PDA

View Full Version : Discovered Why I Can't Enjoy Mixed.


ttbrowne
04-11-2009, 07:20 PM
I'm 3.5. Wife is 2.5 and we played USTA 6.0 last night. First match. There was always something that I just didn't enjoy about Mixed but could never put my finger on it. Last night, I got it. I REFUSE to poach all over the place putting away feeble 2.5 females shots. I noticed the other guy did it and I just cannot do it. His team was the winner of course but, to me, he just looked silly doing it. I'd rather lose. It gives me no joy to play that way. Even though you're supposed to play all out. I even told my wife that I just couldn't do it. After this season of USTA Mixed, I'm done. It's lame.

blakesq
04-11-2009, 07:38 PM
So, winning points is just too silly for you to do? Maybe tennis isn't the sport for you.


I'm 3.5. Wife is 2.5 and we played USTA 6.0 last night. First match. There was always something that I just didn't enjoy about Mixed but could never put my finger on it. Last night, I got it. I REFUSE to poach all over the place putting away feeble 2.5 females shots. I noticed the other guy did it and I just cannot do it. His team was the winner of course but, to me, he just looked silly doing it. I'd rather lose. It gives me no joy to play that way. Even though you're supposed to play all out. I even told my wife that I just couldn't do it. After this season of USTA Mixed, I'm done. It's lame.

Chris De Tone
04-11-2009, 07:50 PM
Been down that road before. I did not want to "beat up" on lesser talented players. Well, in my case it was playing with an ex-girlfriend in a mixed tourney. I know that it does not seem honorable, but I learned to just do it because as they say..."hell hath no fury like a woman that wants a trophy". If you give full effort, you'll be better off, believe me.

ttbrowne
04-11-2009, 07:57 PM
So, winning points is just too silly for you to do? Maybe tennis isn't the sport for you.

Beg pardon, Blackie, but we're talking mixed here. Ya know what that is?
It's different from actual tennis.
BTW, You get off on slammin' the 2.5 chicks shots?

J011yroger
04-11-2009, 08:03 PM
Beg pardon, Blackie, but we're talking mixed here. Ya know what that is?
It's different from actual tennis.
BTW, You get off on slammin' the 2.5 chicks shots?

Mixed is a ton of fun when your partner is a college player who can give it as good as they can.

J

goober
04-11-2009, 08:33 PM
I only play social mixed dubs and I usually have a fun time:) Competitive would pretty much ruin it for me.

maverick66
04-11-2009, 08:45 PM
if its a tourny im gonna go at the female player as hard as i can. she has to expect it entering in a tournament. if where just hitting then i wont go at her.

pow
04-11-2009, 09:52 PM
Hit it to the guy then.

BreakPoint
04-11-2009, 11:08 PM
I decided mixed was a waste of time long ago. It's just no fun for the man. You have to cover practically the whole court if you want to win. If you don't, they expect you to. If you stand at the net when your female partner is serving, the returner just nails the return off of weak serve right at your face. If you stand back, they just hit every ball to your weaker female partner and you never get to touch the ball. If you serve hard or hit the ball hard at the opposing female, it's frowned upon and you get evil looks. It's pretty much a can't win situation for the man. Like I said, it's a complete waste of time for me.

I'm pretty sure whoever invented mixed doubles was a female. They have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Whereas, for the men, we have nothing to gain and everything to lose. Just like if John McEnroe played doubles with me. ;)

BreakPoint
04-11-2009, 11:11 PM
Beg pardon, Blackie, but we're talking mixed here. Ya know what that is?
It's different from actual tennis.
BTW, You get off on slammin' the 2.5 chicks shots?
I totally agree.

Mixed doubles is not tennis. It's a completely different animal. They need to give this "activity" a totally different name that does not include the word "tennis". :shock:

blakesq
04-12-2009, 05:00 AM
Yes, i know what mixed is. I also know what tennis is too. Maybe you should look into the rules of tennis, especially the part about winning points. If winning points seems too mean to you, maybe you should play one of those "sports" where they do not keep score.


Beg pardon, Blackie, but we're talking mixed here. Ya know what that is?
It's different from actual tennis.
BTW, You get off on slammin' the 2.5 chicks shots?

goober
04-12-2009, 05:02 AM
I decided mixed was a waste of time long ago. It's just no fun for the man. You have to cover practically the whole court if you want to win. If you don't, they expect you to. If you stand at the net when your female partner is serving, the returner just nails the return off of weak serve right at your face. If you stand back, they just hit every ball to your weaker female partner and you never get to touch the ball. If you serve hard or hit the ball hard at the opposing female, it's frowned upon and you get evil looks. It's pretty much a can't win situation for the man. Like I said, it's a complete waste of time for me.

I'm pretty sure whoever invented mixed doubles was a female. They have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Whereas, for the men, we have nothing to gain and everything to lose. Just like if John McEnroe played doubles with me. ;)

I say it depends. If you are playing with 4.5+ women, I find the matches pretty even and they can definitely hold their own. The main problem is that there are so few of them out there and they are pretty picky with whom they will play.

raiden031
04-12-2009, 06:21 AM
Mixed can be fun, but its not fun right out of the box. You must have a quality female partner for it to be fun. Pairings where the male is 1.0 stronger than his partner are very not fun for the male from my experience. This year with a 4.0 rating, I played both 8.0 and 7.0. I found that 7.0 was much harder than 8.0 because in 7.0 I am responsible for almost the whole court (if I want to win) whereas in 8.0 I can rely on my partner to handle their half of the court.

Geezer Guy
04-12-2009, 06:35 AM
I only play social mixed dubs and I usually have a fun time:) Competitive would pretty much ruin it for me.

Totally agree. The only time I enjoy XD is when it's totally for fun. If there's anything on the line, it's just too.... (I don't even know what the word is.) I cannot compete my hardest against a woman, and I hate if if I get beat by a woman - and I don't enjoy a win over a woman. For me, it's a no win situation. I don't DETEST knocking around a ball with a woman, and I don't mind playing out points and keeping score, and laughing and playing for fun. I just can't do it "competitively".

KFwinds
04-12-2009, 06:58 AM
Yeah, many of you are saying the same thing in different ways; your mixed team is only going be as good as your females. Bottom line. Fortunately, the ladies in my league understand this and try to bring it when they come to play because they know that they are going to see most of the shots hit their way. But, if your female partner is not playing as well as the woman on the other side of the net, it's just not going to work out well for your team. I know for me, once I start trying for balls that I shouldn't be going for or going for too much on my groundstrokes it takes me out of my own game. I need for my partner to be able to carry their own load. I enjoy mixed dubs, but I've also learned to accept the fact that on some days I'm going to lose to some opponents that I normally wouldn't lose to under more "normal" circumstances. I've come close to giving up on mixed a few times, but my team has a great captain and people that I enjoy playing with. You really have to view it as being more social than competitive.

Topaz
04-12-2009, 07:52 AM
Wow, you guys are all so very full of yourselves.

Mixed is a team effort. You have one guy and one girl. If the guy sucks, it doesn't really matter how good the girl is (and vice versa).

I've played plenty of mixed matches where I play a solid match, but my male partner (possibly in a rage of testosterone) tries to hit everything about mach 1 and either buries it in the net or six feet over the baseline. Meanwhile, the male on the opposing team actually has some kind of idea of consistency, and even though I'm doing *my* job, we lose.

So, see...you can blame it all on the gals as much as you want, but before you do, maybe you should double check to make sure you are doing *your* job. Hmmm? Just *maybe*? I mean, I know us gals are so much *weaker* than you big, strong boys, but in tennis...it doesn't matter how hard you hit the ball if you can't get it in the court!

********

And really Netmaster...are you trying to be banned? Stop harassing raiden already, you're making a fool of yourself.

lilycolefan
04-12-2009, 08:18 AM
Mixed doubles can be fun if the girl is about your level. I played mixed with a girl better than me and she was awesome at returning. We broke almost every time.

Topaz
04-12-2009, 08:21 AM
Mixed doubles can be fun if the girl is about your level. I played mixed with a girl better than me and she was awesome at returning. We broke almost every time.

I will agree that when your 7.0 combo is a 4.0 guy and a 3.0 gal, that the 4.0 guy is going to have to work harder than if it were 3.5/3.5. But again, he should know that going onto the court, and also remember that even though his partner is a 3.0, there are going to be things that she can do, and do well. I also see a lot of guy who make a ton of mistakes because they feel like they can't let their partner hit anything, and in doing so...end up way out of position making an error and/or giving the opposing team an easy putaway.

Doubles, whether mixed or not, is a *team* effort. Mixed is a different animal than just men's/women's dubs, but it still involves two people who *have* to work together to win.

sureshs
04-12-2009, 09:01 AM
Mixed doubles is a very good litmus test for men. In the typical social mixed dubs scene, neither partner is very good. It is an opportunity to find out if the guy has the poaching abilities, athletic skills, and intelligence to make his team win. Lots of men play good men's dubs and men's singles, but the mixed dubs exposes them as they have to do more. Psychologically, there is more pressure to hold serve. The man is expected to do more if his partner falls short, while in men's doubles you blame it on your partner and move on.

I don't like mixed dubs for other reasons (too much woman2woman mind games going on), but have great respect for the guys who win, because it shows their game is adaptable to difficult situations.

Phunky_Phorehand
04-12-2009, 09:05 AM
Wow, you guys are all so very full of yourselves.

Mixed is a team effort. You have one guy and one girl. If the guy sucks, it doesn't really matter how good the girl is (and vice versa).

.
Well spoken Topaz.

To go back to the OP who refused to poach and then called the guy on the other side of the net "silly" for doing so. What about his partner? She gets her counterpart on the other side of the net to cough up a floater and her teamate thinks that he's too good to put it away? I would think that she would quit mixed before he would. Mixed doubles is tennis, just different tennis. Just like doubles is different tennis from singles.

Topaz
04-12-2009, 09:10 AM
Suresh, you forgot to mention the man2man testosterone games that also go on.

The men don't necessarily have to do more...depends on their partner.

I would agree that the men are expected to hold serve. But again, it doesn't matter how much heat your heater has...if it doesn't land in that little box.

LOL, I have a lot of angst from my past mixed season. Can you tell? Ugh. I think I'm done with mixed, too; though it is for some different reasons:

1. Never, ever saw so much sandbagging before in my life.
2. We had some really strong women on our team, but only a few strong men...not enough to go around. Again, if your women are even, and your men are not...still not going to win.
3. Matches were too late at night for me. Would rather be going to lessons and clinics and getting a decent night's sleep.

All in all, it was my most successful mixed season yet (though, the bar was pretty low!), and I had the best success when paired with fellow TTW member JRStriker12...who not only holds his serve and has faith in his partner's skills, but also lets me play my strongest side of the court (ad side)...only guy who would 'let' me play that side.

sureshs
04-12-2009, 09:26 AM
Suresh, you forgot to mention the man2man testosterone games that also go on.

The men don't necessarily have to do more...depends on their partner.

I would agree that the men are expected to hold serve. But again, it doesn't matter how much heat your heater has...if it doesn't land in that little box.


Somehow the situations I end up in are ones with very few good women (relative to the men's level). As someone said here, the good women are so much in demand they are playing somewhere else.

ttbrowne
04-12-2009, 10:41 AM
Yes, i know what mixed is. I also know what tennis is too. Maybe you should look into the rules of tennis, especially the part about winning points. If winning points seems too mean to you, maybe you should play one of those "sports" where they do not keep score.

I'm going to apologize for parts of my reply post. I think it went too far in attacking you. I'm sorry.

But on this subject. I am pointing out MY feelings on the things I will not allow myself to do just to WIN.

blakesq
04-12-2009, 12:04 PM
I apologize too. But, you should be aware, USTA leagues are competitive leagues. I am sure you can find a social mixed doubles league, where poaching on weak shots, and crushing weak shots are looked down upon. However, in USTA winning (by the rules) is the goal. Good luck!


I'm going to apologize for parts of my reply post. I think it went too far in attacking you. I'm sorry.

But on this subject. I am pointing out MY feelings on the things I will not allow myself to do just to WIN.

BreakPoint
04-12-2009, 12:35 PM
Mixed is a team effort. You have one guy and one girl. If the guy sucks, it doesn't really matter how good the girl is (and vice versa).

Yes, that's true. But unfortunately in my own personal mixed doubles experience, I've never run across a case where the man was the weaker player. It always becomes a game of hitting every ball to the woman. And that's just not a whole lot of fun for the man. :(

Topaz
04-12-2009, 12:48 PM
Yes, that's true. But unfortunately in my own personal mixed doubles experience, I've never run across a case where the man was the weaker player. It always becomes a game of hitting every ball to the woman. And that's just not a whole lot of fun for the man. :(

In my area, we have a *ton* of 7.0 mixed teams...21 teams, which meant 20 matches.

I noticed that the teams at the bottom tended to have weaker men and stronger women (but not 4.0 territory). This is where you would see the guys hit as hard as they could...into the net. The women were usually more consistent, but didn't hit a hard ball (which, for someone like me, actually gives me fits). The teams at the top had both strong male and females paired up together. I got slaughtered twice, but also had a few close wins/losses, and one blowout win.

So, again, let's just keep gender out of it, and say mixed is an animal all of its own, and it takes a *team* effort to get the job done.

Patrick_St
04-12-2009, 01:59 PM
Women just aren't as athletic on average as men, and I would say it is a very fair assesment to say that there aren't as many women at the same level as men to play mixed doubles with in almost all regions. Therefore most teams will have a stronger male player than female player. It's not sexist, it's just the way it is. Do you really think that women are as strong/fast/etc. as men on average?

tenniko
04-12-2009, 03:21 PM
I thought if you are playing a set or a match in tennis, the end goal is to win that set or match, given you follow the rules.

If you win within the rules, you won 'honorably'. End of the story.

J011yroger
04-12-2009, 03:25 PM
I thought if you are playing a set or a match in tennis, the end goal is to win that set or match.

Maybe for you, winning is usually the least important thing to me when I play matches. Especially mixed.

J

Kostas
04-12-2009, 03:34 PM
Who says you have to smash a 2.5 women's crosscourt return?

You're a 3.5, I'm sure you could work on your touch volleys no?

Why focus on the negative and if you're main goal isn't to win the match then why not work on something specific?

I'm a 3.0 and my wife is a strong 4.0 and I LOVE playing 7.0 mixed. We are one of the best teams in the area around here.

Topaz
04-12-2009, 03:44 PM
Women just aren't as athletic on average as men, and I would say it is a very fair assesment to say that there aren't as many women at the same level as men to play mixed doubles with in almost all regions. Therefore most teams will have a stronger male player than female player. It's not sexist, it's just the way it is. Do you really think that women are as strong/fast/etc. as men on average?

And I would say that in my region, you'd be very, very wrong.

Again, it isn't about who can hit is the hardest...I know plenty of guys who hit very, very hard...right into the net. Sometimes, even into the back curtain.

What constitutes a 'stronger' tennis player is not necessarily brute strength.

And I know plenty of women who are faster than the men in my area...because they are *much* fitter.

And the guys who've given me a smackdown in mixed haven't hit the hardest...they hit the *smartest*.

drake
04-12-2009, 03:47 PM
Mixed is a ton of fun when your partner is a college player who can give it as good as they can.

J


Mixed doubles with a toned college female is my favorite sport on earth!

J011yroger
04-12-2009, 03:54 PM
Mixed doubles with a toned college female is my favorite sport on earth!

I just like tennis, doesn't much matter who is on my/the other side of the net as long as they have a purpose.

Fortunately I have been able to play with many good players including DI and highly ranked Junior girls.

And a set or two of mixed is just a great way to finish up after the "real" practice is over.

J

tenniko
04-12-2009, 03:58 PM
Maybe for you, winning is usually the least important thing to me when I play matches. Especially mixed.

J

well, enjoying tennis is the most important part of the game. (hence the "game").

but winning the set I think is second on the list when you play a match, especially in a tournament or USTA leagues (unless you are trying new things out or improving certain aspects of the game)

sureshs
04-12-2009, 04:16 PM
Mixed doubles with a toned college female is my favorite sport on earth!

We are talking about tennis here.

region2champion
04-12-2009, 04:23 PM
I enjoy mixed doubles more then any part of tennis (only is she's hot)

raiden031
04-12-2009, 05:07 PM
In my area, we have a *ton* of 7.0 mixed teams...21 teams, which meant 20 matches.

I noticed that the teams at the bottom tended to have weaker men and stronger women (but not 4.0 territory). This is where you would see the guys hit as hard as they could...into the net. The women were usually more consistent, but didn't hit a hard ball (which, for someone like me, actually gives me fits). The teams at the top had both strong male and females paired up together. I got slaughtered twice, but also had a few close wins/losses, and one blowout win.

So, again, let's just keep gender out of it, and say mixed is an animal all of its own, and it takes a *team* effort to get the job done.

I understand your point of view, especially with some of the comments being posted here. But when all is said and done, most mixed matchups involve a woman who is weaker than their male partner by virtue of the rating system where a 3.5M is by definition better than a 3.5W. That is why it is crucial that the female hold their own, because in most cases the strategy is to hit more shots to the female opponent.

I think its a rare luxury that a guy actually gets to pair up in a league match with a stronger mixed partner, so I understand alot of the frustrations with mixed by those on the board. So you can't really leave gender out of it because opponents use gender when devising their mixed strategy.

BreakPoint
04-12-2009, 05:17 PM
Mixed doubles with a toned college female is my favorite sport on earth!
Sure, I can see that. But how many of these "toned college females" are there on this Earth? Certainly not enough to go around with all the men out there that want to partner with them. :(

J011yroger
04-12-2009, 05:21 PM
Sure, I can see that. But how many of these "toned college females" are there on this Earth? Certainly not enough to go around with all the men out there that want to partner with them. :(

Funny how so many more guys continue to play after college and so many girls stop playing once they graduate.

J

heninfan99
04-12-2009, 05:29 PM
I don't think it's so much that its a mixed game but that one of the other players is way below your level. I think it's worse when you're with a weak partner and you're playing your butt off and setting him/her up and they keep dumping volley after volley into the net. Playing 7 or 8 deuce points when it shoulda been over 15 minutes ago. hehehehe.

I always look for a match where I'm the worst player on the court. If its a 6.0 league better to have two 3.0s together, obviously.

I love playing with good females. It much better than playing with 3.0 or 3.5 guys that spray every other forehand 2 feet long & trying too hard to be James Blake.

Nellie
04-12-2009, 05:33 PM
In my opinion, most women will not play with a less skilled man. So, you rarely see a good 4.0 woman with a 3.0 guy in a 7.0 league. I know you will see some, but it is so much more rare than the opposite combination. My theories why:

1) women tend to play up more, whereas guys don't or can't

2) there are more higher level male players, so the female are more in demand and can pick the leagues.

