NEW YORK (AP):Venus Williams had been 14-0 in the first round of the US Open, though she never had to face an opponent ranked in the top 30 at that stage.
Williams was usually the seeded player, but after two years of illness and injury, the seven-time major champion was the one pulling the upset yesterday when she defeated Wimbledon semi-finalist Kirsten Flipkens.
Her ranking down to No. 60, Williams beat the 12th-seeded Flipkens 6-1, 6-2 for one of her biggest wins since she pulled out of this tournament two years ago because of Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease.
"For me, I stay positive because I know I can play great tennis," Williams, 33, 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."
Rafael Nadal's stay at Wimbledon ended in his opener. In his first Grand Slam match since - and first US Open since 2011 - the second-seeded Spaniard rolled past American Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. Nadal, who missed last year's tournament because of a left knee injury, improved to 16-0 on hard courts this year.
American Sloane Stephens, seeded 15th, rallied from a set down to beat Mandy Minella of Luxembourg 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
In the day's first big upset, a British man not named Andy Murray - 179th-ranked qualifier Daniel Evans - stunned 11th-seeded Kei Nishikori in straight sets. Evans won 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in his US Open debut.