The New York Empire presented by Citi has announced its 2017 Mylan World TeamTennis (WTT) schedule and final player roster for the upcoming season that will be played on Court 17 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
The New York Empire traded away its first-round draft pick for future considerations and took Kirsten Flipkens, from Belgium, in the second round. She is making her WTT debut this season. A former World No. 13 and Wimbledon semifinalist, Flipkens is no stranger to team tennis as she’s played a remarkable 13 years of Fed Cup action for her native country.
“I’m really looking forward to playing at the National Tennis Center this summer as part of the New York Empire,” said Flipkens. “I’ve been playing team tennis for quite some time but this summer will be really special. I’ve always heard how much fun World TeamTennis is for the players and strategizing with Gigi is an incredible opportunity for me.”
General Manager Michele Cope and Head Coach Gigi Fernandez then selected Maria Sanchez and Guido Pella, respectively. Sanchez, a four-time All-America player at the University of Southern California, is entering her fourth season of WTT and holds one WTA doubles title. Pella will return for his second season with the New York Empire after playing his WTT rookie season with the team last year. Pella was an integral part of the 2016 Argentinian Davis Cup Champion team and was an Olympian at the 2016 Rio Games.
“I am really excited to have been selected by the New York Empire in the WTT Draft. I love New York City, and there are few venues in all of tennis that can compare with the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center,” said Sanchez. “I can’t wait to join my teammates this summer and experience the energy and atmosphere on Court 17 as we look to compete for a league championship.”
“I had the greatest experience last season playing for the New York Empire and know this summer will be no different,” said Pella. “There is nothing like the energy and electricity you feel when playing in front of a New York crowd.”
Flipkens, Pella and Sanchez join previously announced New York Empire marquee players Genie Bouchard, Mardy Fish and John Isner.
The team’s schedule is book-ended with significant home stands. The New York Empire will host the Philadelphia Freedoms twice and Orange County (Calif.) Breakers within the first five days of the season and closes the season with home matches against the Breakers, San Diego Aviators, Washington Kastles and Springfield Lasers.
When the New York Empire host Philadelphia, Freedoms players Sloane Stephens and Donald Young will appear. Exact dates for Stephens’ and Young’s visits are yet to be determined.
For the full schedule, visit www.nyempiretennis.com.