Washington Kastles

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Washington Kastles
Washington Kastles logo.jpg
Founded 2008
Current season 2015
League World TeamTennis
Team history Washington Kastles
2008–present
Based in Washington, D.C.
Stadium Kastles Stadium at The Charles E. Smith Center
Colors

Red, White and Navy

              
Owner(s) Mark Ein
Head coach Murphy Jensen
Championships 6 (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
Division titles 6
Cheerleaders 8
Mascot Topspin and Slice

The Washington Kastles is one of seven franchises currently competing in World Team Tennis.

Based in Washington, D.C., since 2008, the Kastles won the WTT championship in the 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons. The team is named for Kastle Systems, the office security company owned by team owner Mark Ein.

Venue[edit]

The Kastles played the 2014 and 2015 seasons indoors at George Washington University's Charles E. Smith Center at 22nd and G Streets NW. The venue hosted two matches that set the record for attendance at a Kastles match at 3,275 in 2014. In 2015 a new attendance record was set at over 4,200 when an additional seating section was offered for sale to a sold out match. That additional seating section sold out in less than one day.

The team played its first three seasons in a temporary stadium constructed each summer on the site of the former Washington Convention Center. The Kastles played the next three seasons at Kastles Stadium at The Wharf, a 2,600-seat facility erected in 2011 on the Southwest Waterfront. That facility was torn down for the city's waterfront development project.

History[edit]

The Kastles began World TeamTennis play as an expansion franchise in 2008 and finished 6-8 in their inaugural season. They won their first King Trophy (named after former world No. 1 player and league co-owner Billie Jean King) in 2009 despite losing their first four matches and finishing just 7-7 during the regular season. The Kastles failed to qualify for the playoffs in 2010 but then went undefeated in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons, winning all 14 regular-season matches, the Eastern Conference championship and the WTT championship.

In 2011, the Kastles went undefeated, the first perfect season for a World Team Tennis team and only the second team, after the 1994 Newport Beach Dukes, to win all of its regular-season matches. (The Newport Beach Dukes lost in the playoffs). It was the first time a Washington professional sports team posted an undefeated regular season and also won its league championship.

In 2012, the Kastles finished 16-0 again, becoming the first U.S. professional sports team to complete back-to-back perfect seasons.

The Kastles won their 2013 season opener against the New York Sportimes, 23-15, notching their 33rd consecutive victory and equaling the winning streak of the NBA's 1971–72 Los Angeles Lakers. In their next match, they beat the Boston Lobsters, 25-12, a 34th victory that set the U.S. record for a winning streak by a major professional sports team.[citation needed]

On July 10, 2013, the Kastles had their winning streak snapped by the Texas Wild in Las Colinas, Texas. The next night at home, the Kastles fell to the Springfield Lasers. Martina Hingis was not with the team for the back to back losses due to her induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The Kastles won the remaining 10 matches of the regular season and ended up with the best record in the WTT at 12-2. The Kastles beat the Boston Lobsters in the Eastern Conference Championship match on July 25 by a score of 25-12. The Kastles repeated that score of 25-12 in a rain-delayed WTT Championship match against the Springfield Lasers to win their third consecutive WTT Championship and post a final season record of 14-2.

The Kastles continued their winning ways in 2014. Even though the Kastles lost four regular season matches (a home record of 6-1), they posted the best record in the Eastern Conference and hosted the Philadelphia Freedoms in the Eastern Conference Championship match. The Kastles won their 5th Eastern Conference Championship by a score of 21-16.

The Kastles then traveled to Springfield, Missouri, to face the Springfield Lasers in the Mylan WTT Championship Match on July 27, 2014. Since the Kastles had a better regular-season record, they were considered the home team. The Kastles swept all five events and won their fourth consecutive WTT Championship by a score of 25-13. Bobby Reynolds won his Men's Singles event and the Men's Doubles event, his last match as a Washington Kastle. The only other team in the 39-year history of World Team Tennis that won four championships in a row are the Sacramento Capitals. With their WTT Championship in 2015, the Kastles stand alone with five consecutive WTT titles.

