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Burt Turkoglu
11-06-2009, 01:02 PM
List one of some of the tactics you use in Mixed Doubles....I'll start off......

1. When serving, I always serve Australian to the deuce side so that I can cover any lobs over the ladies head.

Ripper014
11-06-2009, 01:56 PM
I have never been able to take mixed doubles seriously. I was asked to play in a mixed league once, and agreed to do it... but I could not except as anything more than a social event.

Tactics... I guess like any other doubles... create a hole and hit a winner through it. And hit the ball at the weaker player... (not always the guy). I also like making the partner pay for a bad shot (ie. player puts up a weak shot, I drill it at the partner). And I guess poaching off the return of serve is always fun.

LuckyR
11-06-2009, 05:46 PM
2. Don't play mixed.

USERNAME
11-06-2009, 07:56 PM
Just like regular dubs:
1) High 1st serve %
2) Keep returns low and away from the net person
a) if they play "I" return it where the net person is crouching (still low tho)
3) Control the net
4) When in doubt go up the middle

PS: All this crap Iv heard about hitting it to the girl is dumb! Alot of girls Iv hit with (especially my gf) have great reaction times and good block volleys.

raiden031
11-08-2009, 09:01 PM
Here are some tactics I use:

1) Play to my partner's strengths (ie. let them choose the side, don't tell them to do things they aren't good at, adapt my own strategy around their strengths)
2) Recently I began cheating a little bit to the center line when my partner is serving to kinda force my opponents to go for more alley returns, or to aim for wider angles in hopes that they will hit more errors on their returns. It seems to work better than trying to poach everything and get burnt or botch alot of low volleys. I just kinda hang out there and reverse poach my alley when I need to.
3) Never double fault against the woman. I always hit kick serves to them and reserve the flat serves for the men. It is usually good enough and safer.

Other than that I play normal strategy and don't target the woman just because they may be weaker. I always play the positions and not the players. I'm still learning how to play the positions and varying up my shots, so I don't want to sit there and pull the 'every shot to the woman' or 'every serve down the T/to the backhand' strategy that some pull. I mean its effective to target a weakness, but I don't feel like my game is where I want it to be for me to do that most of the time.

5263
11-09-2009, 06:38 AM
List one of some of the tactics you use in Mixed Doubles....I'll start off......

1. When serving, I always serve Australian to the deuce side so that I can cover any lobs over the ladies head.

main thing for me to see if she is better at net or her groundstrokes. If she is good at both, little change from normal dubs is needed, but if she only groundstrokes well, it can be tough. When you go to net and she stays back, she will see every ball. I hope she is fast and very good with her GSs.

If she volleys well, it works good as she can hold down her side and they will hit to you if you are not at net, as well as you can join her at net at the right times.

LeeD
11-09-2009, 08:12 AM
Hit normal balls to the normal player.
Hit tough incoming balls to the weaker player.
Be consistent and strong.
Can't assume any sex in tennis is automatically weaker or stronger than than the other.

Cindysphinx
11-09-2009, 08:44 AM
Tactics for mixed? Sure!

1. The guy is going to overhit. Try not to let this bother you.

2. The guy is going to play the net poorly, or on a good day average. He has good groundies and a good serve, but he is just not comfortable up there. He will not transition to net, ever.

3. The guy will not know how to poach using signals or play Australian. He will not fake or otherwise try to bother the returner. He will not understand the benefits of playing two-back. He may start every point on your serve with one foot in the doubles alley. He is not especially knowledgeable about doubles, as he doesn't consider it "real tennis" and he's not a fan of all that book learnin'.

4. He will not know the Rules or the Code. See Rule 3 about book learnin'.

5. He would rather die than be seen hitting a lob.

I think that about covers i! :)

LeeD
11-09-2009, 08:47 AM
Good stuff, CindyS....
I've been that guy a few times.
Good thing about tennis AND life, there are no universal rules. :):)

raiden031
11-09-2009, 09:23 AM
Tactics for mixed? Sure!

1. The guy is going to overhit. Try not to let this bother you.

2. The guy is going to play the net poorly, or on a good day average. He has good groundies and a good serve, but he is just not comfortable up there. He will not transition to net, ever.

3. The guy will not know how to poach using signals or play Australian. He will not fake or otherwise try to bother the returner. He will not understand the benefits of playing two-back. He may start every point on your serve with one foot in the doubles alley. He is not especially knowledgeable about doubles, as he doesn't consider it "real tennis" and he's not a fan of all that book learnin'.

