With the mercury expected to hit 35 degrees Celcius, the No.18 seed wasted little time moving through to the second round, breezing past Robson 6-3 6-0 in just 50 minutes.
Flipkens reached the quarterfinals at last week's WTA event in Hobart before a surprise loss to qualifier and eventual champion Garbine Muguruza, and she appeared determined not to let another big-hitter treat her in the same manner in Melbourne.
Expertly varying her play, the Belgian fed Robson a mix of slices, short angles and heavy topspin groundstrokes, and Robson responded with a rash of unforced errors, struggling to get comfortable in the match on a packed Show Court 3.
She produced 15 unforced errors to Flipkens’ three in dropping the opening set in 26 minutes, and it only got worse in the second; Flipkens broke serve in the second game and aced her 19-year-old opponent out wide to move ahead 3-0.
Robson appeared totally out of sorts, shanking a forehand well wide and long to fall behind 4-0. And after beautifully constructing a point in the fifth game and dragging Flipkens off court with a heavy crosscourt forehand, she volleyed the short lofted reply several metres long of the baseline. A Robson backhand into the net made it 5-0 for the Belgian.
Although the Brit brought the crowd to life somewhat with a forehand passing shot winner to level at 30-30 when serving to stay alive, another error – her 32nd for the match – two points later ended the contest.
Flipkens will go on to face the winner of the match between Australian wildcard Casey Dellacqua and Vera Zvonareva, with the Russian former world No.2 on the comeback trail from a shoulder injury.