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 Gabbard19 House Democrats' sites hacked at close of gun sit-in Gun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA Sanders supporter submitting plan to end superdelegates 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 YoderHow Congress should proceed on the Kelsey Smith Act Overnight Cybersecurity: FBI won't tell Apple how it hacked iPhone House unanimously passes email privacy bill 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 ScottBobby ScottLawmakers fighting for stronger protections for older workers Dems to Obama: End citizenship rule for education programs Advocates: School meal budgets could lose millions under GOP plan 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.

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