The world number 17 from Latvia needed just 54 minutes to see off the Russian, winning 6-3 6-1.
Most of the other leading players, including top seed and former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, were not in action on a rain-affected opening day mainly featuring qualifying rounds.
Wozniacki begins her campaign against France's Pauline Parmentier on Tuesday.
WTA Miami
Barty retains top spot with Osaka loss, will move ninth in all-time standings
01/04/2021 AT 08:05
Among the qualifiers to battle through to the main draw was Cornelia Lister, the world number 550 from Sweden, after a tough day of action.
Lister first played two hours against Danka Kovinic before a retirement allowed her to progress to the second qualifying round. She then overcame a rankings deficit of 391 places to beat American Louisa Chirico in two hours 14 minutes.
Fourth seed Qiang Wang, the world number 48, was among the early winners at the JiangXi Open in Nanchang, China. She overcame British qualifier Harriet Dart 6-4 6-1.
Tennis
Wozniacki on rheumatoid arthritis, retirement and life without tennis
24/09/2020 AT 12:43
Australian Open
Wozniacki waves emotional farewell to tennis after being knocked out by Jabeur
23/01/2020 AT 15:58