News & Politics

Michelle Obama Heads to Kastles Stadium for the Team’s Season Opener (Photos)

The Washington Kastles are up for a US record thanks to a 33-match winning streak.

First Lady Michelle Obama with members of the Washington Kastles tennis team, including Venus Williams on her left and team owner Mark Ein on her right. Photograph by Rich Kessler.

For area tennis enthusiasts, and sports fans in general, Tuesday night is shaping
up as one that could score DC a record for US professional sports—a 34-match winning
streak for the hometown sports franchise the Washington Kastles. The city’s four-year-old
World Team Tennis franchise will compete against the Boston Lobsters at 7 PM at its
stadium on Maine Avenue. Adding sparkle to Monday night’s sold-out opening rounds
of the tournament, where the Kastles beat the New York Sportimes 23 to 15, were the
celebs in the stands, including First Lady
Michelle Obama, Mayor
Vincent Gray, White House senior adviser
Valerie Jarrett, Commerce Secretary
Penny Pritzker, football legend
John Riggins, and Senator
Kirsten Gillibrand.

The owner of the Kastles, Washington businessman
Mark Ein, has been nothing if not fiercely focused on drawing attention and crowds to his
stadium and franchise. The draw, in part, is the well-known members of the Kastles
Leander Paes,
Kevin Anderson,
Bobby Reynolds,
Anastasia Rodionova, and
Martina Hingis, subbing in for
Venus Williams, who was sidelined due to an

The coach is
Murphy Jensen.

The First Lady sat at one of the private tables overlooking the court. In the owner’s
box with Ein were Gray, Jarrett, Pritzker, the First Lady’s chief of staff,
Tina Tchen, former Louisiana senator
John Breaux, seniors tennis champion
Danny Waldman, and Ein’s fianceé,
Sally Stiebel. Also at the match: White House chef
Sam Kass, Nationals co-owner
Ed Cohen, and
Cora Masters Barry.

With three championships to their credit, and possibly another one on the way, Jensen
being named Coach of the Year twice, and a roster that boasts dozens of individual
world titles, the Kastles can stand proud beside the more senior—if not dominant—DC
sports franchises in football, baseball, basketball, and hockey. Jensen called his
crew the “winningest team in DC,” which, so far, is true. The only comparable winning
streak happened in Los Angeles in 1971 and ’72, when the Lakers won 33 games in a
row, a historic run that the Kastles matched Monday.

In addition to Tuesday’s game, there will be home matches on five dates: July 11,
17, 20, 22, and 24, and on the 25th and 28th if the Kastles once again make it to
the championship rounds.