Billie Jean King, Andy Roddick and Patrick McEnroe are currently participating in a huge tennis extravaganza in Queens … and it’s not the U.S. Open…and it benefits the Queens Library in many ways.
On July 31, Mylan World Team Tennis kicked off two weeks of matches and ceremonies at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills Gardens that will run through Aug. 12. Mylan WTT is a co-ed professional league consisting of six teams: New York Empire, Orange County Breakers, Philadelphia Freedoms, San Diego Aviators, Springfield Lasers and Washington Kastles.
Thanks to a partnership between Queens Library and Mylan WTT, there will be several ways to support the library during this season:
- The team with the most aces on each night of the Mylan WTT 2016 season will receive $1,000 toward a local charity as part of the Mylan Aces program. The Empire chose the Queens Library Foundation and the Forest Hills Community Library.
- Match attendees can add their names to the Mylan WTT Wall of Fame by donating $1 to support Queens Library. This will automatically enter them into a raffle to win a giant all-star-signed tennis ball.
- Fifteen percent of ticket sales for Empire games at the West Side Tennis Club will be donated to the Queens Library Foundation and Forest Hills Community Library when buyers use the ticket code QUEENSLIBRARY.
Patrick McEnroe is the head coach of the Empire, while former U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick and Christina McHale, a New Jersey resident who lost an epic second-round match to Serena Williams at Wimbledon, are the marquee players. Other team members are Guido Pella of Argentina, and doubles specialists María Irigoyen, also of Argentina, and Oliver Marach, of Austria.
Other tennis legends in the league include Martina Hingis (Kastles) Mardy Fish (Kastles), John Isner (Lasers), James Blake (Aviators) and Caroline Wozniacki (Freedoms).
Remaining highlights of the two weeks will include the following:
- Monday, Aug. 1: The Empire take on the Freedoms.
- Wednesday, Aug. 3: The Empire play the Lasers on LGBTQ Pride Night, featuring Athlete Ally and The LGBT Community Center of NYC. The Stonewall Chorale, the first national LGBT chorus, will sing the National Anthem.
- Tuesday, Aug. 9: Roddick joins the Empire in a rematch with the Kastles.
- Thursday, Aug. 11: The Empire go against the Breakers. Plus, Billie Jean King heads Salute to Strong Women, a panel discussion with women such as Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, athletes, business and philanthropic leaders, and representatives from Barnard College and the Girl Scouts of Greater New York.
- Friday, Aug. 12: The Empire compete against the Aviators on International Night, which celebrates Queens and includes clinics in several languages, including Russian, Japanese, Spanish and English, prior to the matches.
Mylan World Team Tennis has existed since 1974, but this is the first season that the Empire will play at Forest Hills Stadium.