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 GabbardHawaii reps call for hearing on missile alerts after false alarm Emergency response worker temporarily reassigned after false Hawaii missile alert Hawaii rep: False alarm shows need for Trump to talk with North Korea 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 rep bringing widow of slain Indian immigrant to State of the Union Rep. Steve Womack said to have 'inside track' on key gavel Harassment allegations roil 2018 House field 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 ScottDems want info on Labor Dept hiding unfavorable report on impacts of tip-pooling rule Dem lawmakers call on Labor Department to rescind tip-pooling rule Overnight Regulation: Government watchdog to probe fake net neutrality comments | California, greens sue over fracking rule | EU fines Qualcomm .2B over payments to Apple 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.