The Washington Kastles Charity Tennis Classic

Mark Ein with Venus Williams
Jeff Malet
Mark Ein with Venus Williams

The Washington Kastles Charity Tennis Classic is scheduled for Tuesday, July 17 at Kastles Stadium at The Wharf in southwest Washington. The Charity Tennis Classic is a team tennis match featuring players from the local political community, the media, the diplomatic community, sports personalities and Washington Kastles players. While it is common to see political sporting events in Washington with Republicans pitted against Democrats, the Charity Tennis Classic mixes. Republicans, Democrats, administration, Congress, media, diplomats and pro players will all have to work together.

There will be two teams of 12 players -- the Stars and the Stripes -- vying for the Kastles Trophy. The match will be decided by a series of seven doubles match tiebreakers up to 10 points. The team that wins the most matches will capture the championship and the trophy.

The names of the charity competitors have not been released.

“There will be some noteworthy people,” said Mark Ein, founder and owner of the Kastles. The Kastles held a smaller version of this event two years ago, but this is the first time they are doing it as a stand-alone event, Ein said. There is not a specific fundraising goal, but Ein already believes the event will be successful. They have already raised about $20,000 before even selling tickets to the event itself.

All ticket proceeds will go to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Share our Strength and the D.C. Public Education Fund. The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors aids anyone grieving the death of someone who died while serving in the military. Share Our Strength is an organization focused on ending childhood hunger in America. The D.C. Public Education Fund brings together school system leadership and the philanthropic community to improve student achievement.

The Kastles are a professional tennis team that is part of World TeamTennis, co-founded by Billie Jean King. Many of the players are coming off wins at Wimbledon and four of the six players are representing their country in the Olympics in London. Once the Kastles season ends, Venus and Serena Williams will represent the USA, Anastasia Rodionova will represent Australia and Leander Paes will represent India. The Kastles kick off their fifth season, June 9, on the road. Their first home match is June 12.

“The world’s best players get together for a few weeks and play other franchises,” Ein said. The season is three weeks long, with seven home and seven away games. The team has played a three-week season every summer since 2008. There are 14 in the regular season games, a conference final and the championship. In 2011, the Kastles won all 16 of their matches and the championships, becoming the first team in World TeamTennis history to have a perfect season. The Kastles formerly played at CityCenter DC and moved to their current home at Kastles Stadium at the Wharf in southwest DC. It is an intimate stadium with less than 3,000 seats, Ein said.

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Tue, 2 Sep 2014 12:44:11 -0400

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