A new meaning for mixed doubles
© Isaac Freeth

Republicans, Democrats, journalists and athletes joined together Tuesday night for the third annual Washington Kastles Charity Classic at the Charles E. Smith Center in Northwest D.C.

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Kastles owner Mark Ein touted the tournament as an opportunity to “bring Washington together.” It was a chance to see Republicans and Democrats high-fiving each other and former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) chest bumping tennis star Bobby Reynolds.

In one set of mixed doubles, the pairs were mixed politically as well, with Republicans and Democrats playing side by side.

“It’s nice to be out here with colleagues who we don’t get to spend a lot of time with” said Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard is no snowflake Texas shooting puts scrutiny on military's criminal reporting system Overnight Defense: Details on 2 billion compromise defense bill | Space Corps dropped from bill | Mattis requests probe into Texas shooter's records MORE (D-Hawaii). “The most interesting thing, though, is we didn’t know who we were playing until a couple of hours ago. So during our last vote, I went up to [Rep.] Kevin YoderKevin YoderLawmakers, celebs honor Tony Bennett with Library of Congress Gershwin Prize Bipartisan childcare bill won't help families that need it most The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE [R-Kan.] and, you know, did a little smack talking.”

Some of the other players were pleased just to take part.

“If I get off the court without injuring myself I’ll be celebrating,” said Rep. Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottOvernight Regulation: House passes bill to overturn joint-employer rule | Trump officials to allow work requirements for Medicaid | Lawmakers 'alarmed' by EPA's science board changes House passes bill to overturn controversial joint-employer ruling Bipartisan duo offer criminal justice reform legislation MORE (D-Va.).

Gene Sperling, a former White House aide and two-time tournament veteran, joked, “The goal of the Kastles is refuse to lose, my goal is refuse to humiliate yourself. It’s a rather negative and unambitious goal, but it’s the proper goal when you’re 55 years old.”

Defying doctor’s orders following recent surgery, Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) strode onto the court to hit the winning shot for Team Stripes, which was coached by former world No. 1 player Leander Paes.

It was the second time Team Stripes has won the tournament.

The night’s proceeds went to TAPS, Food & Friends, Best Buddies and DC Public Education Fund.