After falling behind 3-1 early on, Ivanovic won 11 of the next 13 games to run away with it.
"On grass everything happens so fast, and everything can turn around quickly," Ivanovic said. "So I was happy I was just playing point by point and using my opportunities. And I was surprised I stayed quite low out there - anyway that's what I felt, we'll see what my coach has to say about that!"
"It's the hardest adjustment we have to make," the former No.1 said. "It's a quick transition, but I'm slowly getting back into it, and I'm doing a lot of stuff in the gym to make this adjustment."
The other second round matches saw No.7 seed Daniela Hantuchova outslug Belinda Bencic, 6-1, 6-4, Lauren Davis beat American qualifier Vicky Duval, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2, and CoCo Vandeweghe rally from a set down - as well as blast a whopping 16 aces - to make it past Yanina Wickmayer, 5-7, 7-5, 6-1.
Hantuchova isn't just the defending champion in Birmingham, she also made one other final here in 2011, falling to Sabine Lisicki (though along the way she did beat - among others - Ivanovic).
The last eight first round matches also took place, with mixed results for the seeds - No.12 seed Monica Puig and No.16 seed Casey Dellacqua won, but No.14 seed Kurumi Nara, who won her first WTA title this year on the clay of Rio de Janeiro, lost to British wildcard Johanna Konta, 6-3, 6-1.
Christina McHale, Petra Cetkovska, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Canadian qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak and Hungarian lucky loser Timea Babos also moved on through, with Wozniak having by far the most dramatic match of the day, rallying from 6-2, 4-1 down - and fighting off three match points at 6-2, 5-4 down - to outlast new British No.1 Heather Watson in front of her home crowd, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.