World number one Victoria Azarenka survived a tricky first-round meeting with 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova on a good day for the seeds at the Mutua Madrid Open on Sunday.
Azarenka overcame her losing record against the veteran Russian as she battled her way to a 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 success in an hour and 45 minutes.
"I was really looking forward to the start of this tournament," Azarenka told wtatennis.com.
"Anywhere I go my goal is to win the tournament, and it's the same goal here. I did pretty well here last year and hopefully this year I'll do a little bit better."
The Belorussian was joined in the second round by star names Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki.
Second seed Sharapova thrashed Irina-Camelia Begu 6-0 6-3 on the blue clay, while Wozniacki, a finalist last year, needed three sets to overcome Ksenia Pervak 7-6 (9/7) 3-6 6-4.
"The blue clay is obviously different, visually," Sharapova said.
"When you play on red clay for so many years you get used to it, but as tennis players we're always adjusting to different things and different conditions, so it is what it is.
"There are some parts of the courts that maybe have a little more clay than other parts, but it's just the first year, so I'm sure they're still working kinks out."
Wozniacki had mixed feelings about the blue clay: "It's definitely more slippery, but then I also completely stopped at one point - you could say it wouldn't happen on red clay, but then you never really know, it could be the same. It's definitely different, but blue is one of my favourite colors, so I do like the look."
Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska enjoyed a comfortable 6-3 6-1 start against wildcard Lara Arruabarrena-Veci while fellow seeds Angelique Kerber (12), Ana Ivanovic (13) and Maria Kirilenko (16) also progressed.
Former French Open winner Francesca Schiavone (11) was one of just two seeds to fall, the Italian losing 6-4 6-7 (8/10) 6-3 to qualifier Varvara Lepchenko in almost three hours.
There was better news for her countrywoman Roberta Vinci though as she beat 14th seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-3 6-2.
Also progressing were qualifier Lourdes Dominguez Lino, Shahar Peer, Anabel Medina Garrigues, Nadia Petrova, Yanina Wickmayer and Anastasia Pavyluchenkova.
In the men's draw, Nikolay Davydenko and Kevin Anderson won through to the second round.
Davydenko beat Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 while South African Anderson cruised through 6-3 6-2 against Alex Bogolomov Jnr.