Keothavong is set to compete at the Australian Open for the first time
British number one Anne Keothavong made a winning start to the season with a straight-sets victory over Mirjana Lucic at the ASB Classic in Auckland.
The 25-year-old, who starts the new year ranked a career high of 60th in the world, beat the Croatian 6-4 6-2.
In round two she will play eighth seed Carla Suarez Navarro from Spain, who beat France's Nathalie Dechy 6-4 6-0.
Top seed Elena Dementieva came from 5-1 down in the first set to beat little-known Taiwanese Chan Yung-jan 7-5 6-3.
Dementieva, the world number four will play Marina Erakovic in round two after the promising New Zealander snapped an eight-match losing streak with a 7-5 6-4 win over Nuria Llagostera Vives of Spain.
Danish second seed Caroline Wozniacki crushed Italian qualifier Alberta Brianti 6-1 6-0 in less than an hour.
At the Brisbane International, second seed Victoria Azarenka claimed a 7-6 (4) 7-5 win over Jarmila Gajdosova of Slovakia and Marion Bartoli, seeded three, came from behind to beat Hungary's Melinda Czink 5-7 6-3 6-1.