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Pro Tennis Returns to Forest Hills With Andy Roddick and Patrick McEnroe

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | February 18, 2016 5:58pm
 Andy Roddick and Patrick McEnroe will join the New York Empire team to compete at the Forest Hills Stadium.
Andy Roddick and Patrick McEnroe will join the New York Empire team to compete at the Forest Hills Stadium.
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QUEENS — Professional tennis is set to return to the Forest Hills Stadium this summer with Andy Roddick and Patrick McEnroe playing at the venue.

The West Side Tennis Club, where the stadium which hosted the U.S. Open until 1977 is located, will soon welcome the New York Empire, a newly created team in Mylan World Team Tennis.

World Team Tennis has not had a team in the city since the New York Sportimes moved to San Diego in 2014. 

The New York Empire will play six home matches at the recently restored stadium during the season, which runs from July 31 through Aug. 13, according to the team's website.

“There are few more beautiful places to play tennis than Forest Hills, and it’s great to help bring professional tennis back to the facility for the 2016 Mylan WTT season,” said McEnroe in a statement published on the website.

McEnroe will serve as the team's coach in the inaugural season and former U.S. Open Champion Andy Roddick will be its first player, according to an email sent Wednesday by the club to its members.

The rest of the roster will be selected at a draft on March 25.

“We're sure the action will wake the echoes of the past at the iconic Forest Hills Stadium at The West Side Tennis Club with a style that is fun, competitive, and very much New York,” the club wrote in the email.

The stadium used to host the U.S. Open, before it moved to the larger National Tennis Center in Flushing in 1977. The venue also hosted numerous concerts, including performances by The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and the Rolling Stones. 

Most concerts stopped by the late 1980s, after opposition from local residents, but in 2013 they resumed after the West Side Tennis Club partnered with the concert promoters to renovate the venue and bring events back to the neighborhood.

"We are extremely happy that professional tennis is returning to Forest Hills," said Bob Ingersole, the club's director. "We are a tennis club after all." 

The stadium, which can accommodate about 12,000 to 13,000 concert goers, will be configured to seat up to 10,000 spectators during the tennis matches, according to Ingersole.

Tickets for the New York Empire matches aren't on sale yet.