Olympic champion Elena Dementieva began her warm-up for Wimbledon with a swift 6-2, 6-2 win over fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko at the Eastbourne International on Monday.
With the 35-year-old event including a men's tournament for the first time, second seed Dmitry Tursunov of Russia had to battle hard to beat Italian Fabio Fognini 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
Former women's world number one Ana Ivanovic's struggle to get back to the top continued when she lost a seesaw match with Russian seventh seed Nadia Petrova 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
Serbian Ivanovic, who has dropped to 13th in the rankings, was in sight of victory at 4-1 up in the third set but double-faulted to allow Petrova to break and then surrendered meekly.
"I think I could have played a lot better and that is why I was a little bit disappointed because I was practising really well," said Ivanovic, who parted company with coach Craig Kardon last week.
Top seed Dementieva, a Wimbledon semi-finalist last year, looked to have a fight on her hands when Kirilenko saved three breakpoints in a 14-minute opening game which went to deuce seven times.
Kirilenko, who had lost in seven previous first rounds this year, buckled however as the set progressed and allowed Dementieva to go 5-2 ahead.
Dementieva, the world number four, twice hit double faults on set points as she struggled to serve in Eastbourne's capricious sea breezes but converted her third chance and then began the second set with a break.
Another break in the seventh game left her serving for the match and she finished off with a forehand winner as the clock at Devonshire Park reached one hour 28 minutes.
"It is always fun to play on grass," Dementieva, 27, told reporters. "It just takes a longer time before you really feel confident about the movement.
"I think that was a good match for the first one on grass."
Fabrice Santoro's farewell world tour made another stop, allowing the 36-year-old Frenchman to progress to the second round with another display of his sublime skills and a 6-3, 6-2 win over American Robert Kendrick.
Santoro retires at the end of the year.