In their first match since being routed by Lisa Raymond and Laura Robson in the semifinals of Miami in March, the world's top-ranked doubles duo won five straight games from 5-5 in the first set to take control of their 75 64 victory over Kristina Mladenovic and Galina Voskoboeva.
"It was not an easy match," Errani said. "They were playing very well. They served well and volleyed well. We are very happy to win this match because it has been a long time since we played in Miami."
"It was a tough match against great players," Vinci said. "It was nice to play good doubles in front of our supportive home crowd."
Errani and Vinci are now 51-9 all-time on clay for an .850 win percentage, their best on any surface. Not only that, but they are in the midst of a 28-match win streak on clay, which includes six titles - one of which came here last year.
Next up for Errani and Vinci are No.6 seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza, who from 3-3 in the second set won 12 of the final 13 points for a 64 63 defeat of Francesca Schiavone and Samantha Stosur. Mattek-Sands and Mirza have lost both of their previous clashes with Errani and Vinci.
In Rome's final first round match, Raymond and Robson raced out to a 6-0 lead in the match tie-break and went on to a 67(2) 64 107 win over Svetlana Kuznetsova and Flavia Pennetta. Raymond and Robson, who are separated by 20 years, went all the way to the Miami final in their first event together and in their only other event before this week lost their opener in Madrid.
Second-seeded Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik and fourth-seeded Liezel Huber and María José Martínez Sánchez kick off their Rome campaigns on Thursday. A couple of quarterfinal matches are also on the schedule, including the Errani and Vinci versus Mattek-Sands and Mirza tilt.