Melbourne - Second seed Angelique Kerber brushed past Slovenia's Polona Hercog 6-2, 6-2 to power into the Australian Open second round on Monday.
The Wimbledon champion produced a clinical display to launch her campaign at Melbourne Park, where she won the title in 2016.
The gulf in class between Kerber, a three-time Grand Slam winner, and world number 92 Hercog was apparent as the German took an early break then rattled past her opponent in 72 minutes.
Kerber maintained constant pressure to snuff out any challenge from Hercog, saying she felt energised returning to Rod Laver Arena, where she won her first major three years ago.
"Every time I walk on this court I have great memories and such a special feeling, I really enjoy playing here," she said.
Kerber reached the semi-finals at the season-opening Grand Slam last year, blowing two match points before losing 9-7 in a tense last set to world number one Simona Halep.
She has played down expectations ahead of this year's tournament but displayed strong form reaching the quarter-finals of this month's Sydney International.
She is also one of the few players with a proven record in Grand Slam deciders against Serena Williams, defeating her in the 2016 final at Melbourne Park and last year at Wimbledon.
Results from Day 1 of the Australian Open on Monday:
Fernando Verdasco (ESP x26) bt Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-3
Radu Albot (MDA) bt Michael Mmoh (USA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
Stefano Travaglia (ITA) bt Guido Andreozzi (ARG) 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-3, 6-2
Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO x19) bt Christopher Eubanks (USA) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3
Kevin Anderson (RSA x5) bt Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1
Frances Tiafoe (USA) bt Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) 7-6 (9/7), 6-3, 6-3
Pablo Cuevas (URU) bt Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 6-4, 7-5, 6-1
Robin Haase (NED) bt Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 7-5, 6-4, 7-5
Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) bt James Duckworth (AUS) 6-4, 6-3, 7-5
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x14) bt Matteo Berrettini (ITA) 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x20) bt Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x11) bt Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) 6-1, 6-4
Maria Sharapova (RUS x30) bt Harriet Dart (GBR) 6-0, 6-0
Rebecca Peterson (SWE) bt Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 6-4, 6-1
Markata Vondrousova (CZE) bt Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) 6-3, 6-2
Petra Martic (CRO x31) bt Heather Watson (GBR) 6-1, 6-2
Sachia Vickery (USA) bt Ysaline Bonaventure (BEL) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
Caroline Garcia (FRA x19) bt Jessika Ponchet (FRA) 6-2, 6-3
Donna Vekic (CRO x29) bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-2, 6-4
Astra Sharma (AUS) bt Priscilla Hon (AUS) 7-5, 4-6, 6-1
Katie Boulter (GBR) bt Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 6-0, 4-6, 7-6 (10/6)
Danielle Collins (USA) bt Julia Goerges (GER x14) 2-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Lesya Tsurenko (UKR x24) bt Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)
Zoe Hives (AUS) bt Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 6-1, 6-2
Kimberly Birrell (AUS) bt Paula Badosa (ESP) 6-4, 6-2
Amanda Anisimova (USA) bt Monica Niculescu (ROU) 7-6 (7/3), 6-4
Maria Sakkari (GRE) bt Jelena Ostapenko (LAT x22) 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
Anett Kontaveit (EST x20) bt Sara Sorribes (ESP) 6-3, 6-2
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) bt Monica Puig (PUR) 6-4, 6-3
Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) bt Bernarda Pera (USA) 6-3, 5-7, 6-4
Angelique Kerber (GER x2) bt Polona Hercog (SLO) 6-2, 6-2