Kastles' win sets U.S. major pro sports record
WASHINGTON — History was made this week in tennis when the accomplishments of the Mylan World TeamTennis champion Washington Kastles were recognized on and off the tennis court.
Prior to their home opener on Monday, the Washington Kastles were recognized by President Barack Obama for their 2012 WTT Championship during a private meeting in the Oval Office. This marked the first time in the 38-year history of WTT that the championship team was invited to the White House. Representing the 2012 championship squad at the White House visit were Kastles Owner Mark Ein, Venus Williams, Team Captain Leander Paes, 2012 Male MVP Bobby Reynolds, Anastasia Rodionova, and 2012 Coach of the Year Murphy Jensen. They were joined by WTT Co-Founder Billie Jean King and Commissioner Ilana Kloss.
“There is no higher honor in professional sports than to be recognized by the President of the United States, and this was an experience that we will all cherish for life,” said Ein, the Kastles’ owner. “We appreciated President Obama’s generous comments about the positive impact the franchise has had on our community, as it is the passionate support of our region that has inspired our players to the historic winning streak and three WTT Championships in four years.”
The historic meeting in the Oval Office on Monday led to a history-making event on Tuesday. Guided by former World No. 1 Martina Hingis, the Kastles dispatched the Boston Lobsters in a 25-12 victory, winning their 34th straight match and setting a new U.S. major professional sports record. The 34-match Kastles winning streak eclipses the previous record of 33 held by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.
The Kastles have not lost since falling to the Lobsters on July 22, 2010, more than 1,000 days ago. Though Tuesday’s match was rather routine, many during the team’s unbeaten run have been anything but.
Over the span of 34 victories, Washington has won seven matches by one game and four matches in a winner-take-all Supertiebreaker, saving 10 match points in three different matches along the way. The Kastles captured the King Trophy in both 2011 and 2012 with 16-0 records — the first two perfect seasons in league history. The team also won the WTT title in 2009, and is off to a 2-0 start in 2013.
“The Kastles have embraced the team concept and played stellar tennis from the first serve to the last point,” Coach Jensen said. “Our fans know it; the players on the other side of the net know it and, most importantly, we know it. And we just love to play.”
Washington swept all five sets from Boston, with six-foot-eight Kevin Anderson getting the Kastles off to a fast start, claiming 16 of 18 points on his speedy serve to win men’s singles 5-2. The women’s doubles team of Hingis and Rodionova followed suit with a 5-3 victory. Hingis remained on court for the third set, teaming with the 13-time Grand Slam doubles champion Paes to win mixed doubles 5-3 and give Washington a 15-8 advantage overall at the half.
Hingis defeated Jill Craybas 5-2 in women’s singles to put the Kastles ahead 20-10 going into the final set of men’s doubles. That left Paes and Reynolds in prime position to close out the Kastles’ 34th straight win, which they did when Paes hit a service winner on Washington’s first match point.
Images are available from the historic meeting in the Oval Office and from the record-breaking match at: https://washingtonkastles.sharefile.com/d/s27881afc05d4f308.
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