1 The USTA opening night gala and our seats for the opening ceremony and match were all in the President's Suite.
2 Here I am joined by USTA Executive Director, Dan Faber. For information on the US Open, or the USTA, go to their web site. http://www.usta.com
3 And, here I am with Yahoo Global News anchor, Katie Couric. Before the opening ceremony, I attended the opening night gala, the major fundraiser for the USTA Foundation to support programs for under-resourced youth. Katie co-hosted the event with actor, Alec Baldwin. http://www.ustafoundation.com
4 Alec and Katie had a lot of fun co-hosting the 15th annual opening night gala together.
5 The highlight of the night was a live auction led by Alec and Katie. An online auction is also open to the public at http://www.charitybuzz.com/usta and will close at the end of the tournament.
6 Next, we took our seats in the stadium. The Arthur Ashe Stadium is the largest tennis-specific stadium in the world with a seating capacity of 22,547. It is the main stadium for the US Open.
7 New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, said more than 700,000 people would visit the stadium, while millions and millions were expected to watch it on television.
8 Tennis legend, Billie Jean King, USTA Chairperson and President, Katrina Adams, and Mayor Bill de Blasio, officially welcomed guests and viewers to the US Open Grand Slam tournament, which runs until September 13th.
9 There were several jumbotrons, or billboard screens, around the stadium. They provided the best views for all the spectators. Katrina Adams and Bill de Blasio, appeared very clear on the monitor.
10 Multi-platinum singer songwriter, Josh Groban, sang at the opening ceremony. He performed songs off his recent album ‘Stages’, which was released earlier this year.
11 There was a clear view of Josh on the jumbotrons - he gave a wonderful performance.
12 Josh joined many noteworthy artists who have performed at US Opens in past years, including Aretha Franklin, Chris Botti, and Gloria Estefan.
13 Actress and singer, Lena Hall, also sang at the opening ceremony, including a duet with Josh Groban. The superstructure that supports the retractable roof was finally completed this summer. 1,700 beams composed from 5,000 tons of steel - it was enormous.
14 Members of the military stood holding flags as actress and singer, Vanessa Williams, entered the stadium to sing the national anthem.
15 The stadium filled pretty quickly for opening night. And, for the first time, the women's finals tickets sold out before the men's finals tickets. When was the last time you attended the US Open?
16 Everyone was waiting in anticipation of the round-one match between Serena Williams and Russian tennis player, Vitalia Diatchenko.
17 Soon, the two tennis champions entered the world’s biggest tennis stage - Serena Williams against Vitalia Diatchenko.
18 Here, Serena Williams talked to one of her trainers. Serena has won more night matches at the US Open than any other player, male or female, but admits she is "always nervous" before she plays.
19 Before the match, both players had the opportunity to warm up. Serena swung her racquet in big arcs, trying to loosen up.
20 Vitalia seemed very relaxed, however, it was apparent she entered the match with some kind of ankle injury.
21 The match began at 7:55pm eastern time with a short rally. By 8:18, Serena won the first set, 6-0.
22 Here was Serena as she served. She made three winning serves in a row without even seeming to pause for breath.
23 A great photo I took of Serena Williams waiting for the ball - so ready, and so focused.
24 By 8:27pm eastern, Vitalia retired with injuries and Serena won 6-0, 2-0. Williams later praised the Russian for attempting to compete on the Arthur Ashe Stadium Court with her injuries.
25 While we were all watching the match, a squirrel walked into the President's box - he definitely seemed a bit frightened and unsure of what to do.
26 We all watched as he tried to figure out which way to go.
27 He seemed pretty brave for a squirrel at the US Open.
28 He started to climb each step cautiously.
29 He kept climbing - he was getting even closer to where I was seated.
30 And, there he was going right past me. Be sure to watch the video - the link is below.
31 Just outside the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is the Unisphere - a 12-story high, spherical stainless steel representation of the Earth. It's one of New York City's iconic tourist attractions, originally built for the 1964 New York World's Fair.