Not many opponents have come close to beating Serena Williams in recent months, but the tennis star had to overcome her own "super crazy" hair to win her first match since claiming double Olympic glory.
The world No. 4 continued her imperious recent run with a 6-3 6-4 win against Greek qualifier Eleni Daniilidou at the WTA Tour's Cincinnati Open for her 35th victory in 36 singles matches.
Williams has won singles and doubles Olympic gold at London 2012 and the Bank of West Classic since being crowned Wimbledon champion for a fifth time last month.
However, the second seed was left frustrated after making 44 unforced errors against Daniilidou on Tuesday as she began preparations for another tilt at her home U.S. Open later this month.
The former world No. 1 has struggled in recent years with injury and illness, having been diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome during last year's U.S. Open.
But the wild-card entrant battled past Russia's 12th seed Maria Kirilenko 6-3 6-7(5-7) 6-2 in her first-round match before discussing her ongoing health problems and her ambition to play in a fifth Olympic Games in 2016.
"I'm trying different things all the time," said the 32-year-old seven-time grand slam winner. "I keep working with my doctors.
"Nothing can prevent bad days, but the bad days aren't as bad as they used to be. Now I realize I have to hang in there if I'm not having the best day. My main goal is to be 100%, but it's not like it goes away.
"It was an interesting third set considering the whole match was really quite close," said the Australian. "There were no breaks in the second set, and then straight away I got myself in quite a hole quite quickly.
"I thought I could still regroup and close that gap just a little bit, and if you do that, you never know what can happen. I got on a roll and managed to squeeze it out."
In the men's tournament, 2003 U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick is out after injuring his back during a 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 defeat to French lucky loser Jeremy Chardy.
The former world No. 1 now faces a race against time to fit for the Flushing Meadows grand slam.
"I just had a little bit of a back issue the other day in practice," the 29-year-old told the ATP Tour's website.
"I was supposed to play yesterday and we had a late request to delay it. I felt fine early on, and then I had one lunge forehand and, we have all had it, your back kind of goes out or spasms a little bit. It got progressively worse."
Meanwhile, American 10th seed Mardy Fish began his campaign with a straight-sets win over Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, while his compatriot Sam Querrey set up a meeting with Britain's defending champion Andy Murray the Olympic singles gold medalist by beating Austria's Jurgen Melzer.