The Kastles have missed the playoffs and failed to win the Eastern Conference Championship and WTT Championship only twice in the existence of the franchise (2008 and 2010).

Justin Gimelstob controversy[edit]

On June 25, 2008, Kastles player Justin Gimelstob was on the Washington, D.C., morning radio show "The Sports Junkies", talking about his tennis career, his interactions with other tennis pros, his dalliances with such female players as Martina Hingis, and a variety of other topics. During the interview, Gimelstob, a regular guest on the show, said that he when he faced Anna Kournikova (who played for the St. Louis Aces) the following month match in Washington: "I’m going to serve it right at the body, about 128, right into her midriff. If she's not crying by the time she comes off court then I did not do my job." Asked if that meant he hated the Russian, with whom he trained as a youth, he replied: "Hate is a very strong word. I just despise her to the maximum level just below hate." He added that he would not like to sleep with Kournikova, "because she's such a douche." Instead, "I wouldn't mind having my younger brother, who's a kind of a stud, nail her and then reap the benefits of that."

Gimelstob subsequently lost his job as a commentator on the Tennis Channel.

Kournikova originally had planned to pull herself from the event but decided to play. In the mixed doubles portion of the match, Mashona Washington and Gimelstob defeated Kournikova and Travis Rettenmaier. 5-2 (though Gimelstob did not start the set. He came in for Scott Oudsema at 2-0).

People[edit]

Head coach[edit]

Thomas Blake was named head coach of the Washington Kastles in June 2008. Blake became a professional tennis player in 1996 and most notably partnered with his brother, James Blake, to play doubles in the US Open in 1996 and 2002. In 2005, Blake retired from professional singles play.

Murphy Jensen was named the Kastles' head coach at the start of the 2009 season. Jensen and his brother, Luke won the French Open doubles championship in 1993 and hosts a show on the Tennis Channel. After the Kastles finished undefeated in 2011 and 2012, Jensen was named the league's Coach of the Year. Jensen was also named the league's Coach of the Year in 2013.

Roster - 2015 WTT Championship Team Roster[edit]

Former Kastles[edit]

Seasons[edit]

2008 season[edit]

Record: 6-8 (Inaugural Season)

2009 season[edit]

Record: 7-7 (Eastern Conference Second Seed, World TeamTennis Champions)

Eastern Conference Championship (Kastles Stadium, City Center, Washington, DC)

  • July 24: vs. New York Sportimes: 22-19 win (8-7)

World TeamTennis Championship (Kastles Stadium, City Center, Washington, DC)

  • July 26: vs. Springfield Lasers: 23-20 win (9-7)

2010 season[edit]

Record: 8-6

2011 season[edit]

Record: 16-0 (World TeamTennis Champions)

Eastern Conference Championship (Family Circle Tennis Center, Charleston, SC)

  • July 22: vs. Boston Lobsters: 23-15 win (15-0)

World TeamTennis Championship (Family Circle Tennis Center, Charleston, SC)

  • July 24: vs. St. Louis Aces: 23-19 win (16-0)

2012 season[edit]

Record: 16-0 (World TeamTennis Champions)

Eastern Conference Championship (Family Circle Tennis Center, Charleston, SC)

  • September 15: New York Sportimes (WAS: Venus Williams): 19-15 win (15-0)

World TeamTennis Championship (Family Circle Tennis Center, Charleston, SC)

  • September 16: Sacramento Capitals (WAS: Venus Williams, SAC: Kevin Anderson): 20-19 win (16-0)

2013 season[edit]

Record: 14-2 (World TeamTennis Champions)

