5 things to know about the U.S. Open

What to eat, where to sit, and what to watch.

This year’s U.S. Open runs from August 29 through September 11 in Flushing, Queens. All eyes will be on Serena Williams (who had a disappointing summer of tennis) and Andy Murray (who had the opposite), not to mention Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka looking to unseat Novak Djokovic, last year’s champ. Sorry, Anna: Roger Federer will be sitting out the rest of the season due to a knee injury.

an all-american opening ceremony

Leslie Odom Jr., star of Broadway’s Hamilton, will sing a duet with Phil Collins on August 29. Odom will also be performing the National Anthem to kick off the first session of the tournament. Collins will be performing his classic song “In the Air Tonight” in Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the new retractable roof will be christened. Which brings us to...

so long, rain delays

Construction of the retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium was completed in time for this year’s Open. The roof, which can close in less than 10 minutes, covers the largest tennis stadium in the world. Total cost to build it was $150 million, but it doesn’t end there. Look for a new 8,000-seat grandstand to open next year and a new Louis Armstrong Stadium to open in 2018. Tennis fans don't normally pray for rain, but it would be cool to see this thing in action.

come for the tennis, stay for the cuisine

The food scene here is worth the price of admission. It spans the very healthy (sushi prepared by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto at Aces), to the medium-healthy (lobster rolls from Oyster Bar, Spanish fare at Toro) and finally the "you gotta live" category (a signature drink from Moët & Chandon, fried chicken sandwiches from David Chang's Fuku, Hill Country BBQ and more).

here are the women to watch

Back to actual tennis. Keep your eye on 22-year-old Monica Puig from Puerto Rico. Ranked 35th in the world, she beat every opponent she faced in this past month's international tournament to win a very coveted piece of hardware. She has never advanced past the fourth round of a major tournament, but easy money says that's about to change. She beat Germany's Angelique Kerber in that match, a player who hasn't had a lot of luck against Serena Williams.

and the gents

The names we always hear in men’s tennis are Djokovic, Nadal, Murray. But then there's Steve Johnson, who just became the number one player in the U.S. Johnson took over the spot from John Isner who has held that title for three years. Isner, in turn, was defeated at the Western & Southern Open by the upstart Milos Raonic who made it to the Wimbledon finals earlier this year where he lost to Murray. Raonic’s chances to win are looking good, especially since he’s being coached by none other than the legendary John McEnroe. (We hope McEnroe is teaching him only good habits.)