| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

An opening-night celebration of all-time tennis greats Billie Jean King and Virginia Wade, LGBTQ Pride Night, Salute to Strong Women and International Night are among the special events on the inaugural New York Empire presented by Citi schedule, July 31 through August 12. The Mylan World TeamTennis squad, coached by Patrick McEnroe, will compete in six home matches at historic Forest Hills Stadium at The West Side Tennis Club.

The highlights of each event night include:

Sunday, July 31: U.S. Open and WTT Champions King and Wade join the Empire in a pre-match Opening Night Ceremony to launch the team’s inaugural season as it takes on the five-time defending champion Washington Kastles. It is also USTA Eastern night with special discounts for members.

Monday, Aug. 1: Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki and the Philadelphia Freedoms visit.

Wednesday, Aug. 3: LGBTQ Pride Night, a celebration of this community’s important role in New York City and Mylan WTT, in partnership with Athlete Ally and The LGBT Community Center of NYC when the Empire take on the Springfield Lasers. The Stonewall Chorale will sing the National Anthem.

Tuesday, Aug. 9: Former world number one and Marquee Player Andy Roddick joins the Empire in his first appearance ever at Forest Hills Stadium in a rematch with the Kastles.

Thursday, Aug. 11: King heads Salute to Strong Women, a panel discussion with women who make New York great, including Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, athletes, business and philanthropic leaders and representatives from Barnard College and the Girl Scouts of Greater New York sharing their stories for an inspiring evening prior to the Empire’s matchup with the Orange County Breakers.

Friday, Aug. 12: International Night, in which the Empire and fans will celebrate Queens, the team’s home town and the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world, as they battle the San Diego Aviators in the final home match of the season. In addition, fans can participate in clinics in several languages, including Russian, Japanese, Spanish and English, prior to the matches.

“Each of our special event dates are celebrations of some of the things that make New York and tennis so great,” said Empire General Manager Colleen Hopkins. “They also serve as a thank you to fans who have expressed so much support for the inaugural New York Empire season.”

In addition to marquee player Roddick, the Empire’s full season roster also includes New Jersey resident Christina McHale, whose epic second-round matchup with Serena Williams was one of the highlights of the fortnight at Wimbledon. Rounding out the Empire roster are Guido Pella of Argentina and doubles specialists María Irigoyen, also of Argentina, and Oliver Marach of Austria.

Tickets for all home matches are on sale online at NYEmpireTennis.com. VIP ticket packages are also on sale and include Courtside Tables, Front Row Baseline Boxes and Premium Baseline Individual Tickets. VIP packages include access to full food and beverage service, hospitality opportunities with our players and coach, and much more. For full pricing details, general information, or to place an order, e-mail Brian Healey at Brian@NYEmpireTennis.com.