Watson, who reached the third round Down Under last year before suffering an illness-hit 2013, defeated Irina Falconi of America 6-4, 7-6 in the third and final round of qualifying.
I’ve just got over that first hurdle and there’s a long way to go yet
And Watson revealed the extent to which she would have been devastated had she not progressed out of qualifying and booked a clash against the Slovakian No.31 seed.
“It would have been the end of the world if I didn’t get through,” said Watson. “I’m very happy that I am through but this is where it starts.
“I’ve just got over that first hurdle and there’s a long way to go yet. It was a very tricky match. She’s not you’re usual WTA player.
“She slices a lot, she’s got good hands, good touch, she’s not the overpowering type.
“I was prepared for it but I was torn between, ‘Do I go for it, or do I make her play?’
“I was finding it difficult to find the balance but I held my nerve at the end, at the very end.
“I got a bit nervous closing it out but it’s last round of qualifying; there’s a lot on that match.”