4. He will not know the Rules or the Code. See Rule 3 about book learnin'.

5. He would rather die than be seen hitting a lob.

I think that about covers i! :)

This sounds a little delusional to me. Have you exactly played with a female partner against two 3.5 men? You might believe your male partner is the reason you lose matches, but play against him and its probably a different story. I haven't seen 4.5 women who are as good as the 3.5Ws in your league.

GuyClinch
11-09-2009, 09:31 AM
1. The guy is going to overhit. Try not to let this bother you.

2. The guy is going to play the net poorly, or on a good day average. He has good groundies and a good serve, but he is just not comfortable up there. He will not transition to net, ever.

3. The guy will not know how to poach using signals or play Australian. He will not fake or otherwise try to bother the returner. He will not understand the benefits of playing two-back. He may start every point on your serve with one foot in the doubles alley. He is not especially knowledgeable about doubles, as he doesn't consider it "real tennis" and he's not a fan of all that book learnin'.

4. He will not know the Rules or the Code. See Rule 3 about book learnin'.

5. He would rather die than be seen hitting a lob.

Bad doubles match? I don't think you can make blanket statements about the games of either sex.

I have played with women who have displayed some of those characteristics. As far as lobs go I find its many of the women who are anti-lob and anti-moonball.

Not that it bothers me - they just get ticked off at eachother when one of them starts up doing it. As far as not transitioning to the net. I actually wish more people played like that. Its alot worse to charge in at the net if you suck up there!

Pete

larry10s
11-09-2009, 09:41 AM
Tactics for mixed? Sure!

1. The guy is going to overhit. Try not to let this bother you.

2. The guy is going to play the net poorly, or on a good day average. He has good groundies and a good serve, but he is just not comfortable up there. He will not transition to net, ever.

3. The guy will not know how to poach using signals or play Australian. He will not fake or otherwise try to bother the returner. He will not understand the benefits of playing two-back. He may start every point on your serve with one foot in the doubles alley. He is not especially knowledgeable about doubles, as he doesn't consider it "real tennis" and he's not a fan of all that book learnin'.

4. He will not know the Rules or the Code. See Rule 3 about book learnin'.

5. He would rather die than be seen hitting a lob.

I think that about covers i! :)

having a bad hair day? you gripe about the same things with your ladies.play with people at your skill and knowledge level so you dont get frustrated.

Ripper014
11-09-2009, 09:49 AM
Seems you are painting all men with one brush... this is not me for sure.



1. The guy is going to overhit. Try not to let this bother you.


I am going to keep the ball in play, and will put the ball away when the percentages are in my favor.




2. The guy is going to play the net poorly, or on a good day average. He has good groundies and a good serve, but he is just not comfortable up there. He will not transition to net, ever.

I am a natural server and volleyer and will be coming to the net on every opportunity... including both serves... this does not change for men's or mixed doubles.... unless of course... see your point 3




3. The guy will not know how to poach using signals or play Australian. He will not fake or otherwise try to bother the returner. He will not understand the benefits of playing two-back. He may start every point on your serve with one foot in the doubles alley. He is not especially knowledgeable about doubles, as he doesn't consider it "real tennis" and he's not a fan of all that book learnin'.



You do not play australian for the sake of playing australian, I will do it at crucial times for the opponent to give them something different to deal with. I guess I am too civilized to be jumping around the net to throw off my opponent, I will faint the occasional poach but this is a gentlemens game isn't it? When forced to by my partner I will play back, because playing one back and one up is the worse formation you can play (do you come to the net behind your serve). And I stand between the service line and the singles sideline for my partners serve, thankyou very much.



4. He will not know the Rules or the Code. See Rule 3 about book learnin'.



Not sure what you are trying to say here...


5. He would rather die than be seen hitting a lob.



I have no problems hitting a lob when required... usually in a defensive position or an offensive lob if both opponents are tight on the net... But I have no interest having four people on the baseline hitting lobs back and forth add infinitum...


Oh and one more thing, I am going to give you every chance to miss the ball... I will not take any of your shots (unless being a woman you decide that it is something you didn't want to hit because it was too fast, too high, too low, or you were admiring what a nice outfit the woman on court 2 is wearing, see I can "APPEAR" to be a sexist too)... and I will encourage you to cover any shot you feel you can make.


I used to play with women that had scholarships from universities and open players, though they hit a nice ball... and fun to play with recreationally it was really not that competitive.

I think maybe neither Cindy nor I should be playing mixed.

