Less than a month after a first-round exit at the U.S. Open, Gauff was all business on a floodlit Court Suzanne Lenglen in front of a dozen spectators in chilly Parisian weather.
The 16-year-old, the youngest player in the main draw whose best result at a Grand Slam was reaching the fourth round at the Autralian Open earlier this year, will next face Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan.
Gauff got off to a flying start, breezing through the opening set before dropping serve early in the second, allowing British ninth seed Konta to move 2-0 up.
But the American broke straight back, and again in a nine-minute fifth game to move 3-2 up, following up on serve to lead 4-2.
She served for the match at 5-2 but Konta broke back for 5-3, only for the Briton to collapse in the following game, bowing out on the second match point when she netted a routine shot. (Reporting by Julien Pretot; editing by Ian Chadband)