Match Point

Match Point

I've never been one to get the urge to sit down and watch a tennis match. Sure they're interesting, but it takes me about 5 minutes until I lose focus completely and change the channel. However, the mindset  that tennis is pretty dry and monotonous was debunked when two of my roommates and I got tickets to see the Washington Kastles World Team Tennis Finals against the Springfield Lasers. It was a random idea to go see the Kastles play, but the $20 I spent on a ticket BY FAR exceeded my expectations.

 

For those who don't know about the Kastles tennis team, it is comprised of some of the best tennis players  in the country. The Kastles team is made up of Martina Hingis, Kevin Anderson, Leander Paes, Bobby Reynolds, and Anastasia Rodionova (Serena Williams was on the team last year but couldn't be on the team this year due to injury). The Kastles team has also won back-to-back-to-back titles in this particular event. The game as a whole is formatted differently than tennis matches that avid tennis watchers are used to, for me it didn't matter because it was all pretty new anyway.

 

The Rain Can't Stop Us

Alright, so the start of the Kastles v. Lasers experience was a pretty wet one considering that it rained on us the way there and then we had to wait about an hour for the storm to pass and court to be dried. The announcer was very interactive and kept the crowds spirits up by playing appropriately themed music for the weather -- for instance, Umbrella by Rihanna -- so the rain was tolerable. As the large squeegee men came out to get the water off the court, the sold-out crowds' spirits started to rise in anticipation of the players taking the court.


The rain couldn't dampen our spirits!

 

Ok, so coming to see the Washington Kastles play, I pretty much expected to be cheering for them to win, and honestly I would say that 80 percent of me did. HOWEVER, the reason why I did not show 100 percent dedication to the Kastles was because of one particular player on the Springfield Lasers.

 

The lineup of the Springfield Lasers is as follows: Vania King, Alisa Kleybanova, Jean-Julien Rojer, Rik De Voest, and (the reason for my wavering support for the Kastles)... ANDY RODDICK. Imagine our surprise to find out that we were going to see Andy play.

 

Sidenote: At first there was some confusion about whether Andy was ACTUALLY going to play because a little kid in the front swore he was just there to coach, and made sure to turn around and correct us for our overzealous reactions! I knew this could not be the case, but I refused challenge a 10-year-old on the matter (an 11-year-old, MAYBE, but he's still young so I let it slide).

 

But, the fact of the matter was that we were going to be able to witness a U.S. Open Singles CHAMPION play against some of the other greats in tennis (and in doubles, no less)! So you see why I was conflicted regarding who to cheer for! I balanced it out by cheering for the Kastles whenever Andy was not playing, which I think is a pretty fair compromise.

 

 

 

Truly AMAZING to witness such a serve.

 

Now this wasn't a typical tennis match, and honestly I would not be able to explain it to you considering how little I know of regular tennis, but feel free to Google how this particular championship works! I can tell you that the Kastles just so happen to have a lovely mascot... can you guess what it is? If you guessed a tennis ball, then you would be correct!

 

You thought I was kidding, didn't you?

 

Rushing the Wharf

One of the best parts about the whole experience was towards the end of the championship match when those who had seats up close left before the end of the match! Why they left is beyond me, but the emcee announced that we could now "Rush the Wharf" which meant that we could move from our seats in the bleachers down to seats that are practically right on the court. After starting out in $20 seats, we ended in seats that had to have cost $75-$100 (if not more), which then gave us great view of the winners of the tournament which just so happened to be.....

 

The Kastles WIN for the third year in a row!

 

High Fives and Mild Stalking

Once the trophy was shown and paraded around, all of the players went to their tents and started to pack up so of course we just HAD to stand outside of them and wait to see who we could potentially get a photo with! My sights were set on Andy Roddick. While waiting for Andy though, the coolest thing happened -- Bobby Reynolds (who was named MVP that night) comes out from the players tent and walks past us. As he does so, I instinctively raise my hand for a high-five to congratulate him and he responds doing the same... so, yea, I got a HIGH FIVE from BOBBY REYNOLDS.

 

Finally Andy Roddick comes out and we try to get a picture but he was still somewhat bitter from the loss, which was understandable. He didn't stop for a picture, but we did end up "mildly stalking" him up to a certain point in the parking lot because what's the point of being in the presence of a sports celebrity if you don't get a little stalking in there, right? I'm glad you agree!

 

In all honesty, this event was a huge surprise in how much fun it was, I could not have anticipated how awesome the whole experience would be! There are a lot of things to do in D.C. for the summer but nobody really mentioned this particular event, it was just plain luck that we saw the poster for it and decided to go! So with that in mind...

FUTURE SUMMER INTERNS, I would definitely add this to your summer bucket list because it is one event that will be well worth your time!

 

Until Next Week! :)

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