News

Venus Williams Turns Back The Clock At U.S. Open

Venus Williams Turns Back The Clock At U.S. Open

Venus Williams of the U.S. hits a return to Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium at the U.S. Open tennis chammpionships in New York, August 26, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar

(Reuters) – Venus Williams rolled back the years to beat Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens in the first round of the U.S. Open on Monday as the final grand slam of the year burst into life.

Roared on by an energetic New York crowd on a blustery day at Flushing Meadows, Williams showed no signs of the back problems that have sidelined her for most of the year as she demolished her younger opponent 6-1 6-2.

The 33-year-old American, the second oldest player in the women’s singles draw, provided a glimpse of the form that saw her win the U.S. Open in 2000 and 2001 as she romped to victory in just one hour and 24 minutes.

“It’s good to be back,” she said.

Williams has only played 18 matches this year and slipped to 60th place in the world rankings while Flipkens is enjoying the best season of her career.

The 27-year-old made the semi-finals at Wimbledon in July, her best result at any grand slam, and was seeded 12th for the U.S. Open. Earlier this month, she beat Williams in Toronto after losing the first set 6-0.

“I was glad to close it out today,” said Williams, whose younger sister Serena was scheduled to play her opening match on the center court later on Monday.

Flipkens was the first notable casualty in a wide open women’s draw that promises to be one of the most competitive years.

China’s Li Na, the 2011 French Open champion and runner-up in Australia this year, needed just 64 minutes to crush Olga Govortsova of Belarus 6-2 6-2.

And Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, the third seed, was even more ruthless, thumping Spain’s Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-1 6-2 in 63 minutes in the opening match on the center court.

There was an early upset in the men’s draw when Japan’s Kei Nishikori, Asia’s highest-ranked man, was beaten by British qualifier Dan Evans.

The Englishman, ranked 179th, stormed to a 6-4 6-4 6-2 win over the 11th seed to set up a second round meeting with combative Australian Bernard Tomic, who won a five-set slugfest with Spain’s Albert Ramos.

“It’s definitely a good one,” said Evans, playing in his first U.S. Open. “That was pretty good out there to play so well and against someone so highly ranked.”

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Tokyo wins Little League title, beating Lewisberry 18-11

Japan LLWS champs

Pennsylvania scored 10 times in the bottom of the first but Japan responded with seven runs in the second, four in the third inning and five in the sixth.

in Local Sports

Chargers accuse Frank Clark of attacking Philip Rivers

Frank Clark walks off the field after taking part in drills at Seattle Seahawks NFL football rookie minicamp Sunday, May 10, 2015, in Renton, Wash.

In the second quarter of Seattle's 16-15 win, Seahawks defensive lineman Jordan Hill took down Rivers for a 9-yard sack and Clark reportedly tried to punch Rivers in the subsequent pile.

in Sports

Maria Sharapova pulls out of US Open

sharapova

The U.S. Tennis Association says Maria Sharapova is pulling out of the U.S. Open on the eve of the tournament because of a leg injury. It's the second time in three years that the 2006 champion has withdrawn from the year's last Grand Slam event.

in Sports

Montana stuns North Dakota State in college football opener

Montana's Joey Counts scores the game winning touchdown against North Dakota State

Joey Counts scored on a 1-yard run on fourth-and-goal with 2 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 38-35 victory Saturday in the Football Championship Subdivision showdown.

in Local Sports

Washington keeps starting QB quiet until opener at Boise St

New Washington head coach Chris Petersen walks on the field during the first session of NCAA college football practice before the upcoming fall season, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, in Seattle.

"If we thought it helped us or it was three weeks ago or a month ago, but because it's been so late we really don't think that helps us a whole lot so we'll show up to the game and go with our plan." said coach Chris Petersen.