Kim Clijsters kicked off 2012 with victory as she stormed into the second round of the Brisbane International with a straight sets win over Simona Halep.

33081 - Kim Clijsters victorious in return from injury

The Belgian has slipped outside the world's top 10 following an injury-ravaged 2011, but she began preparations for the defence of her Australian Open title with a 6-1 6-4 victory.

Clijsters, who has not played since August last year, suffered a wobble in the second set, allowing her opponent back in after being a break ahead, but held her nerve to close out victory.

"For the first match this was pretty good," Clijsters said. "In the second set there were a few little errors I will need to focus on in my next match, but overall I felt good out there. I was playing aggressively and moving well. I was pleased with the way I served. I was pretty satisfied overall."

Clijsters could meet another former world No. 1, Ana Ivanovic in the second round as she awaits the winner of the first-round clash between the Serb and Tamira Paszek.

No. 3 seed Francesca Schiavone enjoyed an easy route into the third round when her opponent Ksenia Pervak retired in the first set with a migraine. In the battle of Slovakia's top two players, Daniela Hantuchova extended her unbeaten record against Dominika Cibulkova, rallying from a set and a break down to claim a 3-6 6-4 6-3 victory.

Czech left hander Iveta Benesova battled back from a set and a break down to beat compatriot Lucie Safarova 2-6 7-5 7-5, while Bojana Jovanovski got the better of Casey Dellacqua 6-4 6-2.