Konta moved up to 18 in the latest WTA rankings, becoming the first British woman to enter the top 20 since Jo Durie in 1983 following a superb 12 months.
And she looked every bit the part in sweltering conditions in Nottingham as she dropped just three games in a straight-sets win over world number 580 Duval.
Having been broken in her first service game to trail 0-2, Konta soon found her range with some punishing shots from the baseline, breaking back at 2-2 and then again in the seventh game to allow her to claim the first set.
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The second set was similarly one-way traffic, serving Duval with a bagel as Konta dominated with some fierce ground-strokes.
She wrapped up victory in just 70 minutes and sets up a second-round tie with either British wildcard Freya Christie or China's Saisai Zheng.
"She started off really strong and I had to dig really deep and chase every ball and keep fighting for every point," Konta said.
"She's a great player, her current ranking doesn't reflect the quality of player she is.
"Even in the second set a lot of games went to deuce so I had to be there for every single point. I am happy to have the opportunity to play again later in the week."
There was also some British success earlier in the day as Tara Moore booked her place in the main draw with a 6-2 6-2 qualifying win over Shuko Aoyama

Results from the Nottingham Open Women's Singles Round 1 matches on Monday

Zheng Saisai (China) beat Freya Christie (Britain) 6-4 6-2
8-Christina McHale (U.S.) beat Magda Linette (Poland) 6-1 6-4
1-Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) beat Anastasija Sevastova (Latvia) 6-7(5) 6-0 6-2
Anna Tatishvili (U.S.) beat Kristyna Pliskova (Czech Republic) 6-4 7-6(4)
Anett Kontaveit (Estonia) beat Lauren Davis (U.S.) 6-3 6-1
2-Johanna Konta (Britain) beat Victoria Duval (U.S.) 6-3 6-0
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