Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova overcame eight double-faults to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 7-5, 6-4 in her opening match at the Italian Open on Tuesday.
Kvitova struggled with the bright sunshine at the Foro Italico but still managed to dictate with her attacking game.
In men's play on the red clay courts, 16th-seeded Richard Gasquet eliminated Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-1, 7-6 (6), and Spanish qualifier Guillermo Garcia-Lopez dispatched Pablo Andujar 6-4, 6-1.
In the night session, top-ranked Novak Djokovic will face rising Australian teenager Bernard Tomic and Serena Williams will play Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan. Fourth-ranked Andy Murray, defending champion Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams are scheduled to play later.