Hantuchova is seeded first at a WTA event for just the fourth time, previously in such cases having been a semifinalist at Bali in 2008, a quarterfinalist at Seoul in 2009 and a quarterfinalist at Québec City in 2011.
After losing the first set against Czech qualifier Renata Voracova on Monday, Hantuchova raced out to a 4-0 lead in the second set and forced a third, where from 5-4 down she won three games in a row to pull off the 36 62 75 victory.
"Very happy to be through my first round in Marrakech. Apparently, I like to spend time on court here, though I had a better result this time," Hantuchova tweeted, referencing her first round match here last year against Olga Puchkova in which she lost 7-5 in the third set.
Hantuchova must like her chances to at least reach the quarterfinals this year, as she is 6-0 against second round opponent Lourdes Domínguez Lino.
No.8 seed and defending champ Francesca Schiavone was also beaten fairly soundly. World No.246 Beatriz García Vidagany got out to a 4-0 first set lead and a 3-0 second set lead in her 63 62 victory over the 2010 French Open titlist. And though this was just García Vidagany's sixth WTA main draw win, it was not her first over a Grand Slam winner, having upset Kim Clijsters at Marbella in 2010.
Fifth-seeded Garbiñe Muguruza and sixth-seeded Peng Shuai did manage to move on, with Muguruza's 62 62 win over Julia Glushko snapping a four match losing streak for the Spaniard and Peng a 64 26 61 victor over Ons Jabeur.