News Americas, FLUSHING, NY, Mon. Aug. 26, 2013: Two-time US Open champion, Venus Williams, delivered punishing ground strokes to defeat No. 12 seed Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium 6-1, 6-2 at the Opening Day of the 2013 U.S. Open today.

The win wins Williams also avenged a first round loss to Flipkens earlier this month in Toronto.

“In Toronto, I started out really strong, and didn’t end up as well as I’d like,” said Williams. “Her game is a little bit different from other people. But, you know, my serve was a lot better. Honestly, I think that made a huge difference.”

Venus Williams returning a serve on August 26, 2013 at Day One of the U.S. Open. (Hayden Roger Celestin/NAN image)
A strong forehand return of serve by Williams gave her an early break of serve to lead 2-0 in the second set, but the No. 12 seed wasn’t going down without a fight. Hitting her returns of serve earlier and charging the net more aggressively, she put Williams on the defensive for the first time of the match and earned the break of serve back. That led to a titanic, seven-deuce game at 2-2 in the second set, which featured some of the best points in the match. Both women had game points, but Williams finally ripped a forehand cross-court winner to take the game.

With momentum in her corner, Williams reeled off the final three games to advance into the second round.

The power of Venus Williams. (Hayden Roger Celestin)
Williams will now await the winner of the first-round match between Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands and Zheng Jie of China.