After three weather delays, eight hours and one misplaced water bottle, nothing could take the shine off the Washington Kastles' 1 a.m celebration Monday at the World TeamTennis Championships on Daniel Island.
The Kastles hoisted the King Trophy -- named for WTT founder and tennis legend Billie Jean King -- after a 23-19 overtime victory over St. Louis in the WTT finals at the Family Circle Tennis Center on Daniel Island.
The match ended nearly eight hours after its 5 p.m. Sunday start time, plagued by three delays, caused by rain and lightning, totaling four hours. A total of 1,692 attended, with a hardy band of several hundred still there at the end.
The weather did little to dampen the enthusiasm of WTT players and coaches for the event's first visit to Charleston. They hope for more.
"Charleston is a perfect fit for this," said Kastles coach Murphy Jensen, who is familiar with the area through his work with the Family Circle Cup. "I'd almost be jealous, because this stadium would be the greatest in the history of World TeamTennis.
"Tennis is rich in history here, because of the Family Circle Cup. The paying, playing public who love the game of tennis are all over the place here."
Ironically, it was Jensen who delayed the finish of the longest match in WTT history. Washington's Bobby Reynolds had the winning point on his racket in men's singles when Jensen, in a case of premature celebration, tossed a water bottle on the court.
The point had to be replayed, keeping the Aces' hopes alive. But Reynolds eventually closed out the overtime win as the 16-0 Kastles became the first team in the 36-year history of the WTT to go undefeated through the regular season and playoffs.
"I was like, 'Dear God, if you can help me with one point today, this is the one I want,'" Jensen said. "Any my prayers were answered."
Washington's Arina Rodionova, a 21-year-old Russian, was named the finals MVP after winning in singles and women's doubles.
King called the three-day event "a great beginning." A total of 4,892 fans attended, an average of 1,631 per day. WTT and Family Circle officials will discuss the event's possible return to Charleston in coming weeks.
WASHINGTON KASTLES 23, ST. LOUIS ACES 19 (OT)
Mixed Doubles: Liezel Huber/Jean-Julien Rojer (STL) def. Rennae Stubbs/Leander Paes (WAS) 5-3
Women's Doubles: Rennae Stubbs/Arina Rodionova (WAS) def. Liezel Huber/Tamira Paszek (STL) 5-0
Men's Doubles: Leander Paes/Bobby Reynolds (WAS) def. Jean-Julien Rojer/Roman Borvanov (STL) 5-2
Women's Singles: Arina Rodionova (WAS) def. Tamira Paszek (STL) 5-4
Men's Singles: Roman Borvanov (STL) def. Bobby Reynolds (WAS) 5-4
Overtime: Roman Borvanov (STL) 3, Bobby Reynolds (WAS) 1