The unseeded Harkleroad beat Arvidsson, who was the runner-up here last year, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3. Harkleroad, who has never won a WTA championship, will meet Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak in the second round.
Second-seeded Marion Bartoli of France defeated Galina Voskoboeva 6-1, 6-4.
Seventh-seeded Jamea Jackson of the United States retired while trailing Russian Anastassia Rodionova, 6-2, 2-1, with a right groin strain. It was Jackson's first time back in action since retiring with a strained thigh muscle two weeks ago.