BajeDuane
11-09-2009, 10:15 AM
Serve excessive kick serves to the lady.
Other than that play doubles like normal. (my former mixed partner played doubles for Clemson)

LeeD
11-09-2009, 10:22 AM
I think Cindy was MOCKING you guys with your sterotypical labelling of the styles of men and women. Keep a smile on, guys.
And one of my MIXED DOUBLES partners went on to WIN the CanadianOpen in singles! Obviously, she broke some of the rules you guys set.
And depending on skill levels, some women can lob much better, deeper, and more accurately than some men, leading to total frustration and scrambling for the serving team. Don't belive for one second you can "just put the overhead" away. Some women can mix tops, sides, and backspins on different lobs!
Oh, and another of my mixed doubles partners also won the same CanadianOpen, albeit 4 years later! :shock::shock:

Ripper014
11-09-2009, 10:36 AM
Oh in that case LeeD



1. The guy is going to overhit. Try not to let this bother you.


Tired of you missing every shot you attempt to play... I am forced to try to make a winner before you lose us another point.




2. The guy is going to play the net poorly, or on a good day average. He has good groundies and a good serve, but he is just not comfortable up there. He will not transition to net, ever.

It is hard to cover 3/4 of the net and make every volley at full stretch. After an hour of this kind of play I just don't have the energy to get to the net anymore.



3. The guy will not know how to poach using signals or play Australian. He will not fake or otherwise try to bother the returner. He will not understand the benefits of playing two-back. He may start every point on your serve with one foot in the doubles alley. He is not especially knowledgeable about doubles, as he doesn't consider it "real tennis" and he's not a fan of all that book learnin'.


Why use signals you don't cover me anyway, and the reason I don't play australian is the same reason I have one foot in the doubles alley I am tired of being hit in the head with your serve.




4. He will not know the Rules or the Code. See Rule 3 about book learnin'.


I guess Women are from Venus and Men are truly from Mars


5. He would rather die than be seen hitting a lob.


As mentioned above, I am tired of covering 3/4 of the court and if I am going to lose the point lets put me out of my misery quickly, why prelong the agony.


Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh I feel much better now, was it good for you?

raiden031
11-09-2009, 10:40 AM
I think Cindy was MOCKING you guys with your sterotypical labelling of the styles of men and women. Keep a smile on, guys.


Nah, I'm not convinced (due to other threads). I think she believes alot of what she wrote. Not a big deal, tennis is a deceptive sport. I mean heck I played in a social mixed match recently where I was with a 3.5 woman against a former D1 college female (unranked, current age is mid-20s) and 3.0 guy, and it was a competitive match. I would say I was the best player on the court that day. So if a D1 college female doesn't give me trouble, I don't think some 3.5 women using Aussie and signals is going to bother me. :)

LeeD
11-09-2009, 10:46 AM
Alas... :oops::oops:
I've been the recipient of having the honor of being the WORST of the foresome playing with THREE women!
One former world #4, one then current #35 odd, and one up and coming #1 for WashingtonHighSchool in SanFrancisco. At least I could hit a really hard serve out constantly.. :):)
And they all thought my Twist out wide to their forehands was absurd and useless. As usual, at that level, their backhands were more consistent than their forehands. Forehands bigger weapons, of course.

raiden031
11-09-2009, 10:51 AM
Alas... :oops::oops:
I've been the recipient of having the honor of being the WORST of the foresome playing with THREE women!
One former world #4, one then current #35 odd, and one up and coming #1 for WashingtonHighSchool in SanFrancisco. At least I could hit a really hard serve out constantly.. :):)
And they all thought my Twist out wide to their forehands was absurd and useless. As usual, at that level, their backhands were more consistent than their forehands. Forehands bigger weapons, of course.

Well I think your experiences don't really apply when we're talking about recreational tennis leagues. I don't think I've ever stepped on court with someone who could actually win a match at say 5.0.

ohplease
11-09-2009, 11:43 AM
Tactics for mixed? Sure!

1. The guy is going to overhit. Try not to let this bother you.

2. The guy is going to play the net poorly, or on a good day average. He has good groundies and a good serve, but he is just not comfortable up there. He will not transition to net, ever.

3. The guy will not know how to poach using signals or play Australian. He will not fake or otherwise try to bother the returner. He will not understand the benefits of playing two-back. He may start every point on your serve with one foot in the doubles alley. He is not especially knowledgeable about doubles, as he doesn't consider it "real tennis" and he's not a fan of all that book learnin'.

4. He will not know the Rules or the Code. See Rule 3 about book learnin'.

5. He would rather die than be seen hitting a lob.

I think that about covers i! :)

Some male members of mixed doubles teams are legitimately this dumb.

