Lots of love: Charity tennis match features lawmakers teaming up across the aisle

Lawmakers are working on their bipartisan backhands, prepping for a charity tennis event that’ll team them up with partners from across the aisle.

“I played twice with my kid over the Fourth, in between marching parades,” Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) said of his training regimen ahead of the Washington Kastles Charity Classic.

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“I’m very sore — I’m getting older but I’m getting ready anyway,” Brat said. The 53-year-old congressman is one of several members who will take on prominent journalists and sports pros at the Tuesday tennis showdown at Kastles Stadium in D.C.

Among those who will be serving up their best: Reps. Joyce BeattyJoyce Birdson BeattyHouse ethics panel decides against probe after Hank Johnson civil disobedience Jackson Lee is third CBC member in three weeks to be arrested protesting for voting rights 'Good Trouble': Black caucus embraces civil disobedience MORE (D-Ohio), Jared HuffmanJared William HuffmanHouse at war over Jan. 6 inquiry, mask mandate GOP, Democrats battle over masks in House, Senate Tempers flare as some in GOP ignore new House mask mandate MORE (D-Calif.), Tom RooneyThomas (Tom) Joseph RooneyRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC House Dem calls on lawmakers to 'insulate' election process following Mueller report Hill-HarrisX poll: 76 percent oppose Trump pardoning former campaign aides MORE (R-Fla.) and Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderBottom line Bottom line Bottom line MORE (R-Kan.); Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoBiden to return to pre-Obama water protections in first step for clean water regulations The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators MORE (R-W.Va.); journalists including CNN’s Michelle Kosinski and The Hill’s Editor-in-Chief Bob Cusack; D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen; and former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) and former Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentThe Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Influential Republicans threaten to form new party Loyalty trumps policy in Stefanik's rise, Cheney's fall MORE (R-Pa.).

But some lawmakers hitting the court are trying to keep expectations low.

“I wish I had the kind of time to do the kind of prep that’s necessary, but I’m getting ready,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteBottom line No documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden Press: Trump's final presidential pardon: himself MORE (R-Va.) said.

Before she was elected to Congress, Rep. Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosRockford mayor decides against 2022 run for Bustos's House seat Advocacy groups urge Pelosi, Schumer to keep Pentagon funding out of infrastructure bills Nearly 70 House lawmakers ask leadership to reimburse National Guard for Jan. 6 response MORE said, she played in a women’s doubles league for years. But the Illinois Democrat said she has barely gotten a chance to pick up a racket to practice since stepping foot in the House in 2013.

“The last time I played tennis was at this tournament last year, so that’s what’s bad. So I’m not expecting to be too good,” Bustos said. “I go to the gym every morning, so it’s not like … I can’t keep up or anything. I mean, I ride bikes, I do the elliptical, I lift weights.”

“But I’m not going to be good — I know that,” she added.

“What I think makes this so special, as opposed to a lot of the other congressional charity sports events around town, is at this one, we don’t play Republicans against Democrats or White House against the Hill,” Mark Ein, the Washington Kastles’s owner, told ITK.

Ein, who’s also playing at the showdown, explained that teams are mixed so that each has players from each party, as well as members of the press.

Ein said 100 percent of the proceeds from ticket sales at the sixth annual competition will be donated to a variety of local charities, including the United States Tennis Association Foundation, which provides tennis education to kids in under-resourced communities. 

The Hill is a media sponsor of the event. 

So what will tennis fans see when Congress starts swinging?

“We can expect some great tennis,” said Ein, “some not-so-great tennis, a bit of trash-talking, a lot of laughs and always a really competitive match.”