WASHINGTON – It’s the best performing team in Washington, but many residents haven’t heard of it.
The Washington Kastles professional tennis team now has the longest winning streak in the history of American professional sports.
With its 34th win Tuesday night, the Kastles’ streak surpassed that of the Los Angeles Lakers, a team that previously held the record with 33 consecutive wins during the 1971-72 season.
The milestone came after the Kastles beat the Boston Lobsters 25-12.
“When I started here, in our first match, I really got into this mantra where we were playing for perfect every night, and goddangit we’ve come pretty close,” said Coach Murphy Jensen after Tuesday night’s match.
“In the D.C. community, everyone is a Kastles fan because we are a winning franchise in the D.C. community that people are looking at like, ‘Look how they are running their business. Look how they are running their franchise.'”
One fan in particular who attended Tuesday’s record-breaking match said he believed Jensen has been key to the team’s success.
“I think Murphy’s been phenomenal and has been so important to the team. Being able to bring everyone together, whether they’re new or old to the team, and being able to make them part of the family from the get-go,” said Michael Coe of D.C.
As the wins increase, so does the celebrity presence. When the Kastles tied the record of 33 wins with a 23-15 victory over the New York Sportimes Monday, first lady Michelle Obama was in the stands. Kastles’ star Venus Williams, derailed by injury, also cheered on her teammates.
“It’s the best ticket in town. I mean, even in the nosebleeds, you’re what — 10, 12 rows back? Perfect night, perfect weather. And I mean, you’re watching an undefeated team here. It’s fantastic,” said Jason Rocco of Alexandria after the Kastles tied the Lakers’ record Monday night.
Martina Hingis, replacing Williams on the court, is leading the team to what could be its third league championship.
“You don’t win alone, it’s the team. When Kevin (Anderson) started off the set so well, you just try to go with the momentum and play your best tennis. It’s a great team to work with and be on,” said Hingis following the 34th win.
“It makes it a lot easier. You feel like you’re not alone.”
The Kastles’ next match is against the Springfield Lasers at 7 p.m. Thursday at The Wharf.
Longest winning streaks in major U.S. pro sports history: