The 22-year-old revealed she was so overcome by nerves ahead of her meeting with Croatia’s Ajla Tomljanovic that she awoke at 4am and 7am, and then locked her jaw as she attempted to eat a banana moments before walking out onto court three.
Yet Watson, ranked seven places below Tomljanovic in the world rankings at No60, looked at ease winning 6-3, 6-2 and does not anticipate the same level of tension before her second round match with ninth seed Angelique Kerber.
“I think it’s worse in the first round, you’ve just got to get going and I think I’ll be a lot better from now on,” she said. “I was a bit nervous going onto court. I struggled to eat before I went on and actually my jaw was locking and I couldn’t even bite through my banana. I have never played Kerber before. She’s got a very unique style and I look forward to it. I’m not thinking about that right now, I’m just going to relax.”
Fellow Briton Samantha Murray’s SW19 campaign was short-lived as she suffered a 6-0, 6-1 defeat to No5 seed Maria Sharapova, while Daniel Smethurst lost in straight sets to big-serving John Isner.
The day’s play began with a coin toss in memory of former British No1 Elena Baltacha conducted by now-retired 2014 champion Marion Bartoli.
World No1 Rafael Nadal recovered from losing the first set to defeat Martin Klizan 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 and set up a second-round meeting with Lukas Rosol, who stunned the Spanish star at the same stage of the tournament in 2012.
Fellow contenders Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka won in straight sets, while women’s No7 seed Jelena Jankovic was the biggest scalp of the day, losing to Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 6-2.