Who Says Tennis Season Is Over?

Not with the Washington Kastles.  The team continues to add accolades even during the offseason!

Southeast Tennis and Learning Center Dedicates Court 1 to Washington Kastles and Mark Ein Over the Weekend

A memorable week for the Washington Kastles organization and team owner Mark Ein ended on Saturday in phenomenal fashion as Court 1 at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center was dedicated to the three-time World TeamTennis champions.

Five days earlier, Mayor Vincent Gray and the DC City Council declared October 22, 2012 to be Washington Kastles Day.

SETLC founder Cora Masters Barry, former Mayor Marion Barry, Council member Jack Evans and Director of Parks and Recreation Jesús Aguirre all saluted the Kastles on Saturday during a special ceremony at the 14th Annual Heart to Hart Tennis Experience.

"Mark Ein is a wonderful community leader who has become a champion for the great success the Center has had to date," said Cora Masters Barry.

Also on hand were Mayor Gray and former Mayor Anthony Williams, who was honored with the renaming of the SETLC Pavilion.

Originally a partnership effort with neighboring Hart Middle School, Heart to Hart united adult players with talented juniors from the SETLC tennis program in a round-robin tennis tournament.

One of those rising stars, Taylor "Woodie" McKnight, read the proclamation that officially renamed Court 1 after the Kastles.

McKnight, 15, made a national television appearance on Aug. 26 alongside the likes of Roger Federer and Serena Williams, earning $14,000 for the SETLC in a target-hitting contest as part of the 2012 US Open Arthur Ashe Kids Day.

Following the on-court ceremony, McKnight teamed up with Ein and showed off his picturesque one-handed backhand in the Heart to Hart tournament.

Ein and McKnight defeated one-time World No. 64 Brian Vahaly and the SETLC's Nolan Jones 8-5, before falling to former doubles World No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion Richey Reneberg and Kastles' ballboy Chris Brown 8-6.

Other Heart to Hart highlights included a Kastles-themed cheerleading performance from 11 elementary school girls and a promise from Evans to dedicate millions of dollars from the Council's 2013 budget to improving the SETLC's courts.
Located in the heart of Ward 8's Washington Highlands neighborhood, the SETLC has combined academics, cultural enrichment, technology and tennis to inspire more than 2,000 young people since 2001.

The Kastles have been close partners with the SETLC throughout the franchise's first five seasons. In addition, Washington players Serena and Venus Williams are longtime supporters of the SETLC, most recently hosting a kids' clinic and attending "The Tennis Ball" gala on site in 2011.

Besides donating an auction package at Heart to Hart, the Kastles also held a drawing for a brand-new Nike Dri-Fit Kastles jacket, valued at $75. The winner of the jacket is Hiawatha Berry!

More WK news at www.washingtonkastles.com!