The Empire State Building was lit tennis-ball yellow Monday night, broadcasting the fact that America's biggest annual sports event has begun its two-week run.
A small do-over because of Irene: Banners of past Open champions were not yet hung for the tournament's opening day. And Louis Armstrong Stadium's south scoreboard was dark.
In the end, Irene lost badly to U.S. Tennis Association officials who had the Open up and running, surprisingly close to normal, at the scheduled 11 a.m. start.
Up-and-coming American Ryan Harrison, a 19-year-old ranked 66th, smashed a ball into the stands in frustration, repeatedly dropped his racket after lost points and flung it away at the end of a first-round loss to Maric Cilic. (The crowd booed.)
By the numbers
16 - Russian women in the singles draw, one more than the United States with 15.
17 - The new show court on the southeast corner of the tennis center grounds, its 2,800 seats making it fourth-largest on the grounds. It's not quite finished but fills the bill.
64 - Venus Williams' total matches at 15-year-old Arthur Ashe Stadium, most among any player.
Sister news beyond the Williamses: Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, 22, seeded 13th, defeated her 20-year-old sibling Monday, 116th-ranked Urszula, 6-2, 6-3.