However, I've seen repeated examples where men coming from winning playoff teams make the same mistakes. Why? Because they have to shoulder way too much of the load. They can't be content to hit their typical neutral ball because their female partner's don't have the same offensive punch as their usual male partners. Same thing w/net play. Volleys are about what happens during the approach/assist. Lousy partners with suspect groundies/tactics leave you exposed up there. They have to do more, so they press, which means more mistakes.

The best mixed doubles tactic is to find a girl who can hold her own. This is hard, due to the demographics involved.

There's a reason most mixed doubles matches look like a fancy game of keep away.

USERNAME
11-09-2009, 12:09 PM
Tactics for mixed? Sure!

1. The guy is going to overhit. Try not to let this bother you.

2. The guy is going to play the net poorly, or on a good day average. He has good groundies and a good serve, but he is just not comfortable up there. He will not transition to net, ever.

3. The guy will not know how to poach using signals or play Australian. He will not fake or otherwise try to bother the returner. He will not understand the benefits of playing two-back. He may start every point on your serve with one foot in the doubles alley. He is not especially knowledgeable about doubles, as he doesn't consider it "real tennis" and he's not a fan of all that book learnin'.

4. He will not know the Rules or the Code. See Rule 3 about book learnin'.

5. He would rather die than be seen hitting a lob.

I think that about covers i! :)

The guys u play with must SUCK! Of course I play open so the caliber of player is very high here. But all I do is S&V or Chip'n'Charge in dubs, always been told that to win in doubles u need to control the net. When me and my gf play mixed dub tournys we play I formation alot and poaching is one of my best skills. On occasion ill b caught sluggin it out from the backcourt but that usually ends when my partner poaches off of one of my shots or I hit a winner.

naylor
11-09-2009, 12:20 PM
Nice one, guys, we’re in the same boat! About the only thing I’d add is below.


… The best mixed doubles tactic is to find a girl who can hold her own. This is hard… a reason most mixed doubles matches look like a fancy game of keep away.


Tired of you missing every shot you attempt to play... I am forced to try to make a winner before you lose us another point.
It is hard to cover 3/4 of the net and make every volley at full stretch. After an hour of this kind of play I just don't have the energy to get to the net anymore.
Why use signals you don't cover me anyway...
As mentioned above, I am tired of covering 3/4 of the court and if I am going to lose the point lets put me out of my misery quickly, why prelong the agony.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh I feel much better now, was it good for you?


I am going to keep the ball in play, and will put the ball away when the percentages are in my favor.
I am a natural server and volleyer and will be coming to the net on every opportunity... including both serves... this does not change for men's or mixed doubles....
You do not play australian for the sake of playing australian...
I have no problems hitting a lob when required... usually in a defensive position or an offensive lob if both opponents are tight on the net... But I have no interest having for people on the baseline hitting lobs back and forth add infinitum...
Oh and one more thing, I am going to give you every chance to miss the ball... I will not take any of your shots... and I will encourage you to cover any shot you feel you can make...


1. The guy is going to overhit. Try not to let this bother you.

Since the opposition's male is likely to take the backhand side, and since you cannot place your serve tight to his backhand, he's going to run around all of your serves and return a deep, loopy, topspin forehand that will land two feet inside the baseline and most likely inside the tramlines – and just wait for your backhand errors to mount. But every now and then he’ll open the racketface and throw a cross-court drop – just to see what kind of wheels you have... and those balls are all yours...

And on the forehand, again since you cannot place the serve tight to the woman's backhand (or play a wide serve either, for that matter), you'll be teeing her to play cross-court forehand returns. The short ones you'll simply not get to, as you serve and stay back. The deep ones you'll be late in preparing for and you'll just push them down the line for the opponent's male to volley at will - I will not try any heroics and simply turn my back to the net for self-protection.

5263
11-09-2009, 12:28 PM
Tactics for mixed? Sure!

1. The guy is going to overhit. Try not to let this bother you.

2. The guy is going to play the net poorly, or on a good day average. He has good groundies and a good serve, but he is just not comfortable up there. He will not transition to net, ever.

3. The guy will not know how to poach using signals or play Australian. He will not fake or otherwise try to bother the returner. He will not understand the benefits of playing two-back. He may start every point on your serve with one foot in the doubles alley. He is not especially knowledgeable about doubles, as he doesn't consider it "real tennis" and he's not a fan of all that book learnin'.

