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Venus Williams returns against Kirsten Flipkens during their first-round women's singles match at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, Aug. 26, 2013. The first round of the tournament began on Monday.

Earl Wilson, Nyt - Nyt

Venus Williams upsets Flipkens at US Open

  • Associated Press
  • August 26, 2013 - 2:17 PM

NEW YORK — Venus Williams earned one of her biggest wins since she pulled out of the U.S. Open two years ago because of illness, upsetting 12th-seeded Kirsten Flipkens in the first round Monday.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion won 6-1, 6-2 to improve to 15-0 in first-round matches at Flushing Meadows. But with her ranking down to No. 60, she had to open against the Wimbledon semifinalist.

In 2011, Williams withdrew before her second-round match because of Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease. She was playing just her third event since a first-round loss at the French Open.

Flipkens had been enjoying a career year. The Belgian had never reached the round of 16 at a major tournament before the Australian Open, then made her run at Wimbledon.

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