Having missed the entire clay court season with a hip injury, Clijsters got off to a surprisingly bright start, racing into a 4-1 lead with two early breaks. However, Oprandi, who defeated the Belgian in the second round here 12 months ago, quickly pegged her back before edging the opening set on a tie-break.
Clijsters recovered well from this setback, raising her game to rattle off the final two sets in under an hour, booking a second round meeting against either Kateryna Bondarenko or No.2 seed Sara Errani with a 67(5) 62 63 victory.
"It was very close today," Clijsters said. "She is a difficult player to come up against. Fortunately I continued to fight after the first set and I stayed focused. The second and third sets went better and better."
The day's only other opening round match saw Anabel Medina Garrigues overcome Simona Halep, 76(3) 62, while in the qualifying competition Akgul Amanmuradova, Kirsten Flipkens, Daria Gavrilova and Urszula Radwanska all secured main draw berths.