Home favourite Svetlana Kuznetsova progressed to the second round of the Kremlin Cup with a 7-5 6-2 win over Lesia Tsurenko in Moscow.
Two-time grand slam winner Kuznetsova was pushed hard in the opening set but ultimately had too much for her Ukrainian opponent, who served six double faults.
Elsewhere in the first round, Alize Cornet saw off another Ukrainian - Elina Svitolina - 7-5 6-3 to book her spot in round two of the Russian tournament.
"She's a very young player but very talented. I didn't expect to play this level today because I just came back from injury but surprisingly I played really good," Cornet said.
"I think I was really solid especially in the most important moments and that's why I won."
Russia's Alisa Kleybanova needed three sets but eventually came through 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-4 against American Varvara Lepchenko.