The 2010 French Open champion and current world number eight failed to find any rhythm against a player ranked 57 places lower on the WTA list, succumbing meekly in the second set after losing the first on a tie-break.
The 7-6 (7/4) 6-2 win continues Dushevina's impressive form against Schiavone, this triumph her third in four attempts against the experienced Italian.
Schiavone's demise means Marion Bartoli is now the favourite on paper for the title, and the second-seeded Frenchwoman had no problems negotiating her first-round encounter with Nuria Llagostera-Vives of Spain, winning 6-2 6-2.
Third seed Julia Goerges of Germany was similarly ruthless as she ousted Yunka Sema 6-1 6-1, while fifth seed Polona Hercog and Irina-Camelia Begu, seeded seventh, also won in straight sets against Zuzana Kucova and Akgul Amanmuradova respectively.
Russia's Ekaterina Makarova, seeded eighth, was unable to get past the first round, however, going down to a 6-4 6-4 reverse to Galena Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan.
The 2009 champion, Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan, was a first-round casualty, losing to Vania King of the United States 6-2 6-2, while 2006 winner Eleni Daniilidou of Greece was made to battle all the way before seeing off home hope Kim So-jung 4-6 6-2 7-5.
Iveta Benesova, Yaroslava Shvedova, Carla Suarez Navarro and Kristyna Pliskova also progressed to the second round.