4. He will not know the Rules or the Code. See Rule 3 about book learnin'.

5. He would rather die than be seen hitting a lob.

I think that about covers i! :)

Yep, LoL. so much for her fair and balanced mindset. lol

GuyClinch
11-09-2009, 02:27 PM
The best mixed doubles tactic is to find a girl who can hold her own. This is hard, due to the demographics involved.

I don't know if its demographics or what but most women seem to be in the "dinker" catergory. It's a real pleasure if you can find a woman that can hit out and use spin and power in their game.

Actually when you watch a women who is say on a good college team practicing its almost like watching a different sport compared to those mixed doubles female players.

There is some challenge involved playing those dinkers - you have to try to generate your own pace and learn to clock wimpy serves. Its easy for great players but I am learning to do this. So yes for some men this might encourage too aggressive play.

I am wondering if a WW forehand will make those wimpy serves easier to put away consistently.

Pete

LeeD
11-09-2009, 03:45 PM
A WW forehand can make it easier to put away floaters, but more likely, a deep ball with your current technique, without overhitting, will do the same thing. Concentrate on depth on your returns, and normal pace, and the rest takes care of itself.

naylor
11-09-2009, 04:00 PM
... most women seem to be in the "dinker" catergory... There is some challenge involved playing those dinkers - you have to try to generate your own pace and learn to clock wimpy serves... I am wondering if a WW forehand will make those wimpy serves easier to put away consistently.
Pete

I play mostly doubles and mixed, the men's standard is about 3.5-4, the women about 3-3.5. At this level, in a mixed match between righties the woman usually takes the forehand and the man the backhand.

In these matches, my standard serve is:-
- from deuce court to the woman, slice with topspin, aiming for the sideline of the service box about one-third of the way up from the service line and slicing / kicking on towards the side (in my last match on Saturday, my first 8 serves from the deuce side were aces, until her partner told her that in order to return it she had to stand on the singles sideline and move out diagonally rather than along the baseline - so serve 9 was a service winner, still slice/top but down the T...);
- from the ad court to the man, kicker right on the far corner of the box, to the backhand.

I must have played about 40 competitive doubles matches in the last 6 months (prety much half mens half mixed) at this level, and have only dropped serve twice, both in one mens doubles match (we lost that, a see-saw tight three-setter).

Now, when returning serve, the man's will usually have some pace so I tend to return it normally. The woman's however, will be a hardish dink first (most often, carrying underspin, as she'll be gripping the racket in near frying-pan fashion so can't really get over or around the ball, so bouncing low), or a slow dink dolly second.

Either serve carries little pace, so to return them well you have to generate your own. Returning from the backhand, my objective is to:-
1) run around all serves to play an inside-out forehand, on the basis that the server won't be able to serve tightly enough or fast enought to force me to play a backhand (and on anything that does hit the corner, then by starting moving diagonally for the run-around I'm also getting in place to play the ball early and across with a high sliced backhand);
2) aim to take the ball at the top of the bounce - and rememberring to bend at the knees when playing a first serve, as the underspin will keep the bounce lower; and
3) play a deep, loopy, topspin forehand (the weight of the shot is in the spin, that will kick the ball towards the backfence after it bounces, rather than a flatter hit) aiming to land it two feet inside the baseline and inside the tramlines, and forcing the server to take it on her backhand - and just wait for her backhand errors to mount. At her level, the only effective return is the lob over my partner, but the topspin that the ball carries quite often jams the backhand and results in a mishit lob (for my partner to smash at the net) or a short lob landing on the service line (which I can quite easily switch across to smash).

And every now and then I shape for the loopy cross to the baseline but then open the racketface and throw a short cross-court drop – just to see what kind of wheels she has...

raiden031
11-09-2009, 04:20 PM
I don't know if its demographics or what but most women seem to be in the "dinker" catergory. It's a real pleasure if you can find a woman that can hit out and use spin and power in their game.

Actually when you watch a women who is say on a good college team practicing its almost like watching a different sport compared to those mixed doubles female players.

There is some challenge involved playing those dinkers - you have to try to generate your own pace and learn to clock wimpy serves. Its easy for great players but I am learning to do this. So yes for some men this might encourage too aggressive play.

I am wondering if a WW forehand will make those wimpy serves easier to put away consistently.

