Venus Williams marks her return with big win over Flipkens in the US Open
Venus Williams has proven to be the finest of her generation, yet it was the American superstar who pulled an upset by defeating the Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens at the US Open on Monday.
Following two years of illness and injury, the former top seeded player took a strong step towards rebuilding her dominance. It won’t be the first time Williams has had to defeat adversity in her celebrated career. The seven-time champion completely understands the meaning of the word hardships and what it takes to become the best.
Williams, whose ranking has dropped to 60, picked up an easy win over 12th seeded Flipkens with a 6-1, 6-2; as a matter of fact this is Williams biggest victory in nearly two years, ever since she was forced out of tennis because Sjogren’s syndrome. Williams admits that the autoimmune disease has severely affected her career, but she remains “positive” about playing “great tennis”.
“For me, I stay positive because I know I can play great tennis,” Williams said. “Sometimes you just have to go through more than what you want to go through. Sometimes you have to have losses. When I had losses, it always motivates me a lot to do better and to work harder.”
The 33-year-old tennis star is 14-0 in the first round of the US Open still she hasn’t had to face an opponent in the top 30 until now. Despite her long absence from tennis, Williams showed great skill and composure throughout the game.
“If Venus is there -- if she's fit, if she's focused -- she's a top-10 player,” Flipkens said after the game. “Everybody who knows a little bit of the game of tennis can see that. Today, she was like a top-10 player.”
Williams was in her third even this year since exiting from the first-round of the French Open because of a back injury. Moreover, Williams hadn’t picked a win over an opponent ranked over 20 since last October.
“I realize that I haven't had a lot of chances to play this year or a lot of chances to play healthy this year, have had injuries and what have you,” William said. “So I'm just going to have to keep working my way into it maybe more than some of the other players. But I know I can do that.”