The unseeded Williams had her work cut out for her in opponent Errani, who has won four titles this year and was the runner-up at the French Open. However Venus powered through the match, coming out victorious.
Twenty minutes after Williams won on Court 2, the younger William sister Serena took a second-round victory on Court 1, beating Urszula Radwanska of Poland, 6-2, 6-3.
Venus will now play Canada’s Aleksandra Wozniak in the second round.
“I’m unseeded here and now I feel like I’m the number nine seed, and hopefully I’ll beat another seed and become their number,” she said.
“I fought so much to be here. I know there’s a lot of people happy to be here, but I’m not only happy to be here I want to do something about it too and play well for my country.”
In the men’s singles, Roger Federer easily beat France’s Julien Benneteau, finishing the match in 58 minutes.
Andy Roddick will meet Novak Djokovic for a second round after beating Slovakia’s Martin Klizan 7-5 6-4.