Pete

My observations playing mixed and just observing some of the women's leagues (players 2.5 up to 4.5) is that the biggest difference between the men and women is generally movement. I think there is an extreme difference between a middle aged woman and man being able to run down tennis shots and move aggressively around the court. You can add the serve as well, but I've faced men with weak serves who are still difficult to compete against because they move well. So you see even if they can make clean contact with their volleys, they aren't going to get in position quick enough to be that effective at the net. Against the women their good strokes and strategies might work, but the guys are too fast for them.

naylor
11-09-2009, 09:32 PM
My observations playing mixed and just observing some of the women's leagues (players 2.5 up to 4.5) is that the biggest difference between the men and women is generally movement...

I tend to agree, my experience of mixed club matches is most women just wait for the ball to play them, with little or no preparatory footwork (the little steps to adjust for the correct distance, contact point and swingplane). The most typical example of this is when the woman serves to the other woman and the ball somehow bounces on the left side of the service box (from the receiver's viewpoint) - I say somehow, because when I specifically ask my partner to place her serves to the receivers' backhands, if she manages 1 in 10 I count myself lucky. Anyhow, in those instances where she manages it, to the other woman, no matter how much of a dolly the serve is, and no matter how unreliable the returner's backhand is, the returner will stay glued to the spot and return on the backhand, rather than move around it and play a simpler and more reliable forehand.

The moral of the story is, if you're a lady that plays club mixed matches, your standing with your men partners will rise exponentially if you simply learn to place your serves better, so you can consistently put them on the receiver's backhand. Of course, the downside is that when you go back to playing your friendly women's doubles your regular opponents will hate you (you'll now be too good for them) and you'll have to find a new set of (better) ladies to play with.

GuyClinch
11-09-2009, 11:15 PM
In these matches, my standard serve is:-
- from deuce court to the woman, slice with topspin, aiming for the sideline of the service box about one-third of the way up from the service line and slicing / kicking on towards the side (in my last match on Saturday, my first 8 serves from the deuce side were aces, until her partner told her that in order to return it she had to stand on the singles sideline and move out diagonally rather than along the baseline - so serve 9 was a service winner, still slice/top but down the T...);
- from the ad court to the man, kicker right on the far corner of the box, to the backhand.

This is interesting. In regular doubles I think the idea is to serve more up the middle because it will allow many good shots for the net person to "finish off" the point.

However I do agree these methods will draw alot of errors. I have fun trying to hit those shots when I play mixed doubles but I never did it as a main tactic. Your idea might be better then mine.. I do find that my partner never finishes of those weak floaters a good down the middle serve can generate..

play a deep, loopy, topspin forehand (the weight of the shot is in the spin, that will kick the ball towards the backfence after it bounces, rather than a flatter hit) aiming to land it two feet inside the baseline and inside the tramlines, and forcing the server to take it on her backhand - and just wait for her backhand errors to mount. At her level, the only effective return is the lob over my partner, but the topspin that the ball carries quite often jams the backhand and results in a mishit lob (for my partner to smash at the net) or a short lob landing on the service line (which I can quite easily switch across to smash).

I agree this is very great set of tactics. However I play against some servers that don't even DINK well. If your going with the dink serve the only one that's semi passable is the "just barely over the net" serve. But some women hit the "high bouncing" dink. That's just asking to be totally creamed. I been doing it some but I would like to learn a slightly lower risk WW reply.

It's like my next tennis goal. I don't play that often so i try to add like one new shot at time.

I save the deep loopy topspins to the backhands for the women that hit semi-respectable serves. :P Plus I am not in a league right now. It's just a group of people that rent a court every thursday - some of the players seem to be kinda awful. I can see why one of my buddies quit. I guess they all (the women) rate themselves 3.0-3.5 but..who knows really. I wrote the league coordinator for a 3.5 league this year but he never wrote me back. <g>

Pete

GuyClinch
11-09-2009, 11:21 PM
My observations playing mixed and just observing some of the women's leagues (players 2.5 up to 4.5) is that the biggest difference between the men and women is generally movement. I think there is an extreme difference between a middle aged woman and man being able to run down tennis shots and move aggressively around the court. You can add the serve as well, but I've faced men with weak serves who are still difficult to compete against because they move well. So you see even if they can make clean contact with their volleys, they aren't going to get in position quick enough to be that effective at the net. Against the women their good strokes and strategies might work, but the guys are too fast for them.

Yeah your right on about this. Playing mixed doubles can make even a big guy like myself feel quick. That feeling can fade quick enough in singles though.

I always strive to learn the power game because I don't think I every will be that fast at 6'4" and 210 pounds.. I used to hit alot of slice backhands but it seemed to get me in a pattern of not really hitting them hard enough.. So I hit almost 95% topspin backhands now as you can really power those sometimes.

