Lawmakers, media team up for charity tennis event

Lawmakers, media and Washington celebs teamed up on Tuesday night for a charity tennis event hosted by the Washington Kastles.

Team Stripes, led by CNN political analyst David Gregory, took the trophy in the sixth annual Washington Kastles Charity Classic, defeating Team Stars.

Gregory was named the tournament MVP after leading the Stripes to an opening-round win with his doubles partner, 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.), who was last year's MVP.

“It's just a great night of tennis,” Gregory told The Hill. “Ultimately, you know, it's about having the right partner.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It’s fun to be out here to be able to give people a hard time and forget about politics,” Gregory added.

Gregory’s teammates included Dent, Reps. 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.), Jared HuffmanJared William HuffmanGOP, Democrats battle over masks in House, Senate Tempers flare as some in GOP ignore new House mask mandate Haaland: No plan 'right now' for permanent drill leasing ban MORE (D-Calif.) and Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderBottom line Bottom line Bottom line MORE (R-Kan.), as well as D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen, Washington Kastles coach Murphy Jensen, Bloomberg’s William Connor and Washington Kastles players Robert Lindstedt and Madison Brengle.

For Huffman, an avid tennis fan, the highlight was getting to match up against pro players from the six-time World Team Tennis champion Washington Kastles.

“Any chance to be around these pros and hit with them and play against them is just a thrill,” Huffman said.

Huffman, who played with doubles partner Rooney for Team Stripes, capped off a 7-5 tie-breaker win in the third round of the tournament with an ace.

“There were some good points. Overall, the quality reflected the amount of time members of Congress spend on the tennis court, which is not much," Huffman joked.

"But I think everybody had a great attitude and had a lot of fun. That’s what it’s about.”

Gregory and Dent beat NBC News White House correspondent Peter Alexander and Bob Cusack, The Hill’s editor in chief, 7-4, in the first round.

Cusack and Alexander were joined on Team Stars by Reps. 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.) and Jimmy PanettaJames Varni PanettaOvernight Defense: US nearing halfway point of Afghanistan withdrawal | Army soldiers mistakenly raid olive oil factory House Democrats introduce bill to protect transgender military dependents The case for improving America's research and experimentation tax credit MORE (D-Calif.), Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoThe 17 Republicans who voted to advance the Senate infrastructure bill Senate votes to take up infrastructure deal Officials warn of cybersecurity vulnerabilities in water systems MORE (R-W.Va.), former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.), CNN senior diplomatic correspondent Michelle Kosinski, Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein, and Kastles stars Tennys Sandgren and Nicole Melichar.

Tennis Channel broadcaster and former SportsCenter anchor Brett Haber emceed the event. He peppered the commentary with light-hearted political jokes.

“Can we get a subcommittee to examine whether that was up or down?” Haber asked after a racquet spin to decide which team would serve first. “How about a blue ribbon study panel to write a 500-page report?” he joked.

Haber also teased Panetta about his tennis skills.

“For a Democrat that was a pretty conservative second serve,” he said.

His other jokes included shouting “fake rules” and claiming Capito was “filibustering” during a match.

The Hill's Bob Cusack praised the annual event for bringing together lawmakers from across the aisle and for helping "get young people into tennis."

"They don't have Democrat versus Republican, they lump the media and everyone together,” he said.

The event raised money for four different Washington, D.C., charities and the United States Tennis Association Foundation. The Hill was a media sponsor for the event.