Venus Williams stunned by Flipkens in "most epic match ever"

Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens created a big surprise at the Olympic Games by showing tennis great Venus Williams the way to the exit. The 30-year-old from Mol downed Venus Williams in the opening round of the singles tournament in 3 sets after a long and intense battle: 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) after 3 hours and 15 minutes. Tennis legend Chris Evert was among those congratulating Flipkens: "Wowwww.. big congratulations!"

"I had goose bumps from the first until the last second", Flipkens wrote on Twitter after her stunt victory against the world's number 6. The world's number 62 had just beaten tennis great Venus Williams, who had travelled to Rio with quite some ambition.

Venus Williams, the Olympic champion of Sydney 2000, took a strong start by breaking through Flipkens' service right away, but the Antwerp tennis hero fought back.

She troubled her veteran opponent with her slice backhand, also changing the pace and rhythm various times. Flipkens surprised 36-year-old Williams with dropshots followed by lobs. It was down to a third set, but Venus Williams seemed to have everything under control when she took a 4-1 lead in this final set.

Flipkens, who enjoyed various stunt victories in the past, enjoyed her role as an underdog and fought back to 4-all. Flipkens sought interaction with the crowd and was clearly enjoying the match. Often seen with a smile on her face, she managed to get it to a tiebreak, which she eventually won 7-5.

Flipkens called it "the most epic match ever" in her career, together with her quarter-final match at Wimbledon in 2013 - when she beat Petra Kvitova to claim an unprecedented semi-final spot. "I will never forget this match and experience", she said. And it's not over yet: Flipkens has her chance against Lucie Safarova (WTA-28) of the Czech Republic in the next round.

A former junior Wimbledon champion, Flipkens is one of the most talented Belgian tennis players, but her career was marred by injuries. But when is 100% fit, she still proves her worth from time to time.