of the victory, and the test of her mettle will stand her in good stead for the rest of the tournament.
Once seen as a player destined for the WTA's top 20, Giorgi has been knocked out in the first round of her last three tournaments, but her outstanding performance against Muguruza may help her rediscover the form that lifted her to 30th in the world in July 2015.
Garbine Muguruza (2) bt Camila Giorgi 6-2 5-7 6-4
Muguruza - 30/30
Giorgi - 29/42
Muguruza - 7
Giorgi - 1
BREAK POINTS WON
Muguruza - 4/19
Giorgi - 2/4
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Muguruza - 57
Giorgi - 58
PERCENTAGE POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Muguruza - 39/54
Giorgi - 42/70
Muguruza - 113
Giorgi - 102