Hsieh won her second WTA title last year at Guangzhou and took a first step toward repeating as champion with a 6-1, 6-2 romp past Paula Ormaechea in 56 minutes.
Hsieh, the No. 6 seed, ended with up five breaks and took 62 percent of the points when receiving serve. She also won 68 percent on serve for a lopsided 60-31 advantage in total points.
Eighth-seeded Monica Puig battled for nearly 2 1/2 hours before getting by Nadiya Kichenok 7-5, 7-6 (7-4). There were 13 breaks in the 24-game match. Each player had three second-set breaks before Puig came away with the win in the tiebreaker.
Two qualifiers headed into the second round, with Vania King rallying for a 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 decision over Chanelle Scheepers and Johanna Konta topping Richel Hogenkamp 6-3, 6-2.
Also, Galina Voskoboeva defeated Petra Cetkovska 6-3, 6-1; Zhang Shuai beat Olga Puchkova 6-0, 7-6 (7-1); and Karolina Pliskova ousted Johanna Larsson 6-4, 6-3.