But it was only delaying the inevitable as Federer, embarking on his 20th Wimbledon campaign, finished off surely one of his shortest matches with a 6-1 6-3 6-4 victory taking just one hour and 19 minutes.
The only things unfamiliar about Federer were his clothes.
Former World No1 Karolina Pliskova narrowly avoided a shock defeat to Wimbledon debutant Harriet Dart on Court 12 on the opening day of the Championships.
Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer is considered to be one of the all-time greats of the game.
Monday's other Centre Court matches see Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki face Varvara Lepchenko of the United States.
Having defeated Federer eight days earlier to claim the title in Halle, the 16th-seeded Croat had been scheduled for a third-round meeting with the reigning champion at the All England Club.
Las Vegas Releases Early Odds For Daniel Cormier-Brock Lesnar Superfight
Cormier invited Lesnar into the Octagon and Lesnar promptly shoved Cormier as a mild fracas ensued. "Your days are in the past. The next time he is expected to wrestle is at SummerSlam at the Barclays Center on Aug.20.
Wimbledon 2018 will be played from 2-15 July at the All England Club.
"I think it remains a little bit nerve-wracking".
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Murray's 2013 title at Wimbledon was the first for a British male in 77 years.
Last year's runner-up Marin Cilic was also a comfortable victor, beating Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan 6-1 6-4 6-4.
Federer, the defending champion and seeking a 21st Major, marked the start of his 20th successive Wimbledon with a new look and a comfortable 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 win over Serbia's Dusan Lajovic.
His sponsorship with Nike expired in March and he had been playing and practicing with older kits, saying he was still in talks over his apparel sponsor.
Williams came back to hold there and wouldn't drop another game the rest of the way, dealing better with the wind that whipped this way and that at No. 1 Court and marking terrific passing shots with those customary cries of "Come on!"