Zheng, currently ranked number 15 in the world, beat Kristina Barrois of Germany 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4) at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London on Monday in what was a high-pressure return for the Chengdu native.
"Indeed, there is a big change for me in one year and I do feel more pressure coming back here," Zheng recently told the China Daily. "A lot of people hope I make the semi-finals again or go even better."
Zheng has been a Wimbledon champion before – in 2006 she and doubles partner Yan Zi won the women's doubles competition.
The diminutive Zheng still has far to go to equal her standout performance last year – her next step is to face Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova in the second round today.
This year's tournament is the first to feature two Chinese seeds in the singles draw – Zheng is joined by Li Na (李娜), who is ranked number 19 in the world. Li has also advanced to the second round after beating Kazakhstan's Galina Voskoboev on Tuesday.
Zheng Jie image: Women's Tennis Blog