Former top-ranked Ana Ivanovic swept past Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 6-0 on Tuesday to advance to the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
The 17th-ranked Ivanovic came to Dubai after having reached the semifinals in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lost to eventual champion Roberta Vinci.
Ivanovic will play defending champion and top-seeded Simona Halep in the second round.
"You want to play against the best, and next match is going to be a tough one for me," Ivanovic said. "Simona is a very tough, consistent player. She strikes the ball well. She moves well. So it's going to be a good challenge."
The 21st-ranked Elina Svitolina advanced with a 6-3, 6-1 win against Slovakian qualifier Jana Cepelova. It was the first match Svitolina played with coaching consultant Justine Henin, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, in attendance.
"It's great to have Justine in my team, and I worked with her in offseason for a little bit, and now she's going to join us for some tournaments," Svitolina said. "I'm looking forward to hard work. We are trying to do something new (to) refresh my game."
Svitolina plays second-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the second round.
Fifth-seeded Belinda Bencic, who broke into the top 10 rankings this week at No. 9, was scheduled to play former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic later Tuesday.