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 GabbardFormer Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii dies at 93 Congress, leave no H-1Bs behind Top general: Countering Iran in Syria not a US military mission 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 Wayne YoderGOP House super PAC reserves million in fall TV ads Progressive group targets GOP moderates on immigration GOP cautious, Dems strident in reaction to new indictments 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 ScottTop House, Senate Dems warn administration on short-term insurance Trump appointee at center of fight over religious freedom GAO report: Schools punish black students more severely 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.