Melbourne:World number one Jelena Jankovic and American Andy Roddick led the charge into the Australian Open second round on Monday, while Ana Ivanovic survived early tournament wobbles.
Under blazing sun, Serbia's Jankovic brushed aside Yvonne Meusburger 6-1, 6-3 in impressive fashion as she searches for a maiden Grand Slam title to silence the critics who question her ranking.
Seventh seed Roddick was equally formidable, crushing German qualifier Bjorn Rehnquist 6-0, 6-2, 6-2.
But pin-up Ivanovic struggled before downing Germany's Julia Goerges 7-5, 6-3.
Despite complaining that her feet were burning on Melbourne Park's sun-drenched rubberised surface, Jankovic kept her cool, benefiting from a brutal off-season training regime in Mexico.
"It's exciting to begin this tournament and to start with a win is always nice," she said.
"It was so hot and my feet were really burning," she added. "If I'm going to go very far I have to deal with it."
Roddick, a three-time semi-finalist here, raced through his match in just 105 minutes and said adding another Grand Slam title to his 2003 US Open win remained his "ultimate goal."
"I'm 26 so I'm not quite over the hill," he said. "I battled some injuries last year so it was kind of tough getting back and being able to train.
"(Winning Slams) is the ultimate goal and I'm excited to start here."
He faces a possible third-round re-match with Philipp Kohlschreiber, who ousted him in the first week of the tournament last year.
Spain's David Ferrer, the 11th seed, joined him in the next round after surviving a marathon five-setter with journeyman Denis Gremelmayr.
Ferrer outlasted the 80th-ranked German 6-1, 6-7 (6/8), 6-1, 6-7 (4/7), 6-4 after four hours on court.
Argentinian hotshot Juan Martin Del Potro routed Germany's Mischa Zverev 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the second round along with Tomas Berdych and 16th seed Robin Soderling.
Second seed Roger Federer and third-ranked Novak Djokovic are the main threats in Roddick's half of the draw, with both men playing later today.
Ivanovic, the fifth seed and French Open champion who lost last year's final to Maria Sharapova, failed to dominate against a player ranked 107, reinforcing fears that she may not be ready for another Major title.
"It took me some time to adjust (to the conditions) in the beginning, but I'm very happy that I took opportunities I had," said the 21-year-old, who went off the boil in the second half of last season after winning at Roland Garros.
"I feel it's a new year and I feel I'm in great physical shape," she added. "You know, it's a fresh start for me basically."
Seventh seed Vera Zvonareva spearheaded Russia's assault on the first Grand Slam of the season, hoping to capitalise on the absence of compatriot and defending champion Sharapova.
She has an outside chance and she made sure of living to fight another day by seeing off Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 7-6 (7/2), 6-0.
Other women progressing included French 15th seed Alize Cornet, who ended the dreams of Ukraine's Mariya Koryttseva, and French 15th seed Marion Bartoli.
The Williams sisters have emerged as favourites with the bookmakers and they get their tournaments underway on tomorrow, with Serena searching for her fourth Australian crown and Venus her first.
On the men's side, world number one Rafael Nadal plays tomorrow, taking on Belgium's Christophe Rochus.
On the Spaniard's side of the draw, Andy Murray is the key threat with the Scot also in action on Tuesday against Romania's Andrei Pavel.