Sara Errani followed up her quarterfinal appearance at the Australian Open by beating Kateryna Bondarenko 6-2, 6-3 Saturday to give Italy a 1-0 lead over Ukraine in the first round of the Fed Cup.
Errani broke early in each set and was never challenged by the 89th-ranked Bondarenko in the 73-minute match.
The 34th-ranked Errani usually plays only doubles for Italy, but captain Corrado Barazzutti decided to use her in singles because of her results in Melbourne and Flavia Pennetta's back injury.
Next up on the indoor red-clay court at the Lauretana Forum was 2010 French Open winner Francesca Schiavone against 121st-ranked Lesia Tsurenko.
Reverse singles and doubles in the best-of-five series are scheduled for Sunday.