Dasha survives searing test as Sam bows out early
Gavrilova, who reached the final of this tournament last year, came from a set down to beat Kazakhstan's Zarina Dyas 3-6 7-5 6-1.
However, there were defeats for fellow Australians Samantha Stosur, who went down to Japanese qualifier Nao Habino, and also wildcard Priscilla Hon who lost to top-seeded Russian Elina Svitolina 6-2 6-3.
Fourth-seeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza gave herself a belated birthday present by defeated compatriot Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-3 6-1.
The 13th-ranked Muguruza, who turned 25 earlier this week, has struggled since reaching the French Open semi-finals in June.
Two weeks ago at Wuhan was the first time since the French Open that she played three matches at a tournament.