Pete

naylor
11-10-2009, 12:37 AM
This is interesting. In regular doubles I think the idea is to serve more up the middle because it will allow many good shots for the net person to "finish off" the point... However ... I do find that my partner never finishes of those weak floaters a good down the middle serve can generate...

You're right, if you're playing men's doubles, because the returner will still try to hit a proper backhand. But in mixed doubles the woman will simply block the serve down the middle to her backhand with a lob return over your partner at the net - because she's playing it from the middle of the baseline the chances are it'll land in somewhere vaguely behind your partner, so for you to fetch on your backhand side. Whereas when you return to her from the ad side with the loopy cross-court, she has the angle to contend with (if she blocks it straight, it'll be out, so she has to bring the ball back in) and you get two bites at the cherry - your partner at the net for the short one, you crossing over (but still on the forehand smash) for a slightly deeper one.

The reason why I serve a wide slider to the woman from the deuce side is because I know she will not move early enough to intercept it, and will either wait for the ball to get to her (never!) or will attempt to get it by running along the baseline (at best, she'll get it so low on the bounce she'll have to dig it up and also bring it back inside the court) - again, my partner has the first cut at the shorter ball, and I have the second cut with a high backhand volley if she somehow gets lobbed.

Cindysphinx
11-10-2009, 06:54 AM
Bad doubles match? I don't think you can make blanket statements about the games of either sex.


This thread is *full* of blanket statements about women.

Now the shoe is on the other foot, isn't it boys? :)

Nellie
11-10-2009, 06:59 AM
My observations playing mixed and just observing some of the women's leagues (players 2.5 up to 4.5) is that the biggest difference between the men and women is generally movement. I think there is an extreme difference between a middle aged woman and man being able to run down tennis shots and move aggressively around the court. You can add the serve as well, but I've faced men with weak serves who are still difficult to compete against because they move well. So you see even if they can make clean contact with their volleys, they aren't going to get in position quick enough to be that effective at the net. Against the women their good strokes and strategies might work, but the guys are too fast for them.

I have a good record playing mixed - and I think this observation is key. You need to divide the court according to your ability to cover and not in half - maybe 60/40 with more court going to the quicker player.

I think the co-ed players also need to understand the tendencies of the other sex. With ground strokes, Women will tend to hit a flatter ball but often hit sharp angles very reliably, whereas men will go more down the middle/at the net player, so you can often anticipate shots pretty accurately.

raiden031
11-10-2009, 07:15 AM
This thread is *full* of blanket statements about women.

Now the shoe is on the other foot, isn't it boys? :)

How else can you discuss mixed doubles tactics without generalizations? You can't say, well there is no difference between mixed tennis tactics and men's tennis tactics because there is no difference between men and women on the tennis court. That is plain incorrect.

Cindysphinx
11-10-2009, 07:18 AM
Sure, go ahead and generalize. I certainly do.

I just sensed some resentment when I tossed out some generalizations for you fellas to think about, that's all . . .

It would be extra nifty if someone pointed out what the female member of a mixed team brings to the table. There must be *something* we ladies do well in a mixed match, right?

Right?

Cindysphinx
11-10-2009, 07:32 AM
It would be extra nifty if someone pointed out what the female member of a mixed team brings to the table. There must be *something* we ladies do well in a mixed match, right?

Right?

: sound of dogs barking, crickets chirping :

Don't make me go get Topaz. :)

raiden031
11-10-2009, 07:56 AM
Sure, go ahead and generalize. I certainly do.

I just sensed some resentment when I tossed out some generalizations for you fellas to think about, that's all . . .

It would be extra nifty if someone pointed out what the female member of a mixed team brings to the table. There must be *something* we ladies do well in a mixed match, right?

Right?

Only because your generalizations didn't reflect what others see. I'm not offended by generalizations if they are true. I mean what women actually play good at the net compared to men of the same NTRP? Not in my area.

Nellie
11-10-2009, 08:06 AM
As mentioned above, I find that women tend to hit better angles and be more consistent than men at the same NTRP. Just watch any women's match and you will see long cross-court exchanges.

EikelBeiter
11-10-2009, 08:08 AM
Mixed doubles? You mean a singles match with a handicap ? ;-)

1. If you're a guy, do not go into a cross rally from the baseline with a girl, because you will lose most of the time because you feel you have to win the point. Make her think, go to the net.

2. If your partner (girl) is serving and you are at the net, always feint a poach, or poach for real. Make your opponent think you are doing something.

3. A bit of a cliche, but if both opponents are at the net, and you are both at the baseline, hit the ball to the girl. Except if the girl has better volleys of course.

4. As a returner you should hit a return straight instead of cross more than once, let your opponent guess.

LuckyR
11-10-2009, 08:13 AM
Tactics for mixed? Sure!

1. The guy is going to overhit. Try not to let this bother you.

2. The guy is going to play the net poorly, or on a good day average. He has good groundies and a good serve, but he is just not comfortable up there. He will not transition to net, ever.

3. The guy will not know how to poach using signals or play Australian. He will not fake or otherwise try to bother the returner. He will not understand the benefits of playing two-back. He may start every point on your serve with one foot in the doubles alley. He is not especially knowledgeable about doubles, as he doesn't consider it "real tennis" and he's not a fan of all that book learnin'.

4. He will not know the Rules or the Code. See Rule 3 about book learnin'.

5. He would rather die than be seen hitting a lob.

I think that about covers i! :)


If #3 is true, the rest is likely at least somewhat true. #1 & #5 are likely to be true regardless. Having said that, in my extremely limited experience with mixed, it seems like it tends to draw men who are doubles specialists and repel mens singles players (whom you are describing).

raiden031
11-10-2009, 08:26 AM
As mentioned above, I find that women tend to hit better angles and be more consistent than men at the same NTRP. Just watch any women's match and you will see long cross-court exchanges.

I tend to agree that if you compare men and women of the same NTRP level rallying when no movement is required, the women can win the rally. As soon as you direct the ball away from them its over and the man has the advantage.

When I watch a women's league match, I will see baseline rallies because the net persons aren't doing anything and just standing in one spot! They are great at hitting clean volleys from that spot though!

Its easy in mixed to see the male partner overhitting a few times, or botching a couple poaches while the woman doesn't miss her volleys (because she only hits volleys right in front of her) and overhits less, and then come to the conclusion that the woman is better. I think it has more to do with the man trying to overcompensate and trying to play above their skill level. They are still the better player though. I mean I've blown alot of free points in 7.0 mixed with a 3.0 partner, does that mean my partner is better than me? I'm more successful at 8.0 mixed than 7.0 mixed.

Cindysphinx
11-10-2009, 08:43 AM
Only because your generalizations didn't reflect what others see. I'm not offended by generalizations if they are true. I mean what women actually play good at the net compared to men of the same NTRP? Not in my area.

Oh, wow.

What women of same NTRP level play the net better than men of the same level? *A lot.*

Let me tell you about my 7.0 mixed match last night. I was paired with a 3.5 guy. Our opponents were a self-rated 3.0 50-year-old guy who played at Nationals (therefore really 3.5-4.0) and his 3.5 partner, a woman I know well. She plays tennis non-stop and is at least 60 years old. I have partnered with her, and she wins a lot.

First set: We cannot put a ball on the court. I'm in ad and lefty partner is in deuce, our usual receiving formation. Dude serves wide to our BHs and kills us. When we do get a rally going, woman hits impossible angles at net and mid-court, always finding the open court, always in good position at net. Wins overheads with placement, not power. 0-6 in a heartbeat.

Second set: We switch receiving sides, so now we can get some points started. Woman keeps putting balls away at net, but her partner rarely tries to do anything and misses volleys when he does. He doesn't poach, doesn't move, doesn't fake. He starts missing his groundies and serves, and a racket was thrown. We discover and exploit their weaknesses. Partner drop-shots the woman and serves to BH of guy, with my job being to take off poaching when I see the ball go to his BH. I hit topspin lobs over the BH of the guy, and when he backs up I hit topspin drives down the alley. We win second set 6-4 (after leading 5-1) and match tiebreak 11-9.

Now. There is no question in my mind that my female opponent had far, far superior net play to her partner. He made no move to fake, poach or get any of the dropshots. He wasn't able to stop me from hitting winners down the alley, off of the return or mid-point. The woman helped him hold at net, especially in the second set, but he didn't do a thing to help her hold. I am also quite certain that I am a stronger 3.5 at net than he is.

I don't know this fellow, so I don't know if he would blame his partner for this loss. He could say her serve is weak. He could say her mobility is poor. He could say her groundies lack topspin. He could say that, I guess. What he cannot say is that his net play is better than hers. And bottom line, his miscues from the backcourt and inability to play the net well were what cost them the match.

So I'm not buying that men are better at playing the net than women of the same NTRP level. That is not what I experience.

Ripper014
11-10-2009, 08:56 AM
Sure, go ahead and generalize. I certainly do.

I just sensