Laura Robson likes No 1 court at Wimbledon where she confounded LTA rankings by beating the world's tenth ranked player Maria Kirilenko yesterday 6-3, 6-4. It's where she first sprang to prominence as a precocious 14-year-old winning the 2008 junior championships.
Although looking mildly astonished when yet another perfectly struck forehand clipped Kirilenko's backhand tramline to signal that hostilities were over Robson, 19, looked very much at home in front of a near 10,000 capacity audience that has been starved of domestic female success down the years.
It is 15 years since Sam Smith beat a top ten ranked player (Conchita Martinez) at Wimbledon and 36 years since Virginia Wade lifted the title to commemorate the Queen's Silver Jubilee. So is Robson, the archetypal Home Counties girl, the real deal?
Watching her yesterday no less a champion than Martina Navratilova stated that Robson could be a top ten player. She still had reservations about her mobility and her desire. But she had few doubts that Robson has the power, the technique and the raw ability to succeed. After all she beat Kim Clijsters and Li Na at the US Open last September and she has victories over other top tenners such as Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova.
Yesterday she was always dominating Kirilenko, at 26 the same age as Maria Sharapova and possessor of equal blonde pulchritude. The Russian spent much of the first set in awed amazement at the power of the Robson serve and her ground stroke timing on both wings. Her serve was broken at 3-4 and the set was over in half an hour.
It was only when Robson was a double break ahead at 4-1 in the second set that doubts entered her game. The double faults that had plagued her 2013 season returned as the nerves struck. Kirilenko broke back and then held serve to change ends at 3-4.
This was the moment for Robson to crack or to show the resolve that new coach Miles Maclagan is trying to instil in her. The telltale ball toss uncertainty re-emerged and 10,000 hearts beat a little faster as the crowd sensed her nervousness. But she held tight, winning two more service games to close out the match.
She is the sole female British survivor of the first round and joins her Olympic mixed doubles partner Andy Murray (they won silver medals together) in the second round of the world's most important tournament. To date she has never been beyond that but has a golden opportunity when facing 23-year-old Colombian qualifier Mariana Duque-Marino tomorrow.
Robson said; "I went into the match very confidently but I think it was a big one for me because although I really like grass I've never done that well here. I've only made the second round once. I managed to tough it out after I got so nervous in the second set.
"I go out against the top players with nothing to lose. I've always been like that, but in the past I've started well and just not been able to hang on to that lead. I've been really happy with my progress in the last couple of months and just being able to tough out wins."
Virginia Wade, no less, is predicting great things for Robson but the 19-year-old prefers to play down expectations. She added; "Virginia always gets quite excited, doesn't she? I'd love to win a couple more matches but I don't want to get ahead of myself."
Robson's next opponent is ranked 117 in the world. But she is match hardened after the qualifiers at Roehampton and in the first round beat the talented German Julia Goerges who is ranked two places higher than Robson by 6-4, 6-7, 7-5. Some say that Robson's achilles heel is playing lesser ranked opponents. She knows that.
Heather Watson has enjoyed a frustrating 2013, largely due to a debilitating bout of glandular fever that caused her to miss a vital two months of the tennis season this spring. Yesterday she played 18-year-old Madison Keys, a tall, promising American with a serve that can average 117 mph.
Watson, all hustle and bustle, won the US junior championship three years ago. But her 5ft 7ins frame is finding it harder to match the sheer power of her bigger rivals these days and it showed yesterday as she succumbed 6-3, 7-5 to a girl that the American nation has high hopes for.
Watson's serve was broken twice in the first set which was over in 32 minutes. She made a game effort in the second set to lead 4-2. But Keys' huge serve came to her rescue time and time again. At 5-6 Watson was fighting for her life when she suffered two appalling pieces of luck when Keys had two net cords (including one on match point) to see her through.
Afterwards Watson said; "I'm still not moving as I would like. The illness is still affecting me but I will get it right, train hard and be ready for the rest of the season."
Tara Moore, from Doncaster via Hong Kong, fully deserved her wild card entry to Wimbledon, going down fighting hard 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 to Estonia's Kaia Kanepi who is ranked 48 in the world, 150 places higher than the Brit. Moore recovered from 1-4 in the final set to go five all only to suffer two cruel line overrules by the umpire. She has a real talent and deserved better from the umpire.
Serena Williams put behind her the off-court spat with rival Maria Sharapova (they have both dated Bulgarian eye candy Grigor Dimitrov) to win her opening encounter on Centre Court against Luxembourg's Mandy Minella by 6-1, 6-3.
The delightful Minella speaks five languages and the on court buzz among the cognoscenti was whether she could win as many games as she speaks foreign tongues. She failed by one but displayed enough pleasing touches to stretch the defending champion for 57 minutes.
Novak Djokovic overcame a far more dangerous obstacle in the form of German Florian Mayer, a top 40 player who has caused major upsets in the past. The Serb took just under two hours to subdue his opponent by 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.
Djokovic is the bookies' favourite to win his second Wimbledon title at around 5-4. Having avoided Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray by being located at the top half of the draw his principal dangers appear to be either Juan Martin del Potro or David Ferrer, the latter not a noted grass court player.
Today Andy Murray faces Taiwan's Yen-Tsun Lu, conqueror of James Ward in the first round. Lu defeated Murray in the 2008 Olympics 7-6, 6-4 but the fact that bookmakers are offering odds of 50-1 for him to repeat the feat suggests that this was a fluke and that Murray, who won Olymopic gold in last year's singles, had his eye off the ball in Beijing.