NEW YORK -- Venus Williams, unseeded at the U.S. Open, where she is a two-time winner, upset 12th-seeded Kirsten Flipkens from Belgium on Monday in the first round of the tournament by the straightforward score of 6-1, 6-2 in 1 hour, 24 minutes.
Williams hasn't gotten past the second round here the past two years after she announced she was suffering from an immune system disease called Sjogren's Syndrome,
Wearing a flower-patterned dress and her hair dyed pink to match some of the flowers, Williams played nothing like a lady who was ready to garden.
Her smooth movement and powerful forehand kept the 27-year-old Flipkens, who is having her best year on the WTA Tour, off balance.
Kim Clijsters, also Belgian and a U.S. Open winner, is retired and awaiting the birth of her second child within a month. She has helped Flipkens with mental and mechanical tips this summer.