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.

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.