Rafael Nadal was delighted to pass an "important test" against Francisco Cerundolo in his Wimbledon opener and refused to blame his foot injury after dropping the third set against the Argentine.
Nadal was made to work on Centre Court on Tuesday, requiring three hours and 33 minutes to wrap up a 6-4 6-3 3-6 6-4 win over Cerundolo.
The 22-time grand slam champion made 41 unforced errors but regained his composure to move into the second round, winning 11 consecutive points as he fought back from a break down in the fourth set to ensure he will face Ricardas Berankis.
The Spaniard says his lack of action on grass was always going to ensure it would not be plain sailing at SW19.
"I'm going to be talking about my foot today and not anymore, if it's fine for you guys," said the second seed, who is in the hunt for a calendar Grand Slam.
"We cannot be talking about my foot every single day. If not, we forget the most important thing: that is tennis.
"All credit to Fran, he started to play great and he has been a very tough opponent.
"Grass is not a surface we play very often and especially in my case, for different reasons, the last three years I didn't put a foot on the grass.
"It always takes a while – this has been my first match and every day is a test and today has been one of those important tests.
"At the beginning of the tournament, especially under the circumstances that I arrived here, the victory is the most important thing because that gives me the chance to practice tomorrow again and to have another match in two days, and I'm happy for that, without a doubt."
Nadal played his first grass-court match in three years just last week when facing Stan Wawrinka in an exhibition contest, and is participating at the All England Club for the first time since a run to the semi-finals in 2019.