3) better women cannot stand a guy hitting dumb shots. - when a 3.0 guy misses, it is often a bad idea, whereas many 3.0 ladies misses are based on bad skills. (just my observation - since women are more adverse to making unforced errors. I think guys believe that if the ball is hit hard and misses, it is better than hitting soft and losing the point point.)

heninfan99
04-12-2009, 05:41 PM
I don't get this. The people that play social tennis are extremely competitive. They just talk & eat with their opponents after the match.

It's okay to play to win as long as you don't go head hunting the women.
I only play social mixed dubs and I usually have a fun time:) Competitive would pretty much ruin it for me.

raiden031
04-12-2009, 05:48 PM
In my opinion, most women will not play with a less skilled man. So, you rarely see a good 4.0 woman with a 3.0 guy in a 7.0 league. I know you will see some, but it is so much more rare than the opposite combination. My theories why:

1) women tend to play up more, whereas guys don't or can't

2) there are more higher level male players, so the female are more in demand and can pick the leagues.

3) better women cannot stand a guy hitting dumb shots. - when a 3.0 guy misses, it is often a bad idea, whereas many 3.0 ladies misses are based on bad skills. (just my observation - since women are more adverse to making unforced errors. I think guys believe that if the ball is hit hard and misses, it is better than hitting soft and losing the point point.)

I would say that I see exactly what you are talking about in my leagues. I think that in the typical mixed pairing the guy has to hit more errors (ie. go for more risky shots) in order to keep their opponents honest and also to take pressure off their partner. It might appear that the guy is weak because of the errors, but he's just overcompensating. I've seen plenty of good men's players who have lousy mixed records because they don't know how to play mixed. I rarely feel in control during a mixed match, but I've done ok overall because I constantly try to figure out how to do better at it. I do think it helps test you as a player and also make you a better one as well.

BreakPoint
04-12-2009, 06:53 PM
I would say that I see exactly what you are talking about in my leagues. I think that in the typical mixed pairing the guy has to hit more errors (ie. go for more risky shots) in order to keep their opponents honest and also to take pressure off their partner. It might appear that the guy is weak because of the errors, but he's just overcompensating. I've seen plenty of good men's players who have lousy mixed records because they don't know how to play mixed. I rarely feel in control during a mixed match, but I've done ok overall because I constantly try to figure out how to do better at it. I do think it helps test you as a player and also make you a better one as well.
Well said. I'm seen guys play like raving maniacs (myself included) in mixed doubles when they normally don't in men's doubles for the reasons you've cited above, e.g., they feel they have to do more to compensate for their weaker partners - whether it's going for more winners, trying to make more impossible poaches or shots, or covering more of the court, etc.

quest01
04-12-2009, 07:16 PM
I was asked to play in a Mixed doubles league about a month ago every Sunday but I said thanks but no thanks. At the time I wasn't interested in playing any doubles, I was only focused on playing singles. Probably the only way I'd play in a mixed doubles league is if my partner was smoking.

KFwinds
04-12-2009, 07:27 PM
Yes, that's true. But unfortunately in my own personal mixed doubles experience, I've never run across a case where the man was the weaker player. It always becomes a game of hitting every ball to the woman. And that's just not a whole lot of fun for the man. :(

Have to agree with BP on this one. Unfortunately, Topaz, the scenario you described where the woman (yourself, in this case) was a more consistent player than the man is not the norm in 7.0 mxd, unless you have a 3.0 guy partnered with a 4.0 gal. Personally, my game is based on being consistent, forcing my opponents into uncomfortable positions, taking advantage of easy opportunities to put the ball away, and setting up my partner. My opponents, whether they've played against me before or not figure out very quickly that hitting to me is like hitting against a backboard, and my partner ends up seeing 80% or more of the balls. EVERY match I've lost in mixed was because my partner made too many errors.

KFwinds
04-12-2009, 07:29 PM
Well said. I'm seen guys play like raving maniacs (myself included) in mixed doubles when they normally don't in men's doubles for the reasons you've cited above, e.g., they feel they have to do more to compensate for their weaker partners - whether it's going for more winners, trying to make more impossible poaches or shots, or covering more of the court, etc.

Yep, this has been my experience as well. And trying to play that way is a losing proposition.

cjohns28
04-12-2009, 07:40 PM
I like your response overall. I'll add that it's interesting to see if I can beat my male counterpart across the net in all phases of the game/match, and if I can do that, then the play of the women don't really matter. Our team will usually win then. If he outplays me, then we should lose.

raiden031
04-12-2009, 07:59 PM
I don't think it's so much that its a mixed game but that one of the other players is way below your level. I think it's worse when you're with a weak partner and you're playing your butt off and setting him/her up and they keep dumping volley after volley into the net. Playing 7 or 8 deuce points when it shoulda been over 15 minutes ago. hehehehe.

I always look for a match where I'm the worst player on the court. If its a 6.0 league better to have two 3.0s together, obviously.

I love playing with good females. It much better than playing with 3.0 or 3.5 gus that spray every other forehand 2 feet long & trying too hard to be James Blake.

Agreed its NOT that the problem is the tennis abilities of women, but that the format is such that it by default pairs males and females of equivalent NTRP rating, which equates to the male being stronger in most cases.

I'd still probably rather play 7.5 men's combo (4.0M/3.5M pair) than say 8.0 mixed (4.0M/4.0W pair) because I still have a better chance of having a solid partner because sandbagging is more prevalent among the men I think. Although I was impressed with the quality of my 8.0 mixed matches compared to how 6.0 and 7.0 were. I will continue to play 8.0 for a while as long as I don't end up as a 4.5/3.5 pair some day.

BreakPoint
04-12-2009, 08:14 PM
Yep, this has been my experience as well. And trying to play that way is a losing proposition.
Exactly! Although it may appear to the female partner (like Topaz) that the man is hitting the ball too hard or going for too may winners instead of playing "smart" tennis, that is not actually what is happening here. What's actually happening, the true dynamic, is that the once in a blue moon that the man actually gets to hit the ball, he feels he HAS to go for a winner to end the point right there and then instead of of just keeping the ball in play to wait for a better opportunity to win the point because that next opportunity may never come. The next few shots will probably be hit to your female partner and the longer the point goes on, the more likely that your female partner will make an error and lose the point. So the man always feels this pressure that the first chance he gets to hit the ball, he has to win the point outright as it's now or never. This, of course, results in more unforced errors than usual. I know I always look like a worse player than I normally am when I play mixed.

Jim A
04-12-2009, 09:14 PM
When I play Mixed, whether its upcoming tournaments, club play or league play down the road my partner and I have the following rules:
-never say "sorry"
-go for your shots, better to miss going for it then holding back
-have a good time

for the most part it works, my uber-competitive mode is saved for singles and USTA Adult. Had we wanted we could have put together a 6.0 team that would have had the potential to do well at Nationals (do they have Mixed Nats?). Basically 4 of the top 3.0 men in the state and 2-3 women who have a 3.0C but are on par with many 3.5 women.
Why? As Javier likes to say for a pen? We all play Mixed because we enjoy it, its a nice change of pace.

KFwinds
04-12-2009, 10:31 PM
Exactly! Although it may appear to the female partner (like Topaz) that the man is hitting the ball too hard or going for too may winners instead of playing "smart" tennis, that is not actually what is happening here. What's actually happening, the true dynamic, is that the once in a blue moon that the man actually gets to hit the ball, he feels he HAS to go for a winner to end the point right there and then instead of of just keeping the ball in play to wait for a better opportunity to win the point because that next opportunity may never come. The next few shots will probably be hit to your female partner and the longer the point goes on, the more likely that your female partner will make an error and lose the point. So the man always feels this pressure that the first chance he gets to hit the ball, he has to win the point outright as it's now or never. This, of course, results in more unforced errors than usual. I know I always look like a worse player than I normally am when I play mixed.

I can completely relate to the dynamic that you describe, as I've been in that situation at least a few times. To be fair to Topaz, however, I have played opponents where the man was "self-destructive" from the get-go and the woman was the more consistent of the two players. In my league (and on my team, where we have strong male players), it's not common.

sureshs
04-13-2009, 07:35 AM
Exactly! Although it may appear to the female partner (like Topaz) that the man is hitting the ball too hard or going for too may winners instead of playing "smart" tennis, that is not actually what is happening here. What's actually happening, the true dynamic, is that the once in a blue moon that the man actually gets to hit the ball, he feels he HAS to go for a winner to end the point right there and then instead of of just keeping the ball in play to wait for a better opportunity to win the point because that next opportunity may never come. The next few shots will probably be hit to your female partner and the longer the point goes on, the more likely that your female partner will make an error and lose the point. So the man always feels this pressure that the first chance he gets to hit the ball, he has to win the point outright as it's now or never. This, of course, results in more unforced errors than usual. I know I always look like a worse player than I normally am when I play mixed.

That is why a good mixed dubs man does not allow this to happen. He poaches and tries to end the point and does not stand there passively watching the balls being hit to the woman.

KFwinds
04-13-2009, 09:04 AM
That is why a good mixed dubs man does not allow this to happen. He poaches and tries to end the point and does not stand there passively watching the balls being hit to the woman.

It has nothing to do with "allowing" the opponents to pick on your partner; any half-way decent opponent can hit around or exploit an overly aggressive player. If the guy tries to poach too often or take balls that he shouldn't try to get, he's either going to make too many errors or the opponent anticipates the poach and hits in to the open court. I don't know where you all play, but in my league the best poachers are the ones that can keep their opponents guessing, and they don't often try to poach on balls that might be just out of reach. Bottom line is that you have to be able to trust that your partner can handle the balls that should be "theirs".

Cnote
04-13-2009, 10:16 AM
I have to agree w/ most of you here regarding the ratings difference, but more b/c of the effort given by the individual. Last summer I played in a mini- tournament ( I'm 3.5 and she was 3.0) where we couldn't win a set. It was very frustrating b/c it was a double elimination tourney. This year I played with a lady who was also a 3.5 and we made it to the final match losing in three! the difference was ability to get to the ball. The 3.0 stood in one place and did not hit the ball unless it came directly to her whereas the 3.5 actively moved toward the ball. It has been my experience that the 3.o men will try to go towards the ball too in doubles, but the ladies lack the same footwork.

10sjunkie
04-13-2009, 11:12 AM
You are right. Mixed can be very frustrating. When you consistently keep the ball in play and set up your partner beautifully, just to have them overhit an easy volley winner to the back fence. Or run down corner-to-corner lobs to keep the point going just to have your partner crush an easy forehand into the net. Very frustrating. Oh yeah, I'm the better 3.5 (and the woman) on my 7.0 mixed doubles team.

Topaz
04-13-2009, 11:15 AM
You are right. Mixed can be very frustrating. When you consistently keep the ball in play and set up your partner beautifully, just to have them overhit an easy volley winner to the back fence. Or run down corner-to-corner lobs to keep the point going just to have your partner crush an easy forehand into the net. Very frustrating. Oh yeah, I'm the better 3.5 (and the woman) on my 7.0 mixed doubles team.

Werd!!!

Couldn't have said it better myself!

Topaz
04-13-2009, 11:19 AM
Exactly! Although it may appear to the female partner (like Topaz) that the man is hitting the ball too hard or going for too may winners instead of playing "smart" tennis, that is not actually what is happening here. What's actually happening, the true dynamic, is that the once in a blue moon that the man actually gets to hit the ball, he feels he HAS to go for a winner to end the point right there and then instead of of just keeping the ball in play to wait for a better opportunity to win the point because that next opportunity may never come. The next few shots will probably be hit to your female partner and the longer the point goes on, the more likely that your female partner will make an error and lose the point. So the man always feels this pressure that the first chance he gets to hit the ball, he has to win the point outright as it's now or never. This, of course, results in more unforced errors than usual. I know I always look like a worse player than I normally am when I play mixed.

It isn't smart to go for a shot that you don't have...and it doesn't matter if you are playing mixed, singles, or men's/women's dubs. If balls are being hit to the female partner, and the point is *continuing* (like you describe here), then she's doing something right!

That idea that the guy *has* to end the point is the guy's problem...all wrapped up in ego...if the gal is keeping the point going against the opponents, then she probably has a good idea of what she is doing out there. By all means, poach and put the ball away...on the right shot. But to feel like you *have* to intercept because *surely* your female partner is going to screw up sooner or later...that's an ego problem right there, with a side order of impatience. Have a bit of faith in your partner, or do her a favor and not play with her.

Hitting too hard into the net and/or the curtain is NOT smart tennis. Stronger and harder and faster is not always better...in tennis.

Topaz
04-13-2009, 11:20 AM
Bottom line is that you have to be able to trust that your partner can handle the balls that should be "theirs".

Yes!!! Trust!!! Faith!!!

My gosh, it sounds like marriage proposals! LOL No wonder we all hate playing mixed!

coyfish
04-13-2009, 11:29 AM
I know right. Everyone wants to baby the girls. I play mixed doubles with girls at my college that are around my level (4.5). After being hit time and time again at net I wont hesitate to hit it right at them. I don't wind up and aim right at them but if im volleying at net ill hit it right to them so they can't return it.

Its a tennis ball . . . and they are there to play tennis. Worst comes to worst they get a bruise . . .

You should play with people at your level. 2.5's playing with 3.5's is pretty pointless if you ask me.

BreakPoint
04-13-2009, 11:39 AM
That is why a good mixed dubs man does not allow this to happen. He poaches and tries to end the point and does not stand there passively watching the balls being hit to the woman.
That's what I'm saying. This leads to more errors and looks to be "wild" tennis instead of "smart" tennis. The man ends up lunging and diving all over the place trying to hit winners on every shot. From the woman's perspective, it appears that the guy is nuts and playing low percentage tennis.

burosky
04-13-2009, 11:54 AM
So, reading the posts, there are quite a few where if it seems they feel or think their partner is not strong enough they tend to play "mixed singles". It makes me wonder if the same people do the same thing playing combos or does this strategy only apply when the partner is female.

sureshs
04-13-2009, 12:02 PM
That's what I'm saying. This leads to more errors and looks to be "wild" tennis instead of "smart" tennis. The man ends up lunging and diving all over the place trying to hit winners on every shot. From the woman's perspective, it appears that the guy is nuts and playing low percentage tennis.

That is expected. Even in a pro tournament like the ITF Hopman Cup, the commentators keep saying how the guy must hold serve and must poach. And that is what they do. I have seen Blake with Shaughnessy and others I don't remember, and the guy is always there to put away the ball.

In the AO mixed dubs final this year, it was clear that Mirza was relying on Bhupathi. Little bit more complex there, because he is much more of a veteran and also her manager, so he was telling her what to do, but still it was very apparent that he was expected to be the dominant force in a win.

I didn't catch the USO final with Bob and Martina (her last pro match) so not sure how it worked between them, not withstanding all the required praises that Bob heaped on Martina after the match.

burosky
04-13-2009, 12:06 PM
I agree to what you are saying but only to a certain extent. I have not seen a mixed pro match where the male was playing "mixed singles".

Rob Johnson
04-13-2009, 12:41 PM
I played singles vs. doubles a few weeks ago with two females playing the doubles (me as the single). It wasn't fun at all. But that's mainly because I wanted to play and they wanted to to talk the whole time.

I like mixed doubles so long as my partner has interest in actually playing and not just standing around batting tennis balls.

BreakPoint
04-13-2009, 12:59 PM
So, reading the posts, there are quite a few where if it seems they feel or think their partner is not strong enough they tend to play "mixed singles". It makes me wonder if the same people do the same thing playing combos or does this strategy only apply when the partner is female.
Of course, the same would apply if you play with a really weak partner - male or female. However, in men's doubles or even in combo where my male partner is 0.5 level below me, they are still almost always better players than any female partners that I've had, even when the female partner has the same rating as me.

One thing that I've noticed, and I'm not being sexist, just an observation, is that most women seem to have trouble moving forward quickly. Many can move side-to-side OK, but they seem to lack that initial burst off the line and to be able to run at full speed towards the net. Most are just not very fast at moving forward. I even notice this in watching women WTA pros on TV. Not sure if it has to do with the differences in leg/hip muscles or joints or the differences in the weight distribution of bodies between men and women or something else. But I do know that most women will not get to drop shots that most men will be able to get to and usually easily. That's why I tend to hit a lot of drop shots in mixed doubles.

burosky
04-13-2009, 01:33 PM
Of course, the same would apply if you play with a really weak partner - male or female. However, in men's doubles or even in combo where my male partner is 0.5 level below me, they are still almost always better players than any female partners that I've had, even when the female partner has the same rating as me.

One thing that I've noticed, and I'm not being sexist, just an observation, is that most women seem to have trouble moving forward quickly. Many can move side-to-side OK, but they seem to lack that initial burst off the line and to be able to run at full speed towards the net. Most are just not very fast at moving forward. I even notice this in watching women WTA pros on TV. Not sure if it has to do with the differences in leg/hip muscles or joints or the differences in the weight distribution of bodies between men and women or something else. But I do know that most women will not get to drop shots that most men will be able to get to and usually easily. That's why I tend to hit a lot of drop shots in mixed doubles.

Thanks! I just wonder because I've partnered with some 4.5 ladies in 9.0 mixed who are actually better than a lot of 4.0 guys that I know and have played with.

J011yroger
04-13-2009, 02:05 PM
Thanks! I just wonder because I've partnered with some 4.5 ladies in 9.0 mixed who are actually better than a lot of 4.0 guys that I know and have played with.

There aren't any 5.0 womens leagues around here, so the 4.5 ones get all the girls who played DI, and some who were on tour for a bit. (Then again so do the mens 4.5 leagues lol)

J

raiden031
04-13-2009, 02:17 PM
So, reading the posts, there are quite a few where if it seems they feel or think their partner is not strong enough they tend to play "mixed singles". It makes me wonder if the same people do the same thing playing combos or does this strategy only apply when the partner is female.

Well I've played both combo and mixed and will say that I've never witnessed opponents hitting to the weaker player in combo like they target the female in mixed. Doesn't mean its the right strategy all the time, but its done quite a bit and if both of your opponents are more skilled than your partner who is being targeted, you are sure to lose the match if you can't disrupt your opponents.

sureshs
04-13-2009, 03:20 PM
I think the real reason why men don't like mixed is that their ego hurts when their side loses.

jayserinos99
04-13-2009, 04:07 PM
Again, it isn't about who can hit is the hardest...I know plenty of guys who hit very, very hard...right into the net. Sometimes, even into the back curtain.

What constitutes a 'stronger' tennis player is not necessarily brute strength.

And the guys who've given me a smackdown in mixed haven't hit the hardest...they hit the *smartest*.

IMO, mixed dubs is a different beast altogether. I haven't played mixed in USTA, but I did play mixed in a work league and we went up against other companies' mixed teams which had a variety of women players from 3.5 and up. My team had a few 3.5 ladies which already put us at a disadvantage since the other teams had better ladies but what I did when we played was this:

1) Play to the woman's strengths that focus on her consistency. If she's more comfortable playing back, let her do that. If she wants to return on a particular side, go for it.

2) Communicate. Going into the match, I'd let my partner know of a gameplan we can employ or things we can pick on. During the match, we'll discuss what's working and use that to our advantage.

It helps for the guy to be pretty flexible as to their approach to the game and to not get caught up trying to outblast the other team. I find that spin works a whole lot better; in my case, I'm a lefty so that makes things a bit worse for the other team. I'll typically use lots of twist, kick and slice serves to pull the other team out wide to set up my partner at the net. I also notice some teams like to play one up, one back so drop shots work as well.

alice301
04-13-2009, 04:51 PM
After this season of USTA Mixed, I'm done.

on behalf of all the women who play mixed doubles, and win matches by playing with partners who understand the concept of high-percentage tennis**, and forcing the opponents to play low-percentage tennis*, i want to thank you for your decision to stop playing mixed.

*low-percentage tennis in mixed doubles: jumping in front of your partner at every chance to hit the snot out of the ball for a winner...about 9% of the time.

**high-percentage tennis in mixed doubles: hitting floaters to the woman who is unfortunate enough to be paired with the player described above, knowing that in all probability, her partner will jump in front of her to make an unforced error.

cheers!
alice

KFwinds
04-13-2009, 06:24 PM
That is expected. Even in a pro tournament like the ITF Hopman Cup, the commentators keep saying how the guy must hold serve and must poach. And that is what they do. I have seen Blake with Shaughnessy and others I don't remember, and the guy is always there to put away the ball.

In the AO mixed dubs final this year, it was clear that Mirza was relying on Bhupathi. Little bit more complex there, because he is much more of a veteran and also her manager, so he was telling her what to do, but still it was very apparent that he was expected to be the dominant force in a win.

I didn't catch the USO final with Bob and Martina (her last pro match) so not sure how it worked between them, not withstanding all the required praises that Bob heaped on Martina after the match.

This has absolutely nothing to do with what we're talking about. Are you seriously going to compare pro strategy to 7.0 combo mxd?

KFwinds
04-13-2009, 06:30 PM
Topaz, 10sjunkie, it sounds like my team could use you :)

burosky
04-14-2009, 09:34 AM
Jayserinos hit the nail on the head.

1) Play to the woman's strengths that focus on her consistency. If she's more comfortable playing back, let her do that. If she wants to return on a particular side, go for it.

2) Communicate. Going into the match, I'd let my partner know of a gameplan we can employ or things we can pick on. During the match, we'll discuss what's working and use that to our advantage.

Playing to your partner's strength will put her in a position to be successful and talking to your partner about what both of you can do to win the match will make a lot of difference. I'll add to this by making your partner know what to expect. For example, in Jay's situation, if he hits his lefty serve out wide he can tell his partner to watch the alley since there is a strong possibility that is where the return is going.

As long as you are able to put your partner in a position where she can use her strength and you talk about where you expect her to be in certain situations, there is no need to play "mixed singles".

jayserinos99
04-14-2009, 10:01 AM
Jayserinos hit the nail on the head.

1) Play to the woman's strengths that focus on her consistency. If she's more comfortable playing back, let her do that. If she wants to return on a particular side, go for it.

2) Communicate. Going into the match, I'd let my partner know of a gameplan we can employ or things we can pick on. During the match, we'll discuss what's working and use that to our advantage.

Playing to your partner's strength will put her in a position to be successful and talking to your partner about what both of you can do to win the match will make a lot of difference. I'll add to this by making your partner know what to expect. For example, in Jay's situation, if he hits his lefty serve out wide he can tell his partner to watch the alley since there is a strong possibility that is where the return is going.

As long as you are able to put your partner in a position where she can use her strength and you talk about where you expect her to be in certain situations, there is no need to play "mixed singles".

That's actually one of the examples I should have used. I tell all my partners to hold the line because I like to serve out wide a lot on both sides (twist on the deuce, slice on the ad).

Cindysphinx
04-15-2009, 12:16 PM
Oh, man. Where to start? :)

First, I see 7.0 mixed as two different animals.

Animal No. 1 is a 4.0 guy with a 3.0 woman. This is tennis, but just barely. The guy has to be a high-end 4.0, and his job is to make sure no ball makes it to the woman. This seems to be what Raiden is experiencing.

Animal No. 2 is a 3.5 guy and a 3.5 woman. This is what I play. I can assure you that my male partner is not carrying me or protecting me. I wish they would! My male partners are mid-level 3.5 guys, and they have as many deficiencies in their game as I do. One cannot return the opposing woman's serve because he must hit his return at 99 mph and frequently misses. Another has *no* BH volley.

They serve with much more pace and hit with more topspin, to be sure. I lob better and volley better than both of my male partners. Because both of my partners are a bit nervous at the net, I often have to hold all by myself with them never touching the ball. So let's not generalize about who is the weak link, eh?

I think you will find a variety of women playing 7.0 mixed. What I have not seen are 3.5 women who are upset or intimidated when the opposing guy hits at them. They either suck it up or move back to the baseline.

Regarding 4.0 guys who are unhappy in 7.0 mixed . . . well, duh. You don't see me pairing with a 2.5 guy in 6.0 mixed, do ya? No, I don't want to have to cover the whole court only to have my partner blast error after error. I play my level -- meaning the level at which my partner and I are a reasonably balanced doubles pair. Any 4.0 guy who wants a fun match should stick to 8.0 mixed, and he won't have a problem, IMHO.

So, uh . . . I've got your back, Topaz! :)

rasajadad
04-15-2009, 12:20 PM
Oh, man. Where to start? :)

First, I see 7.0 mixed as two different animals.

Animal No. 1 is a 4.0 guy with a 3.0 woman. This is tennis, but just barely. The guy has to be a high-end 4.0, and his job is to make sure no ball makes it to the woman. This seems to be what Raiden is experiencing.

Animal No. 2 is a 3.5 guy and a 3.5 woman. This is what I play. I can assure you that my male partner is not carrying me or protecting me. I wish they would! My male partners are mid-level 3.5 guys, and they have as many deficiencies in their game as I do. One cannot return the opposing woman's serve because he must hit his return at 99 mph and frequently misses. Another has *no* BH volley.

They serve with much more pace and hit with more topspin, to be sure. I lob better and volley better than both of my male partners. Because both of my partners are a bit nervous at the net, I often have to hold all by myself with them never touching the ball. So let's not generalize about who is the weak link, eh?

I think you will find a variety of women playing 7.0 mixed. What I have not seen are 3.5 women who are upset or intimidated when the opposing guy hits at them. They either suck it up or move back to the baseline.

Regarding 4.0 guys who are unhappy in 7.0 mixed . . . well, duh. You don't see me pairing with a 2.5 guy in 6.0 mixed, do ya? No, I don't want to have to cover the whole court only to have my partner blast error after error. I play my level -- meaning the level at which my partner and I are a reasonably balanced doubles pair. Any 4.0 guy who wants a fun match should stick to 8.0 mixed, and he won't have a problem, IMHO.

So, uh . . . I've got your back, Topaz! :)

Welcome back, Cindy.

KFwinds
04-15-2009, 12:38 PM
My male partners are mid-level 3.5 guys, and they have as many deficiencies in their game as I do. One cannot return the opposing woman's serve because he must hit his return at 99 mph and frequently misses. Another has *no* BH volley.

They serve with much more pace and hit with more topspin, to be sure. I lob better and volley better than both of my male partners. Because both of my partners are a bit nervous at the net, I often have to hold all by myself with them never touching the ball. So let's not generalize about who is the weak link, eh?

Cindy, you must have weaker 3.5 men on your team because this does not describe ANY of the 3.5's on mine. We only have two or three 3.5 women that even come close to the volleying abilities of our top three guys. The fact is, if any of them (the women) are having a slightly "off" day, it's frustrating for their male partners to try to carry them. That's just the dynamic of the players on my team, and in my league.

sureshs
04-15-2009, 12:51 PM
Oh, man. Where to start? :)

First, I see 7.0 mixed as two different animals.

Animal No. 1 is a 4.0 guy with a 3.0 woman. This is tennis, but just barely. The guy has to be a high-end 4.0, and his job is to make sure no ball makes it to the woman. This seems to be what Raiden is experiencing.

Animal No. 2 is a 3.5 guy and a 3.5 woman. This is what I play. I can assure you that my male partner is not carrying me or protecting me. I wish they would! My male partners are mid-level 3.5 guys, and they have as many deficiencies in their game as I do. One cannot return the opposing woman's serve because he must hit his return at 99 mph and frequently misses. Another has *no* BH volley.

They serve with much more pace and hit with more topspin, to be sure. I lob better and volley better than both of my male partners. Because both of my partners are a bit nervous at the net, I often have to hold all by myself with them never touching the ball. So let's not generalize about who is the weak link, eh?

I think you will find a variety of women playing 7.0 mixed. What I have not seen are 3.5 women who are upset or intimidated when the opposing guy hits at them. They either suck it up or move back to the baseline.

Regarding 4.0 guys who are unhappy in 7.0 mixed . . . well, duh. You don't see me pairing with a 2.5 guy in 6.0 mixed, do ya? No, I don't want to have to cover the whole court only to have my partner blast error after error. I play my level -- meaning the level at which my partner and I are a reasonably balanced doubles pair. Any 4.0 guy who wants a fun match should stick to 8.0 mixed, and he won't have a problem, IMHO.

So, uh . . . I've got your back, Topaz! :)


Hey Cindy welcome back. I thought you had died.

goober
04-15-2009, 12:54 PM
Hey Cindy welcome back. I thought you had died.

wow I just thought she just stopped posting. But yes welcome back and maybe she can bring new life into the adult league section. :)

Cindysphinx
04-15-2009, 12:54 PM
Cindy, you must have weaker 3.5 men on your team because this does not describe ANY of the 3.5's on mine. We only have two or three 3.5 women that even come close to the volleying abilities of our top three guys. The fact is, if any of them (the women) are having a slightly "off" day, it's frustrating for their male partners to try to carry them. That's just the dynamic of the players on my team, and in my league.

I dunno.

The one guy who doesn't volley well is a singles player through and through. He hits a 2HBH swinging volley at the net. Yeah. Look away, it ain't pretty. At our last match, he said he would kill to have my BH volley (much as I would kill to have his serve). So it is possible for a good 3.5 guy to be challenged in other areas of his game.

The other partner I like and have done well with is a solid 3.5 doubles player, but we have, erm, different philosophies about our return game. When the other woman is serving, he and I agree we absolutely must break her. I think we should do this by hitting a return and coming to the net. In this way, opposing woman will flip out and miss her passing shot or we will get a ball we can work with (this is because much women's tennis is 1 up, 1 back, so some women have rusty passing shots). He seems to want to win the point with one giant swing and overhits that return a lot. In one match, he missed every one of the woman's serves in the first set and a half. This is probably because he is returning the way he would return if he were playing men's, rather than believing the better way to pressure the woman is with positioning? One would say his groundstrokes are objectively better, faster and stronger than mine, but my more accurate service return was the only thing keeping us in those service games.

Honestly, though. Even our top 3.5 guy is a 3.5 guy and not a 4.0 guy for a reason: Consistency. I love this guy to death, but he will go through extended dry spells during a match where he can't put the ball on the court. When this happens (and it always happens!), it is up to me to step it up and be even more consistent until he shakes it off. So who is the weaker player?

Cindysphinx
04-15-2009, 12:55 PM
Nah, alive and well, but thanks for the nice thoughts.

I'm just suffering a *major* anxiety attack about this spring season, so I figured chewing the fat with my old tennis buddies might relax me. . . .

jbetti
04-15-2009, 12:58 PM
I'm a 4.0-4.5 guy (and I usually play with 4.0 or 4.5 girls/women)... and personally, I love mixed doubles. The pace of play is a little slower than full-blown men's doubles... which to me allows for a little more strategy... but obviously it also provides more chances at net than singles play, which I also like. To me, you see more variety in mixed doubles than other forms of tennis.

To those who don't like it... I've noticed in most cases there's a drastic ratings difference between the men and the women. A 3.5 guy and a 2.5 girl are completely different worlds (some 3.5 guys and 2.5 GUYS are in different worlds) ... whereas a 4.5 guy will be better than a 4.5 girl but it's still competitive.

Topaz
04-15-2009, 01:07 PM
Nah, alive and well, but thanks for the nice thoughts.

I'm just suffering a *major* anxiety attack about this spring season, so I figured chewing the fat with my old tennis buddies might relax me. . . .

Cindy!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for having my back! I need to get you together with Ms. Alice301...the three of us together could do some serious damage.

I see you're playing in that league in that small little district. You've got yourself a good team. I'm actually captaining my team...even though I'm not listed. Kinda just happened, if I had known sooner I would have recruited you!

jbetti
04-15-2009, 01:07 PM
I'd also like to echo the statement someone made that spin is drastically underrated in mixed. Too much the thought is the men need to destroy the ball at the woman or poach/overhead everything. Most (experience players) women I know hit solid, flat groundstrokes, with the best of them. I find it more effective to hit spin serves and heavy-topspin... as well as lobs and slices to mix up the pace and force my opponents to move.

Cindysphinx
04-15-2009, 01:11 PM
Cindy!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for having my back! I need to get you together with Ms. Alice301...the three of us together could do some serious damage.

I see you're playing in that league in that small little district. You've got yourself a good team. I'm actually captaining my team...even though I'm not listed. Kinda just happened, if I had known sooner I would have recruited you!

Yeah, it's a good team. They're looking to go to The Big Show this year. They came within an eyelash last year, so expectations are high. Which makes me feel all cold and tight inside. What if I don't measure up? What if I choke?

If we play against each other, do me a favor, Topaz: Throw the match. Pull up lame. Cramp up. I'll take anything. Don't make me beg.

OK, now I'm begging . . .

Topaz
04-15-2009, 01:16 PM
^^^See, I'd rather play for a team like mine...if we don't do the Big Dance, it is okay. We have no idea what is going to happen, and we're more focused on having a nice group of ladies that all get along. THat being said, we don't suck either! ;) I just don't need any additional pressure than what I already put on myself, so joining a team that has explicitly stated that they want to go all the way...eh, too much pressure!

When I'm friend's team actually went to Nationals, they had no idea they would end up there...they just kept playing and having fun.

Now, that being said, I do know many of those ladies, and they are very nice, but again...the *pressure*! LOL

We'll see Ms. Cindy. I'm the captain, so I do the line-ups...let's see what our schedules look like. But I won't throw it. I may choke, but I won't throw it.

Cindysphinx
04-15-2009, 02:13 PM
^^^See, I'd rather play for a team like mine...if we don't do the Big Dance, it is okay. We have no idea what is going to happen, and we're more focused on having a nice group of ladies that all get along. THat being said, we don't suck either! ;) I just don't need any additional pressure than what I already put on myself, so joining a team that has explicitly stated that they want to go all the way...eh, too much pressure!

When I'm friend's team actually went to Nationals, they had no idea they would end up there...they just kept playing and having fun.

Now, that being said, I do know many of those ladies, and they are very nice, but again...the *pressure*! LOL

We'll see Ms. Cindy. I'm the captain, so I do the line-ups...let's see what our schedules look like. But I won't throw it. I may choke, but I won't throw it.


Well, you had better watch out, then. I have a new serve. An honest-to-goodness kick serve. Uh-huh. That baby kicks a good 2-3 feet off the court when the wind is with me. :) So far, it has yet to accomplish anything other than causing my opponents to wave their index fingers in the air.

I'll make you a deal. If we play, I will hit my so-called kick serve if the following conditions are met: (1) my partner and I have an insurmountable lead in the match; (2) I am leading in my service game 40-love; and (3) I can stop giggling long enough.

sureshs
04-15-2009, 02:48 PM
Well, you had better watch out, then. I have a new serve. An honest-to-goodness kick serve. Uh-huh. That baby kicks a good 2-3 feet off the court when the wind is with me. :) So far, it has yet to accomplish anything other than causing my opponents to wave their index fingers in the air.

I'll make you a deal. If we play, I will hit my so-called kick serve if the following conditions are met: (1) my partner and I have an insurmountable lead in the match; (2) I am leading in my service game 40-love; and (3) I can stop giggling long enough.

Well, now that you are back, you have to explain why you left in the first place.

raiden031
04-15-2009, 04:07 PM
Nah, alive and well, but thanks for the nice thoughts.

I'm just suffering a *major* anxiety attack about this spring season, so I figured chewing the fat with my old tennis buddies might relax me. . . .

Welcome back. Whats stressing you out about this season? I hope its nothing involving the team in which we have a mutual captain.

catfish
04-15-2009, 04:53 PM
Welcome back Cindy. :) You have been missed!

Topaz
04-15-2009, 05:58 PM
Well, you had better watch out, then. I have a new serve. An honest-to-goodness kick serve. Uh-huh. That baby kicks a good 2-3 feet off the court when the wind is with me. :) So far, it has yet to accomplish anything other than causing my opponents to wave their index fingers in the air.

I'll make you a deal. If we play, I will hit my so-called kick serve if the following conditions are met: (1) my partner and I have an insurmountable lead in the match; (2) I am leading in my service game 40-love; and (3) I can stop giggling long enough.

LOL! Ah, Cindy, good to have you back! :)

Now, we've gotta get you to a TWMAC meet!!!

I'll know if I hear a lot of giggling from you that I'm in trouble!

PS...shall we resurrect our thread from last season? I'm torn...not really sure if that is a good idea or not...last season was so bad, I'd rather forget the whole darn thing!

magmasilk
04-15-2009, 07:28 PM
I think this isn't a mixed problem, gender talk just clouds the issue ...

In team sports, a large disparity in skills can lead to ragged play. I'm sure Shaq would find it difficult playing bball with a bunch of 10 year olds ... Mia Hamm with most rec soccer teams ...

In tennis, the difference from a low end 2.5 and high end 3.5 can be very large, even without considering gender. A 1.0 difference in level for teammates is probably to high.

In my experience, the main difference between men and women in usta 7.0 mixed is the serve. And Topaz, next time we play, for every 100mph FH i hit into the net i'll buy you a cookie :razz:!!

OT: another shout out to Cindysphinx, the adult league needs your insights!

magmasilk
04-15-2009, 07:31 PM
PS...shall we resurrect our thread from last season? I'm torn...not really sure if that is a good idea or not...last season was so bad, I'd rather forget the whole darn thing!

RESURRECT! RESURRECT! Undead thread! Zombie thread! (sorry for OT)

BreakPoint
04-16-2009, 12:00 AM
Any 4.0 guy who wants a fun match should stick to 8.0 mixed, and he won't have a problem, IMHO.

But it's still a problem for the most part because in almost all cases I have seen, the 4.0 man is always a much stronger player than the 4.0 woman. In reality, most 4.0 woman are the equivalent of a 3.5 or even 3.0 man. They really should have different rating systems for men and women.

But I do agree that 7.0 mixed is much worse than 8.0 mixed, if you're the 4.0 man.

Topaz
04-16-2009, 02:55 AM
In my experience, the main difference between men and women in usta 7.0 mixed is the serve. And Topaz, next time we play, for every 100mph FH i hit into the net i'll buy you a cookie :razz:!!

OT: another shout out to Cindysphinx, the adult league needs your insights!

Oh, I know I hated serving in mixed, but had some success giving the guys a dinker...as they would then bury it into the net. LOL, just ask TFM about how I aced him at our last meet! He whoofed on it completely!

Yes, me, a 3.5 woman, aced a 4.0 man. And I did it with a serve that was barely moving!

Magma...I've seen you play...you are a consistent demon! That means no cookies for me! *pout*

RESURRECT! RESURRECT! Undead thread! Zombie thread! (sorry for OT)

Hmmm, we'll discuss and think about it. Maybe, since it is a new season, we'll just start a new one...'fresh' thread for a 'fresh' start?

But it's still a problem for the most part because in almost all cases I have seen, the 4.0 man is always a much stronger player than the 4.0 woman. In reality, most 4.0 woman are the equivalent of a 3.5 or even 3.0 man. They really should have different rating systems for men and women.

But I do agree that 7.0 mixed is much worse than 8.0 mixed, if you're the 4.0 man.

Well, but I thought the biggest issues came about when that combo was of two people of different ratings? And, the difference in skill level is part of what makes mixed...mixed! As in, it is alllll mixed up.

I'm not saying a 4.0 woman and a 4.0 man are equal...I know that they are not. But again, totally dissing your female partner (not saying *you* do this BP) is not the way to play mixed, and if a guy partner has such a problem with this, he doesn't belong on a mixed *team* to begin with.

Cindysphinx
04-16-2009, 04:45 AM
But it's still a problem for the most part because in almost all cases I have seen, the 4.0 man is always a much stronger player than the 4.0 woman. In reality, most 4.0 woman are the equivalent of a 3.5 or even 3.0 man. They really should have different rating systems for men and women.

But I do agree that 7.0 mixed is much worse than 8.0 mixed, if you're the 4.0 man.

I've never played 8.0 mixed, so I'll take your word on it. With one quibble.

No way, no how can a 3.5 woman be compared to a 3.0 guy.

3.0 guys are . . . well, they are adorable and all. But they can't put the ball in the court. Remember, 3.0 is entry level for guys and has many true beginners.

I mean, I partnered with a 3.0 guy in a social match last spring against two of my 3.5 female teammates (combined age over 110 years). They mopped the floor with us. They had the control to hit many balls to him, and he had the control to hit many balls into the street. A 3.0 guy may have more brute strength, but he isn't necessarily faster around the court and he surely is less consistent.

raiden031
04-16-2009, 05:09 AM
I've never played 8.0 mixed, so I'll take your word on it. With one quibble.

No way, no how can a 3.5 woman be compared to a 3.0 guy.

3.0 guys are . . . well, they are adorable and all. But they can't put the ball in the court. Remember, 3.0 is entry level for guys and has many true beginners.

I mean, I partnered with a 3.0 guy in a social match last spring against two of my 3.5 female teammates (combined age over 110 years). They mopped the floor with us. They had the control to hit many balls to him, and he had the control to hit many balls into the street. A 3.0 guy may have more brute strength, but he isn't necessarily faster around the court and he surely is less consistent.

Cindy things aren't always what they seem. There are low 3.0s (probably belong in 2.5) and then there are the average 3.0s who win half their matches in a season. I've probably mentioned this before that back in '07 when I was losing in 3.0 men's (4-4 record), I was beating a solid 3.5 woman singles specialist rather handily.

Last night our 4.0 men's team had a practice (with mutual captain as well as 2 from the ladies team), and we were doing doubles drills and playing out the point and our 3.5 captain had to point out that we couldn't hit more than 2 shots in a row without an error. He was right because all of us were hitting loads of errors. And these are 4.0 players we're talking about. But it all balanced out in the end. I suspect if we had 3.5 players on the other side of the net, they would be hitting even more errors than we were.

Anyways in mixed I don't think you can judge either player as what their true ability is because the dynamics are different than when playing with someone of equal ability as is more the case in straight men's/women's leagues. When I play 7.0 with a 3.0, I probably hit the same number of errors as my partner. The difference is that my partner's errors are during routine shots whereas my errors are from being too aggressive and also poaching shots that are out of reach.

Cindysphinx
04-16-2009, 07:01 AM
Raiden, I mean *real* male 3.0s. Not 3.0s who can hang with the 3.5s. I have met guys on the low end of 3.5 who I think I could beat in singles. Which I guess just means there is a huge range in men's 3.0 and men's 3.5?

Interesting about your practice with your 4.0 men's team. See, Raiden is playing for a men's 4.0 team captained by a 3.5 guy. That same 3.5 guy is captaining my 4.0 ladies. He holds back-to-back (high quality!) practices for both teams. In our ladies' practice, the better 3.5 women were most definitely hitting several consecutive shots without errors. I think women at this level work harder on their control whereas men work harder on their power. True?

Regarding your partner's errors on routine shots . . . hey, she's 3.0. Those aren't "routine shots" in her eyes! :)

Anyway, I suppose my experience in 6.5 combo (where I am with a weaker, 3.0 partner) would be similar to yours in mixed playing with a 3.0 woman. I don't think I make as many errors as my partner, though. I'd be shocked if this were the case. We will lose if I make many errors. I think I'm learning to be more conservative if the put-away isn't there and instead finish points with several shots that increase the pressure on the opponents.

burosky
04-16-2009, 07:33 AM
Would it make a difference if rules were modified for the mixed season so the female would always be the higher rated partner between the pair? For example, instead of having a 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, etc... pair, the pairs would be 6.5, 7.5, 8.5 but the female should always be higher rated than their male partner. The highest rating allowed for the female in the 6.5 mixed would 4.0, for the 7.5 it would be 4.5, etc.... Yes, it would mean there is a possibility for 4.5 guys not having a team due to a shortage of 5.0 women in some areas.

What do you guys think about this format?

raiden031
04-16-2009, 07:34 AM
Raiden, I mean *real* male 3.0s. Not 3.0s who can hang with the 3.5s. I have met guys on the low end of 3.5 who I think I could beat in singles. Which I guess just means there is a huge range in men's 3.0 and men's 3.5?


Some of the 3.0s who beat me during that time are still 3.0s today. Its possible you might beat a low 3.5 guy, but it probably depends on how you match up, plus there is overlap in the ratings so he might really be a 3.0 but had a few lucky matches to get moved up to 3.5. Plus I haven't seen your game lately so I can't comment on where you are right now, but in general a 3.5 woman would have a hard time winning matches in a 3.5 men's league.


Interesting about your practice with your 4.0 men's team. See, Raiden is playing for a men's 4.0 team captained by a 3.5 guy. That same 3.5 guy is captaining my 4.0 ladies. He holds back-to-back (high quality!) practices for both teams. In our ladies' practice, the better 3.5 women were most definitely hitting several consecutive shots without errors. I think women at this level work harder on their control whereas men work harder on their power. True?


I think women usually put more effort into consistency than men, but I also notice that they don't seem to hit shots that are difficult for their opponents. They are more likely to just hit a rally ball instead of an offensive shot, putting little pressure on their opponents. When I've played and practiced with a few 4.0-4.5 women, they might have been reasonably consistent, but I never felt pressured by their shots. That makes a big difference in match play because I have increased confidence that I can play aggressive against them and not get burned.


Regarding your partner's errors on routine shots . . . hey, she's 3.0. Those aren't "routine shots" in her eyes! :)


Agreed but it just shows that its not just about unforced error count, but its more complicated than that.

raiden031
04-16-2009, 07:36 AM
Would it make a difference if rules were modified for the mixed season so the female would always be the higher rated partner between the pair? For example, instead of having a 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, etc... pair, the pairs would be 6.5, 7.5, 8.5 but the female should always be higher rated than their male partner. The highest rating allowed for the female in the 6.5 mixed would 4.0, for the 7.5 it would be 4.5, etc....

What do you guys think about this format?

I would love it. But I think few women want to play with someone who is equal to or less than them in mixed. Don't know why that is, but maybe its similar to the whole idea that they don't want to date someone who is shorter than them.

Julieta
04-16-2009, 10:42 AM
That's what I'm saying. This leads to more errors and looks to be "wild" tennis instead of "smart" tennis. The man ends up lunging and diving all over the place trying to hit winners on every shot. From the woman's perspective, it appears that the guy is nuts and playing low percentage tennis.

Then the guy isn't as good as he thinks he is, bottom line. There is a difference between dominating and taking over because the partner is weaker and going for stupid shots on a regular basis (the odd stupid shot is part of good doubles). Going for stupid shots all of the time is bad shot selection. If a player can't stay disciplined in doubles that is a problem.

Super advanced doubles players make aggression and poaching look really easy but when mere mortals try it they have problems. They also have better returns and serves, so are in less trouble from the start.

Regarding your other post about women not moving up and back well, I totally agree with that. I think that's generally accepted that women are better at moving laterally versus up and back. Some coaches do work on this with their female juniors but not all.

Topaz
04-16-2009, 10:58 AM
Then the guy isn't as good as he thinks he is, bottom line. There is a difference between dominating and taking over because the partner is weaker and going for stupid shots on a regular basis (the odd stupid shot is part of good doubles). Going for stupid shots all of the time is bad shot selection. If a player can't stay disciplined in doubles that is a problem.
.

Well said Julieta...this is actually what I was *trying* to say, but you did a much better job at it! :)

Julieta
04-16-2009, 11:12 AM
Well said Julieta...this is actually what I was *trying* to say, but you did a much better job at it! :)

Thank you!

BreakPoint
04-16-2009, 11:13 AM
I would love it. But I think few women want to play with someone who is equal to or less than them in mixed. Don't know why that is, but maybe its similar to the whole idea that they don't want to date someone who is shorter than them.
LOL. Good analogy! :)

You're right though. I think very few women are willing to play with a man that's worse than them. Women in general seem to be more picky about who they choose as a partner, in tennis and in life. ;)

BreakPoint
04-16-2009, 11:14 AM
Would it make a difference if rules were modified for the mixed season so the female would always be the higher rated partner between the pair? For example, instead of having a 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, etc... pair, the pairs would be 6.5, 7.5, 8.5 but the female should always be higher rated than their male partner. The highest rating allowed for the female in the 6.5 mixed would 4.0, for the 7.5 it would be 4.5, etc.... Yes, it would mean there is a possibility for 4.5 guys not having a team due to a shortage of 5.0 women in some areas.

What do you guys think about this format?
I think it's a great idea. It would be like the Combo League but in this case the partners will be more evenly matched. :)

BreakPoint
04-16-2009, 11:28 AM
Then the guy isn't as good as he thinks he is, bottom line. There is a difference between dominating and taking over because the partner is weaker and going for stupid shots on a regular basis (the odd stupid shot is part of good doubles). Going for stupid shots all of the time is bad shot selection. If a player can't stay disciplined in doubles that is a problem.

Super advanced doubles players make aggression and poaching look really easy but when mere mortals try it they have problems. They also have better returns and serves, so are in less trouble from the start.

Regarding your other post about women not moving up and back well, I totally agree with that. I think that's generally accepted that women are better at moving laterally versus up and back. Some coaches do work on this with their female juniors but not all.
Not really true. I know lots of guys that make very few errors when playing men's doubles but make tons of errors in mixed because there is always this pressure to hit a winner on every shot and to make sure you cut off the ball before it reaches your female partner. Keeping the ball in play doesn't work because your opponents will try and hit EVERY ball to your female partner and the odds of you winning the point are very low as the female partner will eventually make an unforced error. So the thinking is that you've got to end the point before your female partner hits the ball and loses the point. Thus, the men will go for shots that they never would go for in men's doubles.

It's very common to see guys with winning or undefeated records in men's doubles but a badly losing or winless record in mixed doubles. Even the USTA recognizes that mixed is a different animal so that's why results in mixed doubles DO NOT count and are NOT factored into your rating. If mixed doubles results affected one's rating, I doubt many men that cared about their rating would even participate at all.

Julieta
04-16-2009, 12:19 PM
Not really true. I know lots of guys that make very few errors when playing men's doubles but make tons of errors in mixed because there is always this pressure to hit a winner on every shot and to make sure you cut off the ball before it reaches your female partner. Keeping the ball in play doesn't work because your opponents will try and hit EVERY ball to your female partner and the odds of you winning the point are very low as the female partner will eventually make an unforced error. So the thinking is that you've got to end the point before your female partner hits the ball and loses the point. Thus, the men will go for shots that they never would go for in men's doubles.

It's very common to see guys with winning or undefeated records in men's doubles but a badly losing or winless record in mixed doubles. Even the USTA recognizes that mixed is a different animal so that's why results in mixed doubles DO NOT count and are NOT factored into your rating. If mixed doubles results affected one's rating, I doubt many men that cared about their rating would even participate at all.

If what you say is true, then it should even out, right? The opposing male player would be doing the same thing - poaching and missing, going for winners on every shot, not knowing how to play defensive tennis that is really offensive tennis etc. as you since this is a mixed doubles phenomenon. But all tennis matches have a winning team and a losing team. There are no draws. What determines the winning team? The women? But they are missing every shot so that should even out too. One team is playing better than the other team, bottom line.

sureshs
04-16-2009, 12:24 PM
If what you say is true, then it should even out, right? The opposing male player would be doing the same thing - poaching and missing, going for winners on every shot, not knowing how to play defensive tennis that is really offensive tennis etc. as you since this is a mixed doubles phenomenon. But all tennis matches have a winning team and a losing team. There are no draws. What determines the winning team? The women? But they are missing every shot so that should even out too. One team is playing better than the other team, bottom line.

Not only that, the team which eventually wins usually has a pretty decent male player. It is not like he is a dud and all the other great males lost their matches because it was mixed doubles.

Cindysphinx
04-16-2009, 12:52 PM
I'm with Julietta on this.

Yes, there may be guys who win a lot in men's tennis but get killed in mixed. Why is this? Is it because his female partner is lame? If that were the case, how do you explain the guys who win in mixed *and* also win in men's? There are a lot of them.

My theory on it is that guys who win in men's but not in mixed are often one-trick ponies. They cannot play with (enough) finesse. Their technique or judgment is suspect (how else can you explain a 3.5 or 4.0 male who misses any service return from the 3.0 or 3.5 woman?). Or maybe they are singles players who don't know how to control the net?

The guys on my mixed team who win the most are the ones who play with a lot of touch and placement. Oh sure, they can blast the ball if they want. But they don't. They beat the opponents with ferocious spin and pure volleys. And they make the opponents miss by being a nuisance at the net, never abandoning their female partner by standing with one foot in the doubles alley waiting to see if she will hold.

Now, I don't think much of the idea of requiring women to play with lower-rated men. Ick. I don't think we need to go that far.

I would like to see the rules for USTA mixed changed so that players were only eligible for levels where their rating was 50% of that mixed level. Uh . . . I'm not phrasing that well, so let me explain.

I'm a 3.5. Under the rule I propose, I could play 7.0 mixed. I could not play 6.0 mixed, even with a 2.5 guy because 3.5 is more than 50% of 6.0. Raiden (a 4.0) could not play 7.0 mixed at all and would have to play 8.0 mixed. Players could still play up, but only with partners no more than .5 above or below them. Therefore, I could play 8.0 mixed, but I'd only have a 4.0 partner.

This would lead to much more level play all around, and therefore more fun for everyone without leaving anyone with insufficient playing opportunities.

Alas, I doubt these sorts of changes will ever happen due to resistance from those who make the rules. I captain 6.5 combo. My players are strong. This season, my No. 1 team destroyed another team 6-0, 6-1 (and the match was not as close as the score indicates). I looked up the opponents to find both of them were 2.5 players. So they were a 5.0 pair up against my team's 6.5 pair -- a complete waste of my players' time.

I asked the league coordinator why people were allowed to play up to that extent given that the whole point of NTRP should be to get people to play their level and avoid grotesque mismatches. She said she understood my point of view and said there had been a similar dust-up recently. Apparently, a 2.5 woman signed on to play 7.0 mixed (which meant she could only have a 3.5 male partner so that there would be only 1.0 point between them). Her 4.0 male opponent was very unhappy, as his choices were limited to trying to hit around her or sending her to the hospital. The resolution was that national rules do not permit local leagues to restrict anyone's ability to play up.

So if a 2.5 woman wants to play 9.0 mixed with a 3.5 male partner, there is nothing to prevent it. Ridiculous.

burosky
04-16-2009, 01:24 PM
How about the other ladies here? How do you feel about the format where the female partner should be higher rated?

Cindy doesn't seem to like the idea. Would you care to explain why you felt that way? Not that you have to defend how you feel. I'm just curious about what the reason/s might be.

sureshs
04-16-2009, 01:28 PM
Isn't it simpler to just say that the difference between the partners should be at most 0.5 and not 1.0?

Cindysphinx
04-16-2009, 01:33 PM
How about the other ladies here? How do you feel about the format where the female partner should be higher rated?

Cindy doesn't seem to like the idea. Would you care to explain why you felt that way? Not that you have to defend how you feel. I'm just curious about what the reason/s might be.

The reason I feel that way is that I feel my matches with 3.5 male partners are reasonably balanced as they are. I feel like I contribute. My male partner may win points in different ways than I do, and a big part of my job is fending off the other guy some way, somehow. If we have opponents who are also balanced (two 3.5s), then it's going to be a good match.

If you put me with a 3.0 guy, then I feel like I would be playing with someone who is likely much less consistent than me.

raiden031
04-16-2009, 02:24 PM
I would like to see the rules for USTA mixed changed so that players were only eligible for levels where their rating was 50% of that mixed level. Uh . . . I'm not phrasing that well, so let me explain.

I'm a 3.5. Under the rule I propose, I could play 7.0 mixed. I could not play 6.0 mixed, even with a 2.5 guy because 3.5 is more than 50% of 6.0. Raiden (a 4.0) could not play 7.0 mixed at all and would have to play 8.0 mixed. Players could still play up, but only with partners no more than .5 above or below them. Therefore, I could play 8.0 mixed, but I'd only have a 4.0 partner.

This would lead to much more level play all around, and therefore more fun for everyone without leaving anyone with insufficient playing opportunities.


This might make partners more even, but teams will become even weaker when someone is underrated, making it less fun for those rated at-level.

Chris De Tone
04-16-2009, 03:54 PM
I've been reading all of this for awhile now. Interesting. I am curious...why is the conversation basically turning into a justification of who contributes more to the partnership? You win as a team and you lose as a team...and you should play the points as a team. I play alot of doubles, including mixed. I don't try to do more than I should or less than I should and I tell my partner the same thing. Use sound doubles fundamentals and talk! The chips will fall where they may. Do I take chances and win the point...yes. I take chances and lose the point too. Same with my partner. I accept that and so does she. The team is all that matters...not checking your stat sheet afterward and grumbling about UE's and who screwed it up. Nobody plays a perfect game. If you do, then you are just dinking the ball around and that is no fun.

longlivetennis
04-16-2009, 04:10 PM
Marat Safin definetely enjoys it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wM4JtY1GVA

ahaha he was picking on cornet!

Xisbum
04-16-2009, 04:25 PM
I've been reading all of this for awhile now. Interesting. I am curious...why is the conversation basically turning into a justification of who contributes more to the partnership? You win as a team and you lose as a team...and you should play the points as a team. I play alot of doubles, including mixed. I don't try to do more than I should or less than I should and I tell my partner the same thing. Use sound doubles fundamentals and talk! The chips will fall where they may. Do I take chances and win the point...yes. I take chances and lose the point too. Same with my partner. I accept that and so does she. The team is all that matters...not checking your stat sheet afterward and grumbling about UE's and who screwed it up. Nobody plays a perfect game. If you do, then you are just dinking the ball around and that is no fun.

Well and wisely said.

Nanshiki
04-16-2009, 06:40 PM
I'm going to go ahead and say it in case someone else hasn't, but the rule in mixed doubles is...

HURT THE SKIRT!

Remember that the skirt does not necessarily the girl. It might be the guy. Basic doubles strategy says you should concentrate shots on the weaker partner.

Also, you have to consider whether you're playing a social event, or a league-type competition...

J011yroger
04-16-2009, 08:25 PM
I'm going to go ahead and say it in case someone else hasn't, but the rule in mixed doubles is...

HURT THE SKIRT!

Remember that the skirt does not necessarily the girl. It might be the guy. Basic doubles strategy says you should concentrate shots on the weaker partner.

Also, you have to consider whether you're playing a social event, or a league-type competition...

Odd, I feel compelled to learn how to play real percentage doubles instead of hitting every ball to the weaker partner.

But then again, I also get to pick my partner, and sometimes get to pick my opponents.

J

BreakPoint
04-16-2009, 11:47 PM
If what you say is true, then it should even out, right? The opposing male player would be doing the same thing - poaching and missing, going for winners on every shot, not knowing how to play defensive tennis that is really offensive tennis etc. as you since this is a mixed doubles phenomenon. But all tennis matches have a winning team and a losing team. There are no draws. What determines the winning team? The women? But they are missing every shot so that should even out too. One team is playing better than the other team, bottom line.
Pretty much. The team with the woman who is able to hit most of her shots to the other woman on the opposing team will usually win.

duketennisgal
04-17-2009, 02:59 AM
I've gone to states the past couple of years with the mixed team that I captain so I'll try to add in my input.

On my team (8.0 mixed) we have 4 4.5 women that play with 3.5 guys and then we have a couple of 4.0/4.0 teams. I have never had and will never have a 4.5 guy playing with a 3.5 woman on my team. Most of the other teams around here are like that, I guess they assume that the 4.5 guy can carry the 3.5 woman but that is totally not the case. When my 4.5 woman/3.5 guy teams pair up against a 3.5 woman/4.5 man team they destroy them.

To me having the woman be the higher rating gives us a huge advantage. A 4.5 woman is going to have no troubles taking care of the 3.5 woman and is usually going to be pretty adept at keeping the ball away from the 4.5 man. The opposing teams 4.5 man is going to have a much harder time trying to play the whole court when he has a 4.5 woman on the opposite end that can hit with pace and put the ball where she wants.

Topaz
04-17-2009, 03:05 AM
^^^I know, in 7.0 mixed, when I come up against a 3.0 female/4.0 male, that I feel pretty darn confident (unless it is a sandbagging 3.0 female, which happens a lot around here).

Only came up against the 3.0 male/4.0 female once. The guy, again, was sandbagging, and has since been moved up. I could tell from his serve, right away, that he was not on the 3.0 skill level. We lost (3.5/3.5 combo) pretty handily, but my 3.5 partner in that match hadn't actually ever played 3.5 men's, so who knows if he is really competitive with 3.5 men or not?

Our area seems to have a lot of people with mixed exclusive ratings, and it seems to also let them manipulate their ratings much easier than if they played men's/women's league.

spaceman_spiff
04-17-2009, 03:12 AM
If your opponents are picking on your partner, even when you are serving or returning, are you really doing your job right? Are you really as good as you think you are at doubles?

I play almost all my men's doubles with a weaker partner, and I play a bit of mixed doubles as well, and my strategy is the same for both: when I am serving or returning, my goal is to force my opponents into a weak or predictable shot. If I do that well enough, even if my partner loses every serve, we should still win.

If my opponents are able to pick on my partner, then to me that means I'm not doing my job right; I'm giving my opponents easy shots. On the other hand, if my partner hits a ton of winners off of easy shots, then that means I'm playing well. I win most of my matches without hitting many winners, because everything is being set up for my partner.

If you watch that clip of Safin and Safina that was posted above, you can see what I'm talking about. Safin isn't chasing after lost causes and missing wild shots. He's setting himself and his sister up for easy shots that are being put away. At the same time, his opponent is making all sorts of bad decisions about when to poach, but at the same time he's not putting enough on his own shots to prevent both Safin and Safina from picking on himself and his partner.

There's no doubt that Safin is stronger than his sister, but he's not trying to play the points by himself. At the same time, he's not leaving his sister out to dry by hitting weak/predictable shots. He's playing smart and aggressive at the same time.

In my opinion, in that match, the men are what decided it. And, I'm guessing that, if the women were to swap sides, Safin would still win.

J011yroger
04-17-2009, 03:19 AM
^^^^ Exactly.

If your partner is getting drilled off of your serve/return, then your serve/return isn't good enough.

J

raiden031
04-17-2009, 03:19 AM
I've gone to states the past couple of years with the mixed team that I captain so I'll try to add in my input.

On my team (8.0 mixed) we have 4 4.5 women that play with 3.5 guys and then we have a couple of 4.0/4.0 teams. I have never had and will never have a 4.5 guy playing with a 3.5 woman on my team. Most of the other teams around here are like that, I guess they assume that the 4.5 guy can carry the 3.5 woman but that is totally not the case. When my 4.5 woman/3.5 guy teams pair up against a 3.5 woman/4.5 man team they destroy them.


My 8.0 team is in first place and our strongest pairs are 4.5M/3.5W. I think the key to this setup (as well as 4.0M/3.0W) is that the woman has to be above their rating level. I think that our 3.5 women are probably ready to play at 4.0 so they have the added advantage of having a stronger male partner than the 4.0 women.

duketennisgal
04-17-2009, 03:29 AM
My 8.0 team is in first place and our strongest pairs are 4.5M/3.5W. I think the key to this setup (as well as 4.0M/3.0W) is that the woman has to be above their rating level. I think that our 3.5 women are probably ready to play at 4.0 so they have the added advantage of having a stronger male partner than the 4.0 women.

Where I'm at the 3.5 women that we come up against are true 3.5's. I could see it being very different though if the women were more like 4.0's playing with 4.5 men. That would make a much stronger team.

We do have a few 4.0 women that are pretty much 4.5's that then play with 4.0 men, that makes for a very strong team usually.

raiden031
04-17-2009, 03:56 AM
If your opponents are picking on your partner, even when you are serving or returning, are you really doing your job right? Are you really as good as you think you are at doubles?

I play almost all my men's doubles with a weaker partner, and I play a bit of mixed doubles as well, and my strategy is the same for both: when I am serving or returning, my goal is to force my opponents into a weak or predictable shot. If I do that well enough, even if my partner loses every serve, we should still win.

If my opponents are able to pick on my partner, then to me that means I'm not doing my job right; I'm giving my opponents easy shots. On the other hand, if my partner hits a ton of winners off of easy shots, then that means I'm playing well. I win most of my matches without hitting many winners, because everything is being set up for my partner.

If you watch that clip of Safin and Safina that was posted above, you can see what I'm talking about. Safin isn't chasing after lost causes and missing wild shots. He's setting himself and his sister up for easy shots that are being put away. At the same time, his opponent is making all sorts of bad decisions about when to poach, but at the same time he's not putting enough on his own shots to prevent both Safin and Safina from picking on himself and his partner.

There's no doubt that Safin is stronger than his sister, but he's not trying to play the points by himself. At the same time, he's not leaving his sister out to dry by hitting weak/predictable shots. He's playing smart and aggressive at the same time.

In my opinion, in that match, the men are what decided it. And, I'm guessing that, if the women were to swap sides, Safin would still win.

I think this applies more to the higher levels of mixed (8.0 to pro) and I'm guessing alot of the complaints here are geared towards 6.0-7.0 mixed. I never really looked forward to mixed until I played 8.0. At 8.0 you might have the skill discrepency between partners, but at least even the weaker partner has dependable shots. At 6.0-7.0, you might be partnered with someone that has severe weaknesses (ie. stroke deficiencies) that make it impossible to play symmetric doubles, but instead you try to over-compensate for it. I've had 3.5W opponents unable to return my 2nd serve or even get my groundstrokes back reliably because they are not used to that kind of topspin. Granted these are players on the low-end of 3.5, but still I've come across them in 7.0. This is a non-issue in 8.0 mixed and above though.

duketennisgal
04-17-2009, 04:11 AM
I think this applies more to the higher levels of mixed (8.0 to pro) and I'm guessing alot of the complaints here are geared towards 6.0-7.0 mixed. I never really looked forward to mixed until I played 8.0. At 8.0 you might have the skill discrepency between partners, but at least even the weaker partner has dependable shots. At 6.0-7.0, you might be partnered with someone that has severe weaknesses (ie. stroke deficiencies) that make it impossible to play symmetric doubles, but instead you try to over-compensate for it. I've had 3.5W opponents unable to return my 2nd serve or even get my groundstrokes back reliably because they are not used to that kind of topspin. Granted these are players on the low-end of 3.5, but still I've come across them in 7.0. This is a non-issue in 8.0 mixed and above though.

I completely agree.

I also wanted to add as a side note that the most fun I have out of all my leagues would have to be 9.0 mixed. The level is just so high and it's a blast play the points (or watch if you aren't playing that match).

tfm1973
04-17-2009, 04:15 AM
welcome back cindy! i miss you and the rest of the folks on our team but 2 babies don't leave me much time for tennis.

oh yeah. i would be the TFM that topaz bragged about acing. a lot of it was pure laziness on my part. but an ace is an ace. kudos. however one ace is still only one point whether it's from a 3.5 lady or roger federer. my point tracking also says it doesn't overcome the two dozen drop shots, lob winners and drop volleys that senorita topaz never even touched.

i've had the pleasure of playing with cindysphinx and alice301 before. and while i've never played with topaz, i have played against her many times. these three ladies all play a very nice game. they use their brains and for the most part play to their strengths -- for example cindy knows her net game is her best asset and rushes the net constantly. topaz knows consistency is her best weapon and plays high percentage tennis and rarely goes for some ridiculous shot. in a way these ladies and probably duketennisgal and some of the others who have posted are not necessarily the norm.

one of the simplest strategies in doubles is to pick on or target the weaker player -- male or female. doesn't matter. in my experiences with mixed -- i have often asked my female partners to target the weaker player - again often the opposing lady but not always so. i explain to them that they won't win trading strokes with a stronger player. but if they can target the weaker player, it at least gives me a shot to cut off or pounce on hopefully a weaker reply. many many times they won't do this.

me: why are you hitting everything back to the guy?
partner: cuz it's so much more fun winning points off of the guy!
me: *smacks forehead*

:)

duketennisgal
04-17-2009, 04:33 AM
i've had the pleasure of playing with cindysphinx and alice301 before. and while i've never played with topaz, i have played against her many times. these three ladies all play a very nice game. they use their brains and for the most part play to their strengths -- for example cindy knows her net game is her best asset and rushes the net constantly. topaz knows consistency is her best weapon and plays high percentage tennis and rarely goes for some ridiculous shot. in a way these ladies and probably duketennisgal and some of the others who have posted are not necessarily the norm.



My main goal in mixed is to use my topspin to set my partner up at the net. I know my strength is that I can hit very deep topspin shots with pretty good pace. My goal is not to try to go for winners but to try to hit as many deep topspin shots that allows for my partner to pick off the reply at the net.

So I agree with you that it helps when partners use their brains. My partner knows that I'm not the best net player in the world so he trys to make things easier on me at the net by placing his serves in certain places and letting me know what he's going to do so that I can be better prepared up there.

tfm1973
04-17-2009, 04:45 AM
duketennisgal -- i think others have touched on it but i think what we have is two different beasts. 7.0 mixed and below and 8.0 mixed and above.

the biggest difference is EXPERIENCE. figure you don't get to 4.0 and higher without playing a good amount of tennis. and you certainly don't get to 5.0 and above without understanding pretty completely your game and strengths and weaknesses.

so when people complain about 7.0 mixed not being fun. well it might not be. you have a mixed bag of talent levels and athletic levels and experience levels.

for me -- given the choice between lady A who can hit some great shots but plays dumb or lady B who doesn't have all the shots in the arsenal but plays a smart game -- i'll take lady B every single time with the knowledge that if we get beat -- it won't be because we beat ourselves.

Topaz
04-17-2009, 04:45 AM
welcome back cindy! i miss you and the rest of the folks on our team but 2 babies don't leave me much time for tennis.

oh yeah. i would be the TFM that topaz bragged about acing. a lot of it was pure laziness on my part. but an ace is an ace. kudos. however one ace is still only one point whether it's from a 3.5 lady or roger federer. my point tracking also says it doesn't overcome the two dozen drop shots, lob winners and drop volleys that senorita topaz never even touched.

Dude! Did you see the ankle brace?!? :( Things are a bit tender in that area, so I'm trying to take it easy before the season starts. I saw what you were doing...high loopy balls to push me back, and then the 'droppah'. Smart playing TFM.

And! I hit three more aces last night, though against women. And, again, they were slow, but well placed. I learned that...from you! ;) Placement over power.



one of the simplest strategies in doubles is to pick on or target the weaker player -- male or female. doesn't matter. in my experiences with mixed -- i have often asked my female partners to target the weaker player - again often the opposing lady but not always so. i explain to them that they won't win trading strokes with a stronger player. but if they can target the weaker player, it at least gives me a shot to cut off or pounce on hopefully a weaker reply. many many times they won't do this.

me: why are you hitting everything back to the guy?
partner: cuz it's so much more fun winning points off of the guy!
me: *smacks forehead*

:)

There have been times in mixed where I find out right away that I can't hang with the opposing guy in the groundstroke area...and other times where I'm happy to do so. So, there is some 'feeling out' in a match that occurs, too.

spaceman_spiff
04-17-2009, 04:47 AM
I think this applies more to the higher levels of mixed (8.0 to pro) and I'm guessing alot of the complaints here are geared towards 6.0-7.0 mixed. I never really looked forward to mixed until I played 8.0. At 8.0 you might have the skill discrepency between partners, but at least even the weaker partner has dependable shots. At 6.0-7.0, you might be partnered with someone that has severe weaknesses (ie. stroke deficiencies) that make it impossible to play symmetric doubles, but instead you try to over-compensate for it. I've had 3.5W opponents unable to return my 2nd serve or even get my groundstrokes back reliably because they are not used to that kind of topspin. Granted these are players on the low-end of 3.5, but still I've come across them in 7.0. This is a non-issue in 8.0 mixed and above though.

Actually, I was playing 7.0 mixed in DC before I moved to the UK. I was 3.5 at the time (just started playing again after several years off), but I often played with a 3.0 partner. Over here, even in the upper leagues, some of the women in the mixed would only be 3.0 or 3.5 at best (my county isn't so great for tennis).

It's interesting that you mentioned the word symmetric. I think that's the problem most guys run into when playing mixed. Mixed doubles is not about two partners playing symmetrically or even similarly, except in the rare case that a strong all-around woman is paired up with a similarly strengthed man. If you expect your partner to be able to play that way at the same level as you, then you're being unrealistic (except of course in the rare situations mentioned above).

You can't expect a 3.0 women or man to serve and volley, chip and charge, etc., against a 4.0 or even a 3.5/3.5 combo. It's not going to happen. You're just going to get frustrated and start going for stupid shots, which just makes things worse.

Mixed doubles, or any doubles with a big difference in skill levels, requires a different strategy. The best strategy I've found is the one-two combo (think boxing). One good serve/return from the setup man/woman (the stiff jab) sets up the put-away shot by the partner (the uppercut). If you're the setup man/woman, your job is to find your opponents' weaknesses and exploit them on the serve/return so that they hit a weak or predictable shot that you or your partner can put away. If you're the put-away man, your job is to defend your side and always be ready to jump on any weak shot.

Yes, you have to figure out a strategy for when the put-away man/woman is serving or returning, but if the setup man/woman is doing his/her job well, he/she should be able to tell the partner where the weaknesses are.

Cindysphinx
04-17-2009, 04:48 AM
welcome back cindy! i miss you and the rest of the folks on our team but 2 babies don't leave me much time for tennis.

oh yeah. i would be the TFM that topaz bragged about acing. a lot of it was pure laziness on my part. but an ace is an ace. kudos. however one ace is still only one point whether it's from a 3.5 lady or roger federer. my point tracking also says it doesn't overcome the two dozen drop shots, lob winners and drop volleys that senorita topaz never even touched.

i've had the pleasure of playing with cindysphinx and alice301 before. and while i've never played with topaz, i have played against her many times. these three ladies all play a very nice game. they use their brains and for the most part play to their strengths -- for example cindy knows her net game is her best asset and rushes the net constantly. topaz knows consistency is her best weapon and plays high percentage tennis and rarely goes for some ridiculous shot. in a way these ladies and probably duketennisgal and some of the others who have posted are not necessarily the norm.

one of the simplest strategies in doubles is to pick on or target the weaker player -- male or female. doesn't matter. in my experiences with mixed -- i have often asked my female partners to target the weaker player - again often the opposing lady but not always so. i explain to them that they won't win trading strokes with a stronger player. but if they can target the weaker player, it at least gives me a shot to cut off or pounce on hopefully a weaker reply. many many times they won't do this.

me: why are you hitting everything back to the guy?
partner: cuz it's so much more fun winning points off of the guy!
me: *smacks forehead*

:)


Congratulations on the new baby, TFM!!

It was you (and another guy on our mixed team) I was thinking of when I said the best male doubles players use finesse.

I'm with DukeTennisGal in thinking that the 4.0M/3.0W (or 4.5M/3.5W) is the weakest combination for mixed. Sure, if the woman is really underrated, then such a team can do well. But if you have four players in 7.0 mixed (4.0M/3.0W versus 3.5M/3.5W) *and everyone is smack dab in the middle of their rating level*, then I think the 3.5 pair will win 9 times out of 10.

I have a smidgen of meaningless anecdotal evidence to back this up. I don't win that much at mixed, but I am 4-1 over two seasons against 4.0M/3.0W pairs. I remember those matches being situations where the 4.0M was overhitting/missing and the 3.0W had eyes the size of dinner plates.

In the one match where I was in a 4.0M/3.0W pairing against a 4.0W/3.0M, we killed them, and part of the reason was that the 3.0M was having trouble with my pitiful little shots and serve. The 4.0W could hang with my partner, but she couldn't carry her partner.

raiden031
04-17-2009, 05:19 AM
oh yeah. i would be the TFM that topaz bragged about acing. a lot of it was pure laziness on my part. but an ace is an ace. kudos. however one ace is still only one point whether it's from a 3.5 lady or roger federer. my point tracking also says it doesn't overcome the two dozen drop shots, lob winners and drop volleys that senorita topaz never even touched.


When I played Cindy about a year ago, she aced me on the first serve of the match.

magmasilk
04-17-2009, 05:35 AM
oh yeah. i would be the TFM that topaz bragged about acing. a lot of it was pure laziness on my part. but an ace is an ace. kudos. however one ace is still only one point whether it's from a 3.5 lady or roger federer. my point tracking also says it doesn't overcome the two dozen drop shots, lob winners and drop volleys that senorita topaz never even touched.

haha ... :twisted: aced by a girl :twisted: ... i pretty much discounted everything you said after that point however valid it may be. also, i was considering switching to TFM-branded kool-aid but no more [disclaimer: heavy, heavy sarcasim / no offense to "girls" intended]

Julieta
04-17-2009, 06:19 AM
Pretty much. The team with the woman who is able to hit most of her shots to the other woman on the opposing team will usually win.

The team that stays on plan is the team that will win. Assuming both teams are pretty much equal in skill level, the team that doesn't lose their mind and start doing stupid stuff will win. That was always our goal, to try to make the other team deviate from their game plan. Sometimes we got to the guy, sometimes it was the girl. We wanted to make them think "what can we do to beat them?" We didn't do this through gamesmanship or hooking (one of my partners won the sportsmanship award at Kalamazoo, lol), we did it through presenting a strong mental united front and disciplined shot selection. We tried to do what we were supposed to do on the court, playing the right ball the right way. If we didn't do this, we had problems. If one of us started doing things like poaching on balls below the net level, choking and serving doubles etc. on a regular basis it was not going to be a good day for us. Sometimes there is a clear winner because one team does self destruct, even if they have the skills to hang, other times its a fight to the end of the match and everyone is loving it because its such good tennis.

Nellie
04-17-2009, 06:25 AM
Congratulations on the new baby, TFM!!

It was you (and another guy on our mixed team) I was thinking of when I said the best male doubles players use finesse.

I'm with DukeTennisGal in thinking that the 4.0M/3.0W (or 4.5M/3.5W) is the weakest combination for mixed. Sure, if the woman is really underrated, then such a team can do well. But if you have four players in 7.0 mixed (4.0M/3.0W versus 3.5M/3.5W) *and everyone is smack dab in the middle of their rating level*, then I think the 3.5 pair will win 9 times out of 10.

I have a smidgen of meaningless anecdotal evidence to back this up. I don't win that much at mixed, but I am 4-1 over two seasons against 4.0M/3.0W pairs. I remember those matches being situations where the 4.0M was overhitting/missing and the 3.0W had eyes the size of dinner plates.

In the one match where I was in a 4.0M/3.0W pairing against a 4.0W/3.0M, we killed them, and part of the reason was that the 3.0M was having trouble with my pitiful little shots and serve. The 4.0W could hang with my partner, but she couldn't carry her partner.

But didn't you go to the playoffs on a 7.0 team, when you were a 3.0 partnered with the 4.0 "superstar"?

Cindysphinx
04-17-2009, 06:31 AM
When I played Cindy about a year ago, she aced me on the first serve of the match.

Yeah, but that doesn't count. It was a sneak attack short ball serve, not a true ace. It was probably also wind aided!

I have two real aces against guys. One was in mixed practice against a 4.0 serving to the deuce court. He had been embarrassing me at the net, and I really wanted to make him pay. First step: Trash Talk. I told him to look out because I was going to ace him. I decided I would slice the ball as hard as I possibly could on my first serve. The ball curved, hit the line, and took off sideways. Ace. The other was an Accidental Kick Serve to my teaching pro in the ad court. It landed so short and wide that he couldn't reach it because of the angle.

I consider these aces to be Useless Accidents because I cannot replicate them when I desperately need to. Indeed, my double-faults on break points and set points far exceed my ace count. :(

Julieta
04-17-2009, 06:32 AM
duketennisgal -- i think others have touched on it but i think what we have is two different beasts. 7.0 mixed and below and 8.0 mixed and above.

the biggest difference is EXPERIENCE. figure you don't get to 4.0 and higher without playing a good amount of tennis. and you certainly don't get to 5.0 and above without understanding pretty completely your game and strengths and weaknesses.

so when people complain about 7.0 mixed not being fun. well it might not be. you have a mixed bag of talent levels and athletic levels and experience levels.

for me -- given the choice between lady A who can hit some great shots but plays dumb or lady B who doesn't have all the shots in the arsenal but plays a smart game -- i'll take lady B every single time with the knowledge that if we get beat -- it won't be because we beat ourselves.

I think its the same at all levels. There are just different weapons and strategies at each level. You would think that experience would stop people from doing crazy things but that just doesn't happen. Sometimes people come out flat, or they just cant execute on the day. I played with a guy once who missed every overhead in the first five games or something. And he was by far the best player on the court, he probably could have won the match playing by himself! But he just had some kind of problem with it at the start (it did go away). And some people are just jerks. They were jerks in the juniors, jerks in college or pros, and will always be jerks. I suppose though where the experience comes in is that the players have been in more situations whereas when you're just starting everything is new. But I have a friend who plays a lot of seniors stuff and every once in awhile she'll tell me about something that happened that was a completely new one to her as well.

tfm1973
04-17-2009, 06:51 AM
But didn't you go to the playoffs on a 7.0 team, when you were a 3.0 partnered with the 4.0 "superstar"?

i've been playing 4.0 leagues for a long long time now. i guess you could say he was a 4.0 player in the same sense that jollyroger kinda likes wilson racquets. :?

Cindysphinx
04-17-2009, 08:40 AM
But didn't you go to the playoffs on a 7.0 team, when you were a 3.0 partnered with the 4.0 "superstar"?

No, no playoffs. We played two matches together and won them, but he was not a real 4.0 and was moved up to 4.5.

Nellie
04-17-2009, 08:47 AM
It seems to me that moral of success in mixed is to be at the top end of the skill range, regardless of the pairings! Everyone with success indicates that they and/or a partner moved up soon after the season. I think that is why Topaz sees so many sand baggers - becausee successful teams at the top end of the skill range make it tough - it's no fun for a 3.5/3.5 pair to play a 4.0/3.0 pair that is really a 4.5/3.5 pair.

BreakPoint
04-17-2009, 09:49 AM
^^^^ Exactly.

If your partner is getting drilled off of your serve/return, then your serve/return isn't good enough.

J
But this is what happens when your weak female partner is serving or returning and there's really nothing you can do about it unless you're able to change the rules to allow you to serve and return every ball. :)

sureshs
04-17-2009, 10:43 AM
I have two real aces against guys. One was in mixed practice against a 4.0 serving to the deuce court. He had been embarrassing me at the net, and I really wanted to make him pay. First step: Trash Talk. I told him to look out because I was going to ace him. I decided I would slice the ball as hard as I possibly could on my first serve. The ball curved, hit the line, and took off sideways. Ace. The other was an Accidental Kick Serve to my teaching pro in the ad court. It landed so short and wide that he couldn't reach it because of the angle.


Don't shortchange yourself. The first one sounds like a genuine ace.

NoBadMojo
04-17-2009, 11:11 AM
I'm 3.5. Wife is 2.5 and we played USTA 6.0 last night. First match. There was always something that I just didn't enjoy about Mixed but could never put my finger on it. Last night, I got it. I REFUSE to poach all over the place putting away feeble 2.5 females shots. I noticed the other guy did it and I just cannot do it. His team was the winner of course but, to me, he just looked silly doing it. I'd rather lose. It gives me no joy to play that way. Even though you're supposed to play all out. I even told my wife that I just couldn't do it. After this season of USTA Mixed, I'm done. It's lame.

that must have been a really long 'match' for you ;) lots of guys feel that way, and you are doing the right thing by bagging it rather than having to endure something which isnt a pleasant experience for you.

Cindysphinx
04-17-2009, 11:18 AM
But this is what happens when your weak female partner is serving or returning and there's really nothing you can do about it unless you're able to change the rules to allow you to serve and return every ball. :)

There is plenty you can do. If the guy is returning your partner's creampuff serve, you start at the baseline. If you think you are strong enough, you stand in no-man's land, shading toward the middle. Whatever return comes, you intercept it and take it from there. Unless they paint the doubles line in your partner's alley, every ball is yours. That 4.0 guy who was really 4.5 did that. It was something to see.

If the woman is returning your partner's creampuff serve, you stay at the net and Man Up. :)

Topaz
04-17-2009, 01:07 PM
It seems to me that moral of success in mixed is to be at the top end of the skill range, regardless of the pairings! Everyone with success indicates that they and/or a partner moved up soon after the season. I think that is why Topaz sees so many sand baggers - becausee successful teams at the top end of the skill range make it tough - it's no fun for a 3.5/3.5 pair to play a 4.0/3.0 pair that is really a 4.5/3.5 pair.

*dingdingding* We have a winner! ;)

Seriously, I have been shocked just too many times when I go home and look up my opponents...I just don't seem to run into this kind of sandbagging in regular 'ole women's league.

hotseat
04-17-2009, 01:25 PM
But this is what happens when your weak female partner is serving or returning and there's really nothing you can do about it unless you're able to change the rules to allow you to serve and return every ball. :)

............and im sure youve never been the significantly weaker player in a game of doubles with all guys, right!?!?!?!?!??!?!


false

Cindysphinx
04-17-2009, 01:57 PM
*dingdingding* We have a winner! ;)

Seriously, I have been shocked just too many times when I go home and look up my opponents...I just don't seem to run into this kind of sandbagging in regular 'ole women's league.

Me, I can't tell when the guys are sandbagging. I have nothing to compare them to, really.

I think the women I have opposed have been correctly rated.

Cruzer
04-17-2009, 04:28 PM
I have played USTA mixed for the past 12 years partnering with my wife. Many people are amazed we have been able to endure that much "mixed trouble" together but it has been pretty easy. I only play mixed so my wife and I can play together.

After a dozen years of 6.0, 7.0, and 8.0 mixed I have noticed the following in my area (Norcal).

1. Mixed doubles is made of different types of partnerships.
a) A man and woman either paired together by their captain or preferably a man and woman that have chosen to play together. Ideally they practice togther and have decent doubles strategy

b) Married couples. I find married couples are a small breed in the mixed doubles world. It can be trying at times but then playing doubles with anyone can sometimes be a trying experience. However when you play with your spouse the 45 minute car ride home after losing a match you could have won can be nothing more than frosty silence.

c) The "Love Connection" partnerships. These partnerships have one advantage over the previous two in that they are always smiling, happy, and totally supportive of each other even if one of them double faults on set point or dumps a sitter into the net on match point. I find they are usually the easiest to play against and defeat.

2. Most of the comments about the majority of the balls getting hit to the woman is accurate unless it is a very rare occurence when the woman is significantly better than the man like a 3.5 man and a 4.5 woman.

3. I have not encountered many testsorone fueled guys that play mixed doubles. They do not get any satisfaction from pounding tennis balls at a woman. They stick to playing with the guys. The odd few maniacs that do play mixed generally suck at men's tennis and mixed is where they they can win the occasional match.

4. A lot of the guys that do play mixed particluarly below the 9.0 level just don't take it as seriously or play as hard as they do in men's tennis. I know a lot of guys that simply will not hit hard at their female opponent under any circumstances whether it means winning a point or not. Their partners sometimes get quite annoyed at this tactic especially if they have been hit at themselves a couple of times by the opposing male.

5. The reality is mixed doubles can get boring for the man and that is why there are a lot of guys, particulary the stronger ones wouldn't touch a mixed doubles match with a barge pole.

6. I wonder why some women play USTA mixed doubles. There a some that if you a ball with some pace at them when they are standing three feet from the net they stand and glare at you like you took a swing at them. This occurs at the 6.0 and 7.0 levels. At higher levels the women can generally hold their own and most like the pace that the men hit with.

7. The higher rated the woman the less liklihood she will be willing to play with a lower rated male. Items 1b and 1c above are usually the exceptions. Every 4.5 woman I know that plays mixed will only play 9.0 or 10.0. Very few 4.0 women will play with a man rated below them.

I much prefer playing singles to mixed doubles but if I am going to play doubles I would take mixed over mens.

BreakPoint
04-17-2009, 05:07 PM
There is plenty you can do. If the guy is returning your partner's creampuff serve, you start at the baseline. If you think you are strong enough, you stand in no-man's land, shading toward the middle. Whatever return comes, you intercept it and take it from there. Unless they paint the doubles line in your partner's alley, every ball is yours. That 4.0 guy who was really 4.5 did that. It was something to see.

If the woman is returning your partner's creampuff serve, you stay at the net and Man Up. :)
I tried that. It didn't work. I tried standing at the net and the guy on the other side would just tee off on my female partner's cream puff serve - right at my face! If the guy is a 4.0 or 4.5, they can hit the ball VERY hard - right at you. You have basically no chance since the cream puff serve land's so close to the net with no spin nor pace so there's no reaction time to defend against crushing returns.

I then tried standing back, but then every return goes to my female partner and I never get to touch the ball. They will continue to hit EVERY shot to her until she misses.

If I stood in no man's land, they will just rip the return right down the line into the alley or crosscourt to my female partner's alley. Either way, there's really no chance for me to get to the ball.

I'm basically a sitting duck for target practice for the other team. Not a whole lot of fun for me. :(

BreakPoint
04-17-2009, 05:15 PM
............and im sure youve never been the significantly weaker player in a game of doubles with all guys, right!?!?!?!?!??!?!


false
Frankly, no, I have not. I have a huge serve so every time I serve, my partner gets the benefit of putting away easy weak returns. Or I just hit an ace. :)

One of the biggest problems is that very few women have big serves. Cream puff serves just don't cut it in doubles. It allows the opposing team to tee off on the returns. You should be in an offensive position when your team is serving. However, with most women that I've played with, my team is immediately in a defensive position when my female partner is serving. Also, very few women can serve and volley. Another negative.

Topaz
04-17-2009, 07:28 PM
^^^Yet both Cindy and I have aced men on this board with cream puff serves.

I've found that the cream puff works very well against some guys...they can't produce their own pace with enough control to keep it in the court. I use it against women with the same problem, too.

Very few women can serve and volley??? My goodness, I guess the tennis players in my area (especially the women) are more advanced than everyplace else...I see tons of S&V in women's and mixed dubs. I even did a few times myself just tonight.

BreakPoint
04-17-2009, 07:57 PM
^^^Yet both Cindy and I have aced men on this board with cream puff serves.
Yes, but can you do it consistently?

I've found that the cream puff works very well against some guys...they can't produce their own pace with enough control to keep it in the court. I use it against women with the same problem, too.
Not against high 4.0 or 4.5 men. They'll just hit a clean winner off of it. Or as Vic Braden used to say - you'd end up eating a fuzz sandwich. ;)

Very few women can serve and volley??? My goodness, I guess the tennis players in my area (especially the women) are more advanced than everyplace else...I see tons of S&V in women's and mixed dubs. I even did a few times myself just tonight.
But did you do it against 4.5 or above men?

Julieta
04-18-2009, 05:13 AM
I tried that. It didn't work. I tried standing at the net and the guy on the other side would just tee off on my female partner's cream puff serve - right at my face! If the guy is a 4.0 or 4.5, they can hit the ball VERY hard - right at you. You have basically no chance since the cream puff serve land's so close to the net with no spin nor pace so there's no reaction time to defend against crushing returns.

I then tried standing back, but then every return goes to my female partner and I never get to touch the ball. They will continue to hit EVERY shot to her until she misses.

If I stood in no man's land, they will just rip the return right down the line into the alley or crosscourt to my female partner's alley. Either way, there's really no chance for me to get to the ball.

I'm basically a sitting duck for target practice for the other team. Not a whole lot of fun for me. :(

This post is hilarious.

NoBadMojo
04-18-2009, 05:28 AM
Frankly, no, I have not. I have a huge serve so every time I serve, my partner gets the benefit of putting away easy weak returns. Or I just hit an ace. :)

One of the biggest problems is that very few women have big serves. Cream puff serves just don't cut it in doubles. It allows the opposing team to tee off on the returns. You should be in an offensive position when your team is serving. However, with most women that I've played with, my team is immediately in a defensive position when my female partner is serving. Also, very few women can serve and volley. Another negative.

The only thing that is huge is your ego.

Logic may indicate that if you are playing mixed doubles, the opposing team also has a female on their team as well, and as the guy , you can reap these same perceived advantages that you are complaining about especially since you are such an amazing playa....

J011yroger
04-18-2009, 05:37 AM
We didn't do this through gamesmanship

Where do you draw the line?

At some point it stops being smart doubles play, and starts being a hinderance.

I am trying to figure this out now, exactly how I want to play.

Sure shucking and jiving, and fake poaching and so forth is required by the net man in high level dubs, but how much is too much?

J

Cindysphinx
04-18-2009, 05:37 AM
This post is hilarious.

How come, Julieta?

My own take on Breakpoint's post is that he is ignoring 50% of his chances to win a point. The opposing woman has to return serve. She also has to serve. So you (if you're a really good player) should have just as many creampuff serves to crush as the opposing guy.

Let me tell you a little story about a 7.0 mixed match I had last fall. I was playing with a good 3.5 male. We were up against a 3.0 woman who was about to be bumped to 3.5, and her 4.0 male partner who was about to be bumped down to 3.5. So it was a fair fight.

When I served, I tried to go to the guy's BH in the ad court because he had NO backhand. He seemed to know this, so he stood far over to cover his BH. I tried to reach it and I would miss wide (or I had to take off so much pace that he ran around and hit FH). If I went up the T, he stepped over and hit his FH. Many of these FHs went straight at the head and body of my male partner.

What happened? At first, my partner fended off these balls with his quick hands, but he was missing some of them, of course. After a while, I told him to join me at the baseline. If the return was weak, my partner cut over and intercepted it. If the return was to me, I hit the thing (often lobbing the woman, who was cowering in the front corner). I sprinted to the net at the first opportunity (my partner usually stayed at the baseline). Then our opponents had the choice to hit to me at the net or hit to my partner at the baseline. Either way, we did fine. And we won easily. That was because I got more of the opposing guy's balls back into play than did my female counterpart, because my partner kept punishing the opposing woman's creampuff serve, because my partner destroyed the opposing guy's BH, and because I was able to return her serve better than she returned mine.

The moral of the story is that mixed doubles may require adjustments to accommodate any mismatch between the female's serve and the opposing man's return. Good teams and players know how and when to go to Plan B.

Julieta
04-18-2009, 06:04 AM
Specific to BP's post, the thing that really cracked me up was that he seems surprised that if the serve is weak that the returner will hit the ball right at him, and hard at that! That is not all that shocking in doubles. It is something he should be expecting, and if he is expecting it, that is much easier for him to handle than a guy that dips the return with heavy top or hits a chip lob off of it...

But generally, what I find funny is the blame assignment. Of course the female players are weaker in some ways than the men, that is just the way it is. It drives me crazy though when tennis players in general refuse to look at themselves and what they need to improve upon. They blame everyone and everything else. Players need to be honest with themselves. No one plays perfect tennis or solves all of their problems on the court, but the point of playing is to try to keep working away at it.

The OP in this thread didn't blame people. He just said that he didn't really like mixed because he had no joy hitting balls away from a woman, in this case a woman who is just starting to play. And that's cool, it is his choice as Mojo said to not play if he doesnt like it. Same for BP. But BP comes off as basically that he is Pete Sampras and everything is the female player's fault. Which is not helping his own game because he is looking to blame someone versus looking at himself to see what he could do better.

J011yroger
04-18-2009, 06:07 AM
But this is what happens when your weak female partner is serving or returning and there's really nothing you can do about it unless you're able to change the rules to allow you to serve and return every ball. :)

Ya, man I suppose I just don't get what your problem is.

I play a lot with people weaker than me.

One of my favorite things to do when the partner creampuff serves to the stronger player is fake poach a bit earlier than you would for a real poach, and then when they rip it to the alley, volley through the hole.

If you know that the ball is coming at you and coming fast, you should be able to volley the return. I don't care if James Blake is returning, if you know it is coming, you should not get hit. It would be like me walking up to you and saying "BP, I am going to take my right fist, and punch you in the face, in 3...2...1...". If your volleys are not up to snuff play two back.

You should also be able to read the return patterns of the weaker opposing player, so that you are a force at the net when your partner is serving. The only thing that is going to burn you there is the return lob, so you should have your weaker partner on the lookout for the return lob.

Just keep in mind that you want to make it so that the other team has to hit good shots to beat you.

On the return game, you just make all of your returns, (of course as best as you can because nobody can just say "today, I don't miss") with the understanding that if you are making all your returns, your partner only needs to make one.

As far as drilling people on the return, you will have to take my word that I have a pretty big return game, and though I may not choose to use it, I can put a charge into the ball if I get the notion.

I return to the net man if (s)he. . .

1. Has an obvious stroke flaw that makes them unable to hit a certain volley.

2. Is playing out of position giving me a window for a clean winner.

3. Is dancing around like a jackass, and poaching/faking all the time.

If the other player is a competant net man, other than the rifle shot down the line to keep them honest, I return XC. Because if I return to them, they should make the volley. Excepting the element of surprise, when you focus crosscourt, and then drill them. Or as stated in #3 when they are dancing/poaching/faking, because I am confidant that they are not thinking of a return coming at them. Usually after you drill the guy who was jumping around and faking, you follow it up with some snarky comment like "Hey, you looked like you wanted to get involved in the point so I figured I would give you the ball."

I think our main difference of opinon is that, if I play a match, and my team as a whole isn't as strong as the other team as a whole. Or if my team played a smart match and the other team just made the tough shots we forced them to make, and we lose, then I don't have a problem with that. Or even if I or my partner genuinely has a bad day and we get creamed, then it doesn't bother me. Once in a while you just forget how to play tennis, and you say "Hey, I just sucked today, we got creamed, this one was on me." and then next time you come to play and make damn sure it doesn't happen twice in a row.

If I play like a moron, or something like that and we lose, then I have a problem.

J

J011yroger
04-18-2009, 06:10 AM
Specific to BP's post,

Not fair that you can type fast, and beat me to the punch.

I blame you because you are a woman.

;)

J

raiden031
04-18-2009, 06:12 AM
I tried that. It didn't work. I tried standing at the net and the guy on the other side would just tee off on my female partner's cream puff serve - right at my face! If the guy is a 4.0 or 4.5, they can hit the ball VERY hard - right at you. You have basically no chance since the cream puff serve land's so close to the net with no spin nor pace so there's no reaction time to defend against crushing returns.


During my mixed experience I would prefer they hit the ball at me. In fact nobody ever seems to hit the ball at me when I'm at he net for whatever reason, probably because I usually get them back. Instead my frustrations were that my partner would serve a cream-puff, then the returner would easily hit a low cross-court return that is unpoachable and then my partner would botch the next shot. Then I would start trying to poach these and they'd hit the tip of my racquet because they are balls that I have no business poaching and of course my partner gets broke.

Cindysphinx
04-18-2009, 06:16 AM
Yes, but can you do it consistently?

Not against high 4.0 or 4.5 men. They'll just hit a clean winner off of it. Or as Vic Braden used to say - you'd end up eating a fuzz sandwich. ;)

But did you do it against 4.5 or above men?

Regarding S&V in mixed doubles,

I don't know BreakPoint's level etc., so I can only go by the guys on my 7.0 mixed team. I have seen over half of the guys play. None consistently serve and volley. They seem to be happy to hit their big groundstrokes and make things happen that way.

And heck, I'll serve and volley in mixed. I'll do it against the guy *if* I have some reason to think it would be a good idea. (If his groundstrokes are not better than that of the 3.5-4.0 women I play, why treat him differently?) The main circumstance that will cause me to S&V is if the guy is hitting big return angles I can't reach if I stay back. In that case, I'd rather lose the point with a S&V than by staying back and watching balls slam untouched into the side curtain. At least if I S&V, he might miss or I might touch the ball. I will definitely S&V in mixed against the woman if she is pushing. Can't let her get away with that nonsense. . . .

No way will I accept the characterization in 7.0 mixed that the men S&V and the women do not.

Cindysphinx
04-18-2009, 06:33 AM
Cruzer:

I know a lot of guys that simply will not hit hard at their female opponent under any circumstances whether it means winning a point or not. Their partners sometimes get quite annoyed at this tactic especially if they have been hit at themselves a couple of times by the opposing male.

I have to say, I am starting to get frustrated by male partners who will not hit any ball to the woman at the net. Men hit at me at net *all the time.* Yet my partners will not do this to the opposing woman.

In a recent match, my partner and I were getting absolutely killed. The opposing 3.5 guy was really good. His 3.5 partner hit effective hard and flat groundstrokes (liked pace but had trouble without pace or with spin), but couldn't do a thing at net. Opposing guy tried to pass me a few times at net and hit one right at me. First set was lost in a flash because the opposing male was hitting a lot of balls, 2-6, IIRC.

Second set starts. I tell my partner we have to do something differently to keep the ball away from this guy. Opposing woman has no volleys, he needs to hit a groundstroke at her. He says no, he's not comfortable. I say, "OK, well how about you take your FH down the line; so you wouldn't be hitting *at* her but would be passing her. Don't hit it too hard, 'cause you don't want to miss, just try it." So he did. He hit his FH medium paced down the line. She lunged at it and missed. Then I took my FH right at her, and she missed again. Her partner pulled her off the net at once. We then proceeded to roar back from 1-5, to take the set at 7-5. Once we had her off the net, we could hit every groundstroke to her and charge the net, and she couldn't beat us with her flat groundstrokes.

Dudes, ya gotta hit at the opposing woman. If you're losing, anyway.

raiden031
04-18-2009, 06:44 AM
There is plenty you can do. If the guy is returning your partner's creampuff serve, you start at the baseline. If you think you are strong enough, you stand in no-man's land, shading toward the middle. Whatever return comes, you intercept it and take it from there. Unless they paint the doubles line in your partner's alley, every ball is yours. That 4.0 guy who was really 4.5 did that. It was something to see.

He hit his FH medium paced down the line. She lunged at it and missed. Then I took my FH right at her, and she missed again. Her partner pulled her off the net at once.

This is exactly the crap tennis I try to avoid, which is why I'm done with 7.0. The only time that both partners should be starting at the baseline is when the opposing team has a big serve and you are likely to get poached on the return. Starting two back because your partner sucks at the net or so you can intercept the ball is a sign that you shouldn't be playing with that partner, whether it be mixed or men's/women's doubles.

Julieta
04-18-2009, 07:00 AM
Not fair that you can type fast, and beat me to the punch.

I blame you because you are a woman.

;)

J

Lol! My nails get in the way sometimes though so you might win a typing showdown!!!

slick
04-18-2009, 08:22 AM
Interesting discussion with a lot of valid points on both sides.

I'm playing in an 8.0 mixed league for the first time and it has been interesting and quite different from men's 4.0 and 4.5 dubs which I usually play.

We are undefeated as a team and have only lost one individual match with an overall match record of 17-1.

Our best team who are a virtual lock is a 4.5W/3.5M. She absolutely crushes the ball, doesn't miss, and hits as hard as the 4.5 guys and he is a sandbagger but has a legit computer ranking. I've watched them play. They basically take apart whatever opposing woman they are up against and it ain't pretty. They win easily every time.

I have a more difficult assignment. I'm a self rated 4.0 but probably should be playing 4.5. I'm paired with a weak 4.0. She has good shots but is older and out of shape and can't move. Also has a very weak serve. Every team we play hits EVERY ball they can to her. I have to cover most of the court and go for shots I normally wouldn't in mens dubs. If I don't do this we WILL lose, but I do make more errors because of it. I'm a sitting duck at net when the other guy is returning. I don't mind to much because I like to volley but it's hard for her to hold. So for us to win I have to hold every time, we have to break the other woman every time and we have to try and break the other guy once a set. To win I have to go after the other women when we really need a point. Don't like it, but I don't like losing even more.

So it all depends on who's playing and what they can do, male or female. Every team is different. I must say for me there is something about mixed where I usually come off the court not feeling great about the match. Because of the increased errors it always feels like I didn't play my best and I had to almost "cheat" (ie play away from the other guy) to win. It's fun to win but it just doesn't feel as satisfying as winning a tough 4.5 mens dubs match.

raiden031
04-18-2009, 08:32 AM
So it all depends on who's playing and what they can do, male or female. Every team is different. I must say for me there is something about mixed where I usually come off the court not feeling great about the match. Because of the increased errors it always feels like I didn't play my best and I had to almost "cheat" (ie play away from the other guy) to win. It's fun to win but it just doesn't feel as satisfying as winning a tough 4.5 mens dubs match.

Man I feel this way as well. I always feel like I'm lucky to win my mixed matches even when its like 6-3, 6-3 because I feel like I had little room to screw up during the match otherwise that win easily could have been a loss. Plus i always hit more stupid errors than normal.

robby c
04-18-2009, 09:23 AM
7.0 Mixed is a different set of shots to master. It's good for my game to practice these shots for 8-10 weeks a year.
Shots like the wide slice serve to the duece court.
Topspin down the line return of serves over the lady.
Chip lob to get the man off the net.
High volley winners.
Short angle drop shots.
And don't forget the extra running for their lobs and short angle shots.
Mixed is a shot makers paradise, if you can handle the pressure of not missing your putaways.
I found that I enjoy the challenge.
It's only for a couple of months.
Beats sitting on the couch watching the Tennis Channel.
Robby C

robby c
04-18-2009, 09:37 AM
Mixed is also way more social than Adult League.
I like getting a break from the win at all costs attitudes, although my last year's mixed partner wanted to win worse than any men's partner I've been paired with.
The Ladies dress better, and they bring good food.
It gives me the chance to meet the parents of my kids friends from the club's daycare. Our club is in the same school district.
You pick up all kind of advice about teachers. Or where the best sales for back to school clothes.
And you have the same chance to advance to playoffs.
Our State Mixed Championship is in Charleston,SC in July. Pretty good incentive to win.
Robby C

sureshs
04-18-2009, 10:45 AM
I am going to be playing mixed dubs tomorrow.

Let me tell you something. Putting away a slow ball, whether a groundie or a serve, exposes mechanical weaknesses. It is sometimes easier to hit against pace, and the occasional glorious shot in men's doubles is a cause of much pride. But when you face a female serve in mixed dubs which looks like it could bounce thrice before the baseline, it takes skill to put it away as a winner. Same for weak taps and lobs coming to you. Getting your feet positioned right, getting out of your own way, and hitting the winner you are supposed to to, is not easy, and it really filters out the men with bad mechanics. Give Nadal the weak ball, and he will kill it every time. Give mixed-dubs Joe the same ball, and he will either overhit or hit a cream-puff return himself.

BreakPoint
04-18-2009, 11:07 AM
Specific to BP's post, the thing that really cracked me up was that he seems surprised that if the serve is weak that the returner will hit the ball right at him, and hard at that! That is not all that shocking in doubles. It is something he should be expecting, and if he is expecting it, that is much easier for him to handle than a guy that dips the return with heavy top or hits a chip lob off of it...

But generally, what I find funny is the blame assignment. Of course the female players are weaker in some ways than the men, that is just the way it is. It drives me crazy though when tennis players in general refuse to look at themselves and what they need to improve upon. They blame everyone and everything else. Players need to be honest with themselves. No one plays perfect tennis or solves all of their problems on the court, but the point of playing is to try to keep working away at it.

The OP in this thread didn't blame people. He just said that he didn't really like mixed because he had no joy hitting balls away from a woman, in this case a woman who is just starting to play. And that's cool, it is his choice as Mojo said to not play if he doesnt like it. Same for BP. But BP comes off as basically that he is Pete Sampras and everything is the female player's fault. Which is not helping his own game because he is looking to blame someone versus looking at himself to see what he could do better.
The part that I think you're missing, and I should have explained in more detail, is that I play against some guys that can hit the ball VERY hard. Unless you're John McEnroe, there's no time to react to a ball that's hit at 100mph right at you from only 6 feet away. This only happens when playing with a partner with an extremely weak serve, which most men I've played with don't have and which most women I've played with do have. When most of my male partners serve, the returner stands closer to the baseline. When most of my female partners serve, the returner stands closer to the service line. And since most of my female partners' serves don't have much spin, pace nor depth on them, a good returner can just smack the crap out of the return right at the face of the net man or down the alley. There simply isn't enough time nor space to react on a consistent basis.

And, yes, I stopped playing mixed a while ago.

BreakPoint
04-18-2009, 11:10 AM
The only thing that is huge is your ego.

You're right, it's just my imagination that the receiver always stands WAAAYYYY back to receive my serve but stands way in to receive my partners'. Or maybe it's all the receivers that are imagining things and they shouldn't be standing so far back to receive my serve? :-?

Julieta
04-18-2009, 11:21 AM
The part that I think you're missing, and I should have explained in more detail, is that I play against some guys that can hit the ball VERY hard. Unless you're John McEnroe, there's no time to react to a ball that's hit at 100mph right at you from only 6 feet away. This only happens when playing with a partner with an extremely weak serve, which most men I've played with don't have and which most women I've played with do have. When most of my male partners serve, the returner stands closer to the baseline. When most of my female partners serve, the returner stands closer to the service line. And since most of my female partners' serves don't have much spin, pace nor depth on them, a good returner can just smack the crap out of the return right at the face of the net man or down the alley. There simply isn't enough time nor space to react on a consistent basis.

And, yes, I stopped playing mixed a while ago.

4.0-4.5 guys hitting 100mph returns. Okay...

So I guess you were playing pro-ams or party doubles or something?

Julieta
04-18-2009, 11:27 AM
Where do you draw the line?

At some point it stops being smart doubles play, and starts being a hinderance.

I am trying to figure this out now, exactly how I want to play.

Sure shucking and jiving, and fake poaching and so forth is required by the net man in high level dubs, but how much is too much?

J

Sorry, didn't see this earlier. I'm not talking about fake poaches although that can be a good play. I just meant that you get into their heads simpply by not messing up. You set your plans and execute on them. You work as a team. You can even be obvious as all get out but if they can't counter it, what can they do? Then the opposing team starts trying to do something extra and if you stay on them, they can start flipping out and making all sorts of errors. I've seen it happen. But this is in cases where everyone is close to the same level. Obviously in some cases the team is better, so you just try to stay strong and do what you can do, or they are a lot worse, same thing, you stay strong and get it done.

BreakPoint
04-18-2009, 11:34 AM
If you know that the ball is coming at you and coming fast, you should be able to volley the return. I don't care if James Blake is returning, if you know it is coming, you should not get hit.
It's one thing if James Blake was returning the ball from near or behind the baseline and quite another if he was returning from inside the service line because the serves were so weak and short.

I have never been physically hit but I do have to duck sometimes or the ball gets past me down the alley or I end up framing a volley trying to get my racquet into the path of the blazing return.

Julieta
04-18-2009, 11:34 AM
The only thing that is huge is your ego.

Logic may indicate that if you are playing mixed doubles, the opposing team also has a female on their team as well, and as the guy , you can reap these same perceived advantages that you are complaining about especially since you are such an amazing playa....

Exactly. And if he's such a playa, he can cover alley to alley. I've played with someone who could do it. He didn't do it on every point, but whenever he was in control of the poaching he could just go for it and if it meant he needed to cover both sides, he could do it. But I dont think people realize just how fast high level doubles players can move, or how much their volleys stick.

BreakPoint
04-18-2009, 11:38 AM
4.0-4.5 guys hitting 100mph returns. Okay...

So I guess you were playing pro-ams or party doubles or something?
No, but there are guys that can crush returns off of nothing serves. I know because I've played against them.

sureshs
04-18-2009, 08:29 PM
When most of my female partners serve, the returner stands closer to the service line.

