Toronto, Canada – By Greg Stutchbury
Jankovic arrived in Melbourne last year as world number one. In 2010, she is ranked eighth, and with the focus on the return of Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin and Maria Sharapova, the Serb has flown under the radar.
"What is written in the papers is not really my job," Jankovic told reporters after her victory over the Romanian.
"You know, there's always gonna to be things that are written, good or bad, about each player.
"I just try to focus on my tennis and what I do best. I'm here to play and compete. That's basically what I'm thinking about."
The first round match had been originally scheduled for Monday but rain forced most of the matches on the outside courts to be postponed until Tuesday.
Before Sydney, Jankovic had not played since the season-ending WTA Championships in Doha.
Her first round exit at the Australian Open warm-up failed to give her any meaningful match practice and the rustiness on Tuesday was apparent.
The 22-year-old Niculescu, who is ranked 101st in the world, frustrated the Serb in the first set before Jankovic adjusted her tactics and ran away with the second.
"Yeah, always first matches are the toughest, especially after not competing for two months," Jankovic said.
"It's nice to feel that rhythm again and feel that atmosphere and the pressure that you have from playing a real match.
"It took me a little bit to ... feel comfortable.
"I made some errors in the beginning, and then I just tried to stay calm and just tried to focus. Then I came back into the game.
"Second set, I figured out what she was doing and what I needed to do (and) that was basically it." Jankovic, whose career has been blighted by a long list of injuries, was spotted rubbing cream on her lower back between sets.
"I'm just a little bit stiff. I guess it's from practicing and from staying low," she said.
"I will get a massage and I will be okay."
(Editing by Nick Mulvenney)