Struggling on serve and failing to dominate against a 148th-ranked Swiss qualifier playing in her first Grand Slam tournament, Williams labored to a 6-2, 6-4 victory Tuesday over Amra Sadikovic - the 80th match win of her Wimbledon career.
But she still downed Sadikovic in straight sets 6-2, 6-4. "I don't think I feel fresh, but I feel real hungry, super motivated, extremely ready to do the best [I can]". "I feel good and confident", she said at the All England Club where she has won six singles titles, one more than her older sister Venus. Yet the titles went to Flavia Pennetta, who celebrated her triumph at the 2015 US Open by calling it a career, Angelique Kerber, who reacted to winning this year's Australian Open by slumping badly, and, most recently, French Open champ Garbine Muguruza.
Murray, the 2013 champion, made a flying start to his bid for a second Wimbledon title as the world number two crushed compatriot Liam Broady 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.
Inspiring backstory: Sadikovic, 27, was playing her first main draw match at Wimbledon.
That set up a second-round match against Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion who beat Stephane Robert of France 6-1, 7-5, 6-0 in the big-hitting Argentine's first appearance at Wimbledon since 2013 after a series on surgeries on his left wrist.
"My mom was up there in the Royal Box, so that was nice", said the American star after giving mother Oracene Price an after noon to remember on Centre Court.
"You know, after losing two sets to one of those top guys, it's very easy to kind of just fold and say, 'It's over, let them win it and kind of go away, '" Fritz said afterward. "From this match, you know, I think I can't really just afford to play some sloppy points and sloppy games against such great players".
"Honestly, it doesn't matter who I play", Williams said.
The veteran has suffered a string of early exits dating back to February, and while she may be seventh in the world rankings right now, she's set to spiral down as her confidence has been hit and she looks a shadow of the player who reached the US Open final a year ago.
Asked whether she would get Cooper to act as a conduit so that Williams could take part in Corden's Carpool Karoke, shereplied: "I can't really hold a tune".
Ahead of her match against Beck, 22, who is ranked 43 in the world, she said: "Wimbledon is probably my favourite tournament of the year".
With the British tennis establishment having taken considerable criticism, not least from the Murrays, for having failed to capitalise fully on this golden age for the sport, she suggested that there is evidence at last of that beginning to change.
In the second set, Vekic had a break chance for 5-3, but another unforced error squandered it.
The defending champion also talks about her misfortunes in Melbourne and Paris, "I think more a less about winning Australia, winning the French Open it didn't happen, I think about winning Wimbledon".
"It's going to be a tough match". On 13 June 2016, she reached her best singles ranking of world number 148.
Where the two don't agree is in their attitude: Williams insists she feels no pressure to perform this fortnight, while Djokovic believes it's impossible to escape those expectations.