American seeds got away to flying starts, with No. 7 Coco Gauff making quick work of Czech Katerina Siniakova as the teenager who won the Auckland title swept the opening set in 22 minutes but slowed her pace to run out the second with a stop volley winner at the net.
The winner was pleased to pass the opening test with minimal resistance.
“The first round is probably always one of the toughest of the tournament, I’m just glad to get out of it,” Gauff said.
“Last year I had a disappointing result (first-round loss); I’m glad to overcome that.
“I served really well, did a good job holding serve when I needed to, on breakpoints converted. I felt I was winning a lot at the net.”
Gauff will next line up against fellow teen Emma Raducanu after the 2021 US Open winner defeated German Tamara Korpatsch 6-3 6-2.
The British winner had to retire in tears in Auckland after rolling her ankle but appeared to have no problems in her opening victory.
“I’m obviously really happy to be through to the second round. It was always going to be difficult, coming in with so little prep,” Raducanu said.
“Everything I’ve done has been quite controlled the last week.
“To test it out in a real match and with the unpredictability… it felt good.”
Third seed Jessica Pegula, part of the championship US side at the United Cup, crushed Jbacqueline Cristian of Romania with the loss of just one game in the second set to earn the opening win of the Grand Slam fortnight.
“I was obviously an ideal situation,” Pegula said. “It always feels good to win a match like that.
“When those (easy) days come you just take it – don’t complain and don’t critique. You just move on to the next one.”
Last year’s finalist Danielle Collins, needed treatment and taping on a knee as the 13th seed joined her compatriots in advancing.
The winner of a pair of titles in 2021 defeated Anna Kalinskaya 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.
Maria Sakkari, seeded sixth, revelled in the support of the world’s largest foreign Greek community in her 6-1, 6-4 win over China’s Yue Yuan, coming from a break down in the second set to advance.
“It’s my home tournament because of the large Greek community,” she said.
“People here, [in] Australia, no matter what nationality, they are very friendly, very nice to everyone. I could live in this city. There is nothing I dislike about this country,”
2019 US Open winner Bianca Andreescu returned to Melbourne after missing the 2022 edition and reached the second round over seed Marie Bouzkova 6-2, 6-4.
The No. 42 has been injury-plagued over the past few seasons and has not been past the fourth round of a major since her big breakthrough four years ago.
Double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, an Adelaide quarter-finalist this month, defeated Belgian Alison van Uytvanck 7-6(3), 6-2.