Kastles' streak crumbles at 34
IRVING, Texas (AP)
The longest winning streak in major U.S. pro sports history is over.
The Washington Kastles of World TeamTennis lost on Wednesday night to the Texas Wild, ending a run of 34 straight wins that had lasted since 2010.
Eugenie Bouchard won the deciding match, in women's singles, over Anastasia Rodionova, giving the Wild a 23-18 win a day after the Kastles bested the mark set by a slightly more high profile team — the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers won 33 straight in the 1971-72 season.
Before Wednesday night, the Kastles' last loss in the summer league was on July 22, 2010.
A day earlier, the Kastles were celebrating after defeating the Boston Lobsters. And they even got congrats from the Los Angeles Lakers.
''Winning 33 consecutive games was an amazing accomplishment by our 1971-72 Lakers team, as evidenced by the fact that no other team has come close to reaching it for over 40 years now,'' Lakers executive Jeanie Buss said in a written statement. ''On behalf of the Buss family and the Lakers family, I want to congratulate the Washington Kastles, their players, and our good friends (WTT co-founder) Billie Jean King and (WTT commissioner) Ilana Kloss on this milestone accomplishment of theirs.''
Perhaps the best reminder of the Lakers at the stadium Tuesday was the Kastles' public address announcer, who announced the game on stilts, making him more than 7 feet tall.
Streaks also come with superstitions, and Kastles owner Mark Ein was no exception. He donned the same brown dress shoes he wore when the team captured the 2009 title, the day that coach Murphy Jensen had all the players put pieces of tape on their shoes to symbolize team unity.
''Before the match, they called me over and said I had to wear it, too,'' Ein said.
The small pieces of white tape are still on Ein's shoes.
''I definitely can never wear these into a meeting again,'' he said, ''so I figure at least I can wear them out at Kastles Stadium. I've broken them out four or five times for big matches.''