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 BeattyThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question CBC lawmakers rip Justice Democrats for targeting black lawmakers for primaries The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi looks to tamp down Dem infighting MORE (D-Ohio), Jared HuffmanJared William HuffmanDem tensions snag defense bill O'Rourke's defends his 'war tax' amid criticism Dems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments MORE (D-Calif.), Tom RooneyThomas (Tom) Joseph RooneyHouse Dem calls on lawmakers to 'insulate' election process following Mueller report Hill-HarrisX poll: 76 percent oppose Trump pardoning former campaign aides Dems fear Trump is looking at presidential pardons MORE (R-Fla.) and Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers Kansas Senate race splits wide open without Pompeo Mike Pompeo to speak at Missouri-Kansas Forum amid Senate bid speculation MORE (R-Kan.); Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke GOP struggles to find backup plan for avoiding debt default Republicans make U-turn on health care 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 DentCNN celebrates correspondents' weekend with New Orleans-themed brunch The Hill's Morning Report - Government is funded, but for how long? Ex-GOP lawmaker says his party is having a 'Monty Python' moment on shutdown 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 GoodlatteTop Republican releases full transcript of Bruce Ohr interview It’s time for Congress to pass an anti-cruelty statute DOJ opinion will help protect kids from dangers of online gambling MORE (R-Va.) said.

Before she was elected to Congress, Rep. Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosHouse Democrats' campaign arm raises over million in second quarter Lawmakers join Nats Park fundraiser for DC kids charity Democratic leaders seek balance amid liberal push to go big on immigration 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.”