Elena Baltacha's tears flowed after a brave comeback win against American Jennifer Hopkins in the Surbiton Trophy.
However, Anne Keothavong, her predecessor as British No 1 before a knee ligament injury last year, accused her United States opponent of a dirty tricks campaign.
Kiev-born Baltacha, who is ranked 120th in the world rankings but whose court activity is severely restricted by a debilitating liver condition, rallied to beat Hopkins 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.
The Kiev-born blonde is the best women's player Britain has produced for years and her booming serve is a key weapon.
She said: "I don't set targets because I also know there is only so much I can do before I need a rest.
"Three tournaments and then a two-week break, that's usual. I'm still being screened twice a year for my liver."
On a day when Australian star Mark Philippoussis' injury nightmare grew worse as the former US Open and Wimbledon finalist pulled out of his match against Alex Bogdanovic with a damaged back, the British girls had to show character and fight.
After a 7-6, 7-6 triumph over Neha Uberoi in a stop-start encounter, Keothavong said her rival refused to shake her hand at the end and added: "Her behaviour was quite bad. I don't think I did anything to deserve that.
"Maybe it worked because I should perhaps have won a lot easier, but it sums up the kind of person she is, asking for toilet breaks and all sorts of breaks at crucial times."
Keothavong, whose parents are from Laos, missed seven months after snapping a cruciate knee ligament in July. She could face Baltacha in the quarter-finals.
The other British hopes, Jane O'Donoghue and Laura Peterzan, lost in straight sets to Americans, Laura Granville and Sunitha Rao while former British junior champion Katie O'Brien lost to Yoon-Jeong Cho, the third seed, from Korea.
Baltacha was broken to love by the useful American, double-faulting to trail 0-40 and losing the opening set. But the 21-year-old hit back to carry off a triumphant 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 win.
Britain's Arvind Parmar lost 6-3, 6-4 to former Surbiton winner Jeff Morrison while Bogdanovic, played a confidence-building first set but was unable to overcome Travis Rettenmaier, the world No 408, who bridged a 224-place ranking gap with the Briton to take full advantage of his 'luck' and advance 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.
Greg Rusedski starts his campaign today when he faces the Italian, Daniele Bracciali.