WASHINGTON, D.C. – With a rare honor, the World TeamTennis (WTT) champion Washington Kastles received proclamations from both the Mayor's Office and D.C. City Council at the same time on Monday. With more than 200 Kastles fans cheering and other senior leaders of the city government on the steps of the Wilson Building, Mayor Vincent Gray and City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson proclaimed Oct. 22 to be Washington Kastles Day in recognition of the team's second consecutive championship season, unprecedented winning streak and many contributions to the city, including its extensive outreach programs that give back to the youth of the community.
"I want to congratulate the Washington Kastles for becoming the first team to go undefeated in the 37-year history of World TeamTennis and for 32 straight wins," Mayor Gray said. "Owner Mark Ein and his team are also winners off the field, as they are supporters of our youth and efforts to bring diversity to the game of tennis."
In addition to being honored by the Mayor's Office, the Kastles were also honored by the District's City Council for their contributions to the D.C. community. The resolution, read by Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, stated: "The Council of the District of Columbia salute the Washington Kastles and Mark Ein for their dedication, passion and preserving spirit in advancing sporting excellence in Washington, D.C. and elevating our city to prominence in professional tennis."
Also on hand to commend the Kastles for their tremendous achievements were Councilwoman Yvette Alexander, Councilman Jack Evans, Councilman Vincent Orange, CEO of Events D.C. Greg O'Dell and Cora Masters Barry, CEO of the Recreation Wish List Committee at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center.
In September, the Kastles won their third WTT title in four years, posting a perfect 16-0 season for the second straight year. They are the only two perfect seasons in the 37-year history of World TeamTennis. In addition, it is the only time a professional sports team has had back-to-back undefeated seasons. The Kastles' current 32-match winning streak is one win shy of the all-time unbeaten professional sports streak of 33 wins set by the NBA's 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.
While Monday marked the first time that the Kastles were honored by both the D.C. Council and Mayor's Office on the same day, the Kastles were also recognized by the city with the Key to the City in 2009 following their first WTT champions and with proclamations of Washington Kastles Day following their inaugural season in 2008 and their WTT championship in 2011.
"It's an incredible honor to be recognized by both the Mayor and the City Council on the same day, and we are very grateful to our City leaders for this recognition," said Ein. "The passionate support for the team from the entire Washington, D.C. community since we founded the team has inspired our players to make history. Each victory on the court, and every honor off of it, is a tribute to our amazing fans and our phenomenal community."
The WTT champion Kastles play at Kastles Stadium at The Wharf in Southwest D.C., featuring intimate views of on-court tennis and off-court landmarks like the Potomac River and Washington Monument. In addition to thrilling, championship tennis, the Kastles continue to give back to the community, donating more than $750,000; 8,000 tickets and 4,000 tennis racquets to local charities.