Williams wasted no time in stamping her authority on the first-round match, breaking three times in quick succession to wrap up the opening set 6-0 in 24 minutes.
Schiavone kept fighting for a breakthrough in the second set but was frustrated by Williams, with the former French Open winner struggling to find consistency and length on serve.
The Italian found the funny side of her predicament midway through the second set, finding time to hug a ball boy to earn a cheer from the crowd on Arthur Ashe.
Despite being run ragged Schiavone finally broke her duck late in the match, battling on serve to ensure she didn't suffer a 6-0 6-0 humiliation.
After dropping a game Williams was quick to wrap up the match, swatting a pair of first serves down the line to progress 6-0 6-1 in a match timed at exactly one hour.