  • July 8: vs. New York Sportimes: 7:10 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis, Kevin Anderson): 23-15 win (1-0)
  • July 9: vs. Boston Lobsters: 7:10 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis, Kevin Anderson): 25-12 win (2-0)
  • July 10: @ Texas Wild: 7:35 p.m. (WAS: Kevin Anderson): 18-23 loss (2-1)
  • July 11: vs. Springfield Lasers: 7:10 p.m. (SPR: Andy Roddick, WAS: Kevin Anderson): 15-22 loss (2-2)
  • July 13: @ Sacramento Capitals: 7:35 p.m.: 23-14 win (3-2)
  • July 15: @ Boston Lobsters: 7 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis, BOS: Mark Philippoussis): 23-18 win (4-2)
  • July 16: @ Philadelphia Freedoms: 7 p.m. (Martina Hingis): 22-18 win (5-2)
  • July 17: vs. Springfield Lasers: 7:10 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis): 21-15 win (6-2)
  • July 19: @ Texas Wild: 7:35 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis): 23-16 win (7-2)
  • July 20: vs. New York Sportimes: 7 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis): 21-20 win (8-2)
  • July 21: @ Boston Lobsters: 7 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis): 19-18 win (9-2)
  • July 22: vs. Philadelphia Freedoms: 7:10 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis): 23-13 win (10-2)
  • July 23: @ New York Sportimes: 7:30 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis): 23-15 win (11-2)
  • July 24: vs. Boston Lobsters: 7:10 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis): 25-9 win (12-2)

Eastern Conference Championship (Kastles Stadium at The Wharf, Washington, D.C.)

  • July 25: Kastles (Home Team based on Record) vs. Boston Lobsters: 7:10 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis): 25-12 win (13-2)

World TeamTennis Championship (Kastles Stadium at The Wharf, Washington, D.C.)

  • July 28: Kastles (Home Team due to best record in WTT) vs. Springfield Lasers (WAS: Martina Hingis, SPR: Andy Roddick): 25-12 win (14-2)

2014 season[edit]

  • July 7: @ Boston Lobsters: 7 p.m.: 24-16 win (1-0)
  • July 8: @ Texas Wild: 7:30 p.m.: 24-15 win (2-0)
  • July 9: vs. Boston Lobsters: 7 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis, Kevin Anderson): 24-8 win (3-0)
  • July 10: vs. Philadelphia Freedoms: 7 p.m. (WAS Martina Hingis, Kevin Anderson): 24-10 win (4-0)
  • July 11: @ Austin Aces: 7:30 p.m. (AUS: Andy Roddick, Marion Bartoli, WAS: Martina Hingis): 24-10 win (5-0)
  • July 13: vs. Philadelphia Freedoms: 7 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis): 23-14 win (6-0)
  • July 14: vs. San Diego Aviators: 7 p.m. (SD: Daniela Hantuchova, WAS: Martina Hingis): 18-22 loss (6-1)
  • July 16: vs. Texas Wild: 7 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis, Venus Williams): 23-18 win (7-1)
  • July 17: @ Philadelphia Freedoms: 7 p.m. (WAS: Venus Williams): 15-22 loss (7-2)
  • July 18: @ Springfield Lasers: 7 p.m.: 10-24 loss (7-3)
  • July 19: @ Boston Lobsters: 7 p.m.: 23-19 win (8-3)
  • July 21: vs. Boston Lobsters: 7 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis): 25-9 win (9-3)
  • July 22: vs. Springfield Lasers: 7 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis, Sloane Stephens): 23-15 win (10-3)
  • July 23: @ Philadelphia Freedoms: 7 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis): 20-21 loss (10-4)

Eastern Conference Championship (Kastles Stadium at the Smith Center, Washington, D.C.)

  • July 24: Kastles (Home team based on Record) vs. Philadelphia Freedoms: 7 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis): 21-16 win (11-4)

World TeamTennis Championship (Mediacom Stadium at Cooper Tennis Complex, Springfield, MO)

  • July 27: Kastles (Home team sets order of play due to better regular season record) vs. Springfield Lasers: 5 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis): 25-13 win (12-4)

2015 season[edit]

Eastern Conference Championship

  • Thursday, July 30: Kastles (Home Team based on Record) vs. Philadelphia Freedoms: 7:10 p.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis, Sam Querrey): 25-9 win (11-4)

World TeamTennis Championship (Kastles Stadium at the Smith Center, Washington, D.C.)

  • Sunday, August 2: Kastles (Home Team due to Eastern Conference win) vs. Austin Aces: 11:30 a.m. (WAS: Martina Hingis, Sam Querrey): 24-18 win (12-4)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]