That is something I will not do on principle. However bad the server maybe, and regardless of whether it is a male or female, I will not stand inside the baseline. I consider that to be a personal insult to the server. I would rather bust my *** getting to the ball before its second bounce, but I will never give the impression the server is no good.

sureshs
04-18-2009, 08:30 PM
4.0-4.5 guys hitting 100mph returns. Okay...

So I guess you were playing pro-ams or party doubles or something?

Maybe it happened once or twice. I don't see this happening consistently at that level.

raiden031
04-19-2009, 05:27 AM
That is something I will not do on principle. However bad the server maybe, and regardless of whether it is a male or female, I will not stand inside the baseline. I consider that to be a personal insult to the server. I would rather bust my *** getting to the ball before its second bounce, but I will never give the impression the server is no good.

This seems odd to me. I tend to stand deeper than I need to be because i prefer to move forward to return rather than take a serve on the rise. But i dont see how ettiquette applies to this at all. I have seen some opponents try to stand way inside on my serve but it usually is a mistake because it is harder to return like that especially when my serves have pace on them. I think they do it in hopes it will get in my head and cause me to fault.

J011yroger
04-19-2009, 05:41 AM
That is something I will not do on principle. However bad the server maybe, and regardless of whether it is a male or female, I will not stand inside the baseline. I consider that to be a personal insult to the server. I would rather bust my *** getting to the ball before its second bounce, but I will never give the impression the server is no good.

If someone has a lame short 2nd serve, I have stood with both toes on the service line. Most people don't appreciate it.

I do it to my friend all the time. I tell him that hitting that lame 2nd serve is unacceptable so he either has to hit a quality 2nd serve and win the point, double fault and lose the point, or hit his lame 2nd serve and lose the point.

As far as standing inside the baseline being an insult, in dubs people stand inside the baseline to try to return my serve, especially on clay, and just try to block it back before it gets too high.

If you don't it is just foolish on your part especially if the other guy is S&V, if you graduate to a higher level of play you are going to want to stand in as close as you can feel that you have an ok shot at returning. The faster the ball gets back to them, the less time they have to close.

Practice standing in now.

J

Cindysphinx
04-19-2009, 06:56 AM
I agree that it is fine to stand as close to the service line as you like.

I played against a woman yesterday with a crazy weak serve. I mean, sheez. But what she could do was serve this nerf ball with some side-spin, sharply angling toward my BH on the ad side. Yesterday, they all hit the net or missed wide, but if any had landed in they would have been impossible to reach from the baseline because they were so short.

And even if there is no legitimate reason to stand right by the service line, it is fine to do this simply to intimidate a weak server on a big point. I do this also. At times, I wonder if it is especially effective given how furiously I have to backpedal if the serve actually does land deep. 'Cause I sure can't hit my return on the rise! :)

KFwinds
04-19-2009, 09:00 AM
Not only will I stand as close to the service line as I feel is necessary, but I'll hit a drop shot off the return into the server's alley if their serve is that weak.

sureshs
04-19-2009, 09:20 AM
If someone has a lame short 2nd serve, I have stood with both toes on the service line.

That is OK. I was talking about those who move closer to the service line. In recreational play, I consider this to be bad "manners." That is just me, of course.

sureshs
04-19-2009, 09:24 AM
I think they do it in hopes it will get in my head and cause me to fault.

Exactly. It does get into the head of the server. That is why I don't do it. As I have said before in discussions about hitting the opponent which is so thrilling to many, I don't leave my values at the bench along with my bag.

10sfreak
04-19-2009, 09:33 AM
Originally Posted by J011yroger
If someone has a lame short 2nd serve, I have stood with both toes on the service line.
That is OK. I was talking about those who move closer to the service line. In recreational play, I consider this to be bad "manners." That is just me, of course. - sureshs
Sureshs, you do realize that "jolly" is talking about standing well inside the baseline, with his toes on the service line, right?

sureshs
04-19-2009, 06:38 PM
Wow what an experience today. Played 5 sets of mixed doubles with different partners. In one of them, the opposing women started shooting sarcastic remarks at each other about line calls, ball returning etiquette, foot faulting, talking during the point, etc, and culminating in calling each other beaches. One of them would not fetch a second ball for the server if her calculation indicated that the third ball was nearer to the server to fetch by herself. The other one threw a fit if serving balls were not neatly arranged on the T by the other woman on a side change. I have not seen it this bad before.

One of them then quit in anger, and I had to play 2 more sets with the other - but with 2 other men on the court, so no more trouble - in fact, I could not believe it was the same woman. She was all smiles and flexible and just "having fun."

10sfreak
04-19-2009, 06:46 PM
^^^Sounds like "estrogen poisoning" to me...LOL!

duketennisgal
04-20-2009, 02:54 AM
As far as standing inside the baseline being an insult, in dubs people stand inside the baseline to try to return my serve, especially on clay, and just try to block it back before it gets too high.

J

Yep, if I'm playing mixed and the guy has a big kick serve, I stand about halfway between the baseline and the service line to try and get the serve before it takes off. If I'm standing at or behind the baseline there's no chance I'm going to get the return back. It's just common sense to move in and take it early.

As for weak serves, even in recreational play I don't see why it would be considered "bad manners" to move inside the baseline. If I'm playing recreationally I'm not going to totally change my game around, as the old saying goes, practice how you would play, if people don't understand that then tough - find somebody else to play with.

J011yroger
04-20-2009, 03:02 AM
^^^ Exactly, and on the other side of the coin, if someone is standing too far in for your liking, you are perfectly within your rights to crack one right at them.

J

Cindysphinx
04-20-2009, 05:10 AM
Wow what an experience today. Played 5 sets of mixed doubles with different partners. In one of them, the opposing women started shooting sarcastic remarks at each other about line calls, ball returning etiquette, foot faulting, talking during the point, etc, and culminating in calling each other beaches. One of them would not fetch a second ball for the server if her calculation indicated that the third ball was nearer to the server to fetch by herself. The other one threw a fit if serving balls were not neatly arranged on the T by the other woman on a side change. I have not seen it this bad before.

One of them then quit in anger, and I had to play 2 more sets with the other - but with 2 other men on the court, so no more trouble - in fact, I could not believe it was the same woman. She was all smiles and flexible and just "having fun."

Condolences, suresns. I wish you could play with a somewhat classier level of women. I have never had a match where anyone called anyone a beach or anything like it.

There are characters out there, though. One character on another team tried to take a point (not play a let) because my teammate's cell phone went off during the match -- on vibrate. *During the changeover.* She said the next game had to be started at love-15. She also complimented another of my players (an older lady who plays in a track suit) on her "casual" choice of clothing.

She is a legend around these parts.

sureshs
04-20-2009, 06:39 AM
Condolences, suresns. I wish you could play with a somewhat classier level of women. I have never had a match where anyone called anyone a beach or anything like it.

There are characters out there, though. One character on another team tried to take a point (not play a let) because my teammate's cell phone went off during the match -- on vibrate. *During the changeover.* She said the next game had to be started at love-15. She also complimented another of my players (an older lady who plays in a track suit) on her "casual" choice of clothing.

She is a legend around these parts.

I must say there was nothing wrong with the tennis. In fact, the hostility raised the standard. One of the women is around 6'2" and stands a couple of feet from the net - a formidable wall, and someone not easily lobbed. Playing with or against her is always a memorable experience.

I have played with the other woman only once before this. Individually, they are extremely nice, but they can't stand each other. What I love is how they will say "can't stand to even look at her face" during the changeover and then call each other sweetie the next moment.

GuyClinch
04-20-2009, 06:45 AM
Mixed doubles is fine. The key though is to get women who are both good sports and good players on your team. That's pretty rare. (It's my casual sexist view that women are often poor sports. Women seem to get in alot more arguments about the scores then men..)

The OP problem is that he was playing with his wife (that's a mistake) and that she was a far inferior player to him.

Pete

sureshs
04-20-2009, 11:07 AM
What is the etiquette in mixed doubles? Are you supposed to collect all the balls on your side after a service game and leave them at the T during a changeover? I guess it never hurts but is it a requirement?

Can't you ask for the second ball at the net (opponent's side) before serving or do you have to estimate that it is truly a shorter distance from the returner than the distance from you to the third ball on your side which is on one corner of the fence and the temperature is 90 degrees? It is just that the second ball is visible in front of you. I thought the Code said the server has the right to ask for all balls before he serves? (Here it is not even all balls, just 2 balls).

Do men normally make a fuss about these things in men's doubles? Because when and where I play men's doubles, no one cares about this kind of stuff.

Steady Eddy
04-20-2009, 11:08 AM
I've played plenty of mixed matches where I play a solid match, but my male partner (possibly in a rage of testosterone) tries to hit everything about mach 1 and either buries it in the net or six feet over the baseline. Meanwhile, the male on the opposing team actually has some kind of idea of consistency, and even though I'm doing *my* job, we lose.

Yeah, I've seen mixed doubles sets that fit this description. And the guy who never kept the ball in play, probably doesn't even realize that his erratic play is what lost the set. But the other posts about poaching have some truth also. In mixed, even if you successfully poach alot, your partner still might be angry that you're 'hogging the court' and not letting her play. You can get in trouble for not playing good enough or for playing too well. It's never clear what your role is, (just look at the diversity of comments on this thread). And god help you if you poach and strike the opposing woman!

maverick66
04-20-2009, 11:13 AM
why i dont like in mixed is the men seem to always feel the need to change how they play. some gt over aggresive and try to be macho and hit every ball 100 mph. some get tentative because they dont want to be seen as jerks. why not just play as if you were playing doubles. why does it matter whos on the other side. they knowingly take the court with you. in fact if i was a woman i would be more insulted that the man changed his game thinking im a lesser player because i got boobs. so my point is just play. if you wanna poach discuss between points like you would a man. if you wanna go at the net person do so. if she complains explain that your just playing tennis. if she wants to stand on top of the net she puts herself at risk to get hit at.

Steady Eddy
04-20-2009, 11:37 AM
if you wanna go at the net person do so. if she complains explain that your just playing tennis. if she wants to stand on top of the net she puts herself at risk to get hit at.
Since when do people care about explanations? Last year I was playing mixed, and some woman I didn't remember, pointed to a bruise on her ankle and said that I had done that weeks earlier. While warming up, she managed to hit me. So I was some bad guy because she got hit on the ankle? (Also, since she got hit on the ankle, that shows that I was trying to hit at her feet, and it wasn't a cheap shot.) She never asked to reason this out. She's got her rules and expectations of how the men should play, and there are many others like her. I just avoid mixed because so often it turns out not to be any fun.

raiden031
04-20-2009, 12:32 PM
why i dont like in mixed is the men seem to always feel the need to change how they play. some gt over aggresive and try to be macho and hit every ball 100 mph. some get tentative because they dont want to be seen as jerks. why not just play as if you were playing doubles. why does it matter whos on the other side. they knowingly take the court with you. in fact if i was a woman i would be more insulted that the man changed his game thinking im a lesser player because i got boobs. so my point is just play. if you wanna poach discuss between points like you would a man. if you wanna go at the net person do so. if she complains explain that your just playing tennis. if she wants to stand on top of the net she puts herself at risk to get hit at.

I think in some cases the guy must change his game and play more aggressive...this is when the partnership is severely mismatched. Failure to do so will surely result in you losing the match. I play 8.0 mixed exactly like I play men's, but I play 7.0 mixed very differently.

I don't get the whole "I must tone it down against the woman" attitude. If I was playing in social doubles where the players are 2.5-3.0s, then I would tone down my game to give them a chance to hit some good shots.

However when you play USTA it is different because it is competitive. Take 7.0 mixed for example...you might face 3.0 women on the other side of the court who are obviously willing to take on 4.0 men in a competitive match, otherwise they wouldn't be playing 7.0 mixed and facing that possibility. I won't hesitate to go 100% on an overhead at a 3.0 woman in 7.0 because that is what she signed up for. Now I won't target that 3.0 woman as I don't target anyone really (I always play the positions), but I won't give her any more mercy than I would give a 4.0 man. The only reason I would hit differently to a 3.0 woman is because I know I don't have to do as much to win the point so I can play higher percentage when hitting a shot to them.

Cindysphinx
04-20-2009, 01:35 PM
Should the guy change his game to play mixed? Yes and no.

Yes, I hope he will do some things differently. Dudes, if you are expecting me to out-hit a 4.0 guy in a crosscourt rally while you stand watching with one foot in the doubles alley, it ain't gonna happen. Even if you can get away with passivity in men's doubles, please don't do it with me as your partner in mixed (if you want to win). Move around. Poach. Pay attention. Be a threat. **Help me hold.**

Personally, I think that is the only thing the guy should do differently, and women need to know this. You'll never hear me complaining about the bruise on my ankle from mixed. Puh. That's for ninnies.

That said, if you treat the woman as you would treat a man in doubles, you should be aiming your put-aways to the open court or to her feet. No head-hunting on either gender, please, and no deliberate smashing at anyone who has turned away or at anyone's windpipe.

I have to say, I am losing patience with some of my female peers. I was talking to a woman about a guy both of us knew. She said something like, "Yeah, he's the guy who hit me in mixed," indicating her forearm. I expressed surprise that he hit her with an overhead. Nope, not an overhead. A high volley. Come on! You had a racket in your hand, so you should be angry at yourself for not playing the ball rather than angry at him for hitting a high volley you didn't return. Or mad at your male partner for serving up creampuffs if that is what happened.

maverick66
04-20-2009, 01:40 PM
the net player regardless of gender should never be watching a crosscourt rally. they should be active looking to poach or faking a poach to get the back player to try something stupid like go down the line when your still there.

sureshs
04-20-2009, 01:46 PM
the net player regardless of gender should never be watching a crosscourt rally. they should be active looking to poach or faking a poach to get the back player to try something stupid like go down the line when your still there.

Sometimes at the lower levels a fake poach can distract your partner, specially if it is a randomly alloted social dubs partner.

maverick66
04-20-2009, 01:47 PM
then dont play with them. if there so below you tell them your looking for a stronger group and move on.

Cindysphinx
04-20-2009, 02:06 PM
I've never once had any partner tell me that my net movement is distracting them. Who are these people making such a complaint?

sureshs
04-20-2009, 02:17 PM
I've never once had any partner tell me that my net movement is distracting them. Who are these people making such a complaint?

I am talking about when the net guy makes a movement as if to poach and then lets the ball go. I have seen the partner rattled by that. It obstructs the view and shows up in the peripheral vision as some kind of distraction. I have one guy I partner with sometimes who doesn't do this, but he makes all kinds of movements while the ball is headed my way. He will stretch as if he is reaching for the ball (after it is on our side - so no trick effect on the opponents), then change his mind. I tell him not to do it.

Cindysphinx
04-20-2009, 02:51 PM
Oh, you mean the Poach Bailout, not an Intentional Fake. I see.

Yeah, the Poach Bailout is lame. My own pro says that Poach Bailouts are not cool. If your first reaction is that the ball is poachable, it probably is and you should just keep going. You will probably get there. It is the hesitation that is deadly.

Still, I won't tell my partner not to do a Poach Bailout. I just tell myself that I am playing with a Bailer, so I have to be ready for the ball no matter what movements they make. If I tell them not to move, they will then never poach, and that isn't at all helpful.

Cindysphinx
04-21-2009, 12:31 PM
Hey, I had a lesson (3 and a pro), and the pro said something that pertains to this thread.

I don't remember how exactly the subject came up, but he said he absolutely loves playing mixed. We were surprised to hear this and asked why. He said he likes to rally with the woman, and then the minute she gives him an opportunity he likes to crush the ball at the man. He doesn't try to win points off the woman directly, usually. He takes advantage of any weak shot she hits and makes the opposing guy pay for it.

The reason, he said, is to get into the head of the opposing guy. After the woman pops the ball up enough times so that it gets crushed at the guy, he starts to get a little annoyed at his partner and starts feeling helpless. If you do it right, according to my pro, you can have them arguing at about the middle of the second set, and he doesn't have to risk hurting the woman unintentionally.

Do any of you dudes do this?

Sublime
04-21-2009, 12:45 PM
Do any of you dudes do this?

I don't, but I'm going to start to. Including this tip, I now have a grand total of one reason to look forward to the next mixed season :)

JRstriker12
04-21-2009, 01:02 PM
Hey, I had a lesson (3 and a pro), and the pro said something that pertains to this thread.

I don't remember how exactly the subject came up, but he said he absolutely loves playing mixed. We were surprised to hear this and asked why. He said he likes to rally with the woman, and then the minute she gives him an opportunity he likes to crush the ball at the man. He doesn't try to win points off the woman directly, usually. He takes advantage of any weak shot she hits and makes the opposing guy pay for it.

The reason, he said, is to get into the head of the opposing guy. After the woman pops the ball up enough times so that it gets crushed at the guy, he starts to get a little annoyed at his partner and starts feeling helpless. If you do it right, according to my pro, you can have them arguing at about the middle of the second set, and he doesn't have to risk hurting the woman unintentionally.

Do any of you dudes do this?

No. I'll try to play keep-away or punish the weaker player's strokes, but I rarely just aim for the guy. In fact, I think it's better if you can keep the stronger player (which is usually the guy, but not always) totally out of the match as much as possible.

I have played mixed matches where the opposing guy is just crushing my partner's shots, and it's usually at that point where we may make a change, like playing 2-back (I have a partner who can track down a lot of balls but isn't great at the net) or just stress that shots need to go away from the guy.

Though honestly, I can't see how a team would have that sort of melt down - I'd be more upset at this guy if it seems like he's head hunting. Also, I'd point out that if the opposing guy gets a some weak shots and returns the favor, your pro could be in for the same sort of treatment. In addition, if the guy has decent volleys, this could backfire unless the pro is just crushing overheads at him. My 2 cents FWIW.

Tennis Truth
04-21-2009, 01:58 PM
I can see a pro maybe having that strategy, if they are stronger than the other male opponent, but if both guys are even in ability, this is probably not a great strategy. Might work every once in a while for a change-up, but probably would not work consistently. If you get a short ball you can pound, all things being equal, why hit it to the stronger player?

Also, most of the time the woman should probably not be getting into rallies with the stronger opponent; especially if that is getting her partner killed. Better to lob the female opponent than to continue to hit groundstrokes to the man.

J011yroger
04-21-2009, 02:32 PM
Do any of you dudes do this?

I do, but no more often than in men's dubs.

I really play mixed straight up, and don't apply any special strategy, other than just sizing up the other players strengths weaknesses and capabilities, which is of course common sense for any dubs.

Then again I am fortunate because the vast majority of girls whom I play with are tremendous players in their own right.

J