Would a fall from the top help Angelique Kerber rediscover her form?

Angelique Kerber claims victory over Irina Falconi in round one at Wimbledon. GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

LONDON -- When the world No.1 steps out onto court to play the world No. 247, assumptions would ordinarily fly in favour of a one-sided match.

But that was a far cry from the first round match on Centre Court at Wimbledon Tuesday, where Angelique Kerber battled through to a tight 6-4, 6-4 victory against American Irina Falconi.

It was an odd match. Moments of greatness with crunching seven-shot rallies, interspersed with a generous helping of unforced errors. Certainly, it didn't look like a match between two players nearly 250 ranking positions apart.

But Kerber hasn't been consistent of late -- 2017 has seen multiple early round losses and only one tournament final -- owing, almost certainly to the heightened pressure of being ranked the best in the world.

In response to a question about the pressures of being top-ranked, Kerber said in her postmatch press conference: "There are much more expectations, much more pressure, from me, from outside, from everything. You have much more things to do. I'm still enjoying it. Of course."

The German replied in jest when asked what was the most fun, but went on the elaborate more seriously: "I think now I can say that it's easier to go there [to get to number one] than to stay there. You have to learn a lot of new things. New experiences. So I think it's harder fun to be there."

But for Falconi -- who has never won a match at Wimbledon -- this was probably one of the most daunting moments of her career. Grand Slam round one being drawn against a former champion and last year's runner-up isn't ideal; especially given she hadn't played on Centre Court before.

Kerber, though, will be looking to rectify a forgettable season-start with a Grand Slam victory at SW19. However, a fall from the top may just be exactly what she needs in order to alleviate some of that mounted pressure and allow her to re-find her near-flawless 2016 form.

With last year's Champion Serena Williams absent, the women's draw is as open as it's ever been and a lot of names have been touted -- including Britain's Johanna Konta. Kerber seems to agree.

When asked who the main contenders were, she said: "I think there are a lot right now. I think the pressure is on a lot of players. We will see. It's still a long way to go there. But Johanna [Konta] is, for sure [a contender]. She played good on grass in Eastbourne, and also I think the week before she played well, reached the final. She's, as well, a really dangerous player, especially on grass."