Vera Zvonareva began her quest for a third Pattaya Open title by putting away local qualifier Varatchaya Wongteanchai 6-2 7-5 on Tuesday.
The only bother for top-seeded Zvonareva was when she faced three break points at 5-5 0-40, but summoned powerful serves to get off the hook and win the last two games.
''The first match is always tough,'' said Zvonareva, the 2009 and 2010 champion. ''I didn't play my game but I always came up with better shots when I needed them.''
The Australian Open doubles winner moved on to meet Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan, who beat Laura Robson when the Brit retired 5-2 down.
Eighth-seeded Vania King of the United States tamed Heather Watson of Britain 6-4, 6-2, but No. 6 Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan retired sick while trailing Thai veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-3, 4-2.
Also, Misaki Doi of Japan beat wild card Noppawan Lertcheewakarn 6-1, 6-3, Alla Kudryavsteva of Russia beat qualifier Zhou Yi-Miao of China 6-1, 7-5, and qualifier Chang Kai-chen of Taiwan downed Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 7-5, 6-1.