Attempting to maintain her status as Italy's second-best player, top-seeded Flavia Pennetta beat wild card Anastassia Grymalska 6-4, 6-1 in the opening round of the Palermo Open on Monday.
Francesca Schiavone is the top-ranked Italian at No. 8, Pennetta is No. 21 and Roberta Vinci is up to a career-best No. 23 this week after winning the Budapest Grand Prix on Sunday for her third title of the year.
Pennetta won this clay-court tournament in 2009 is a two-time runner-up.
Vinci opens Tuesday against a qualifier.
In other matches, sixth-seeded Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria beat Anna Tatishvili of Georgia 6-2, 7-5 and Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan defeated Madalina Gojnea of Romania 7-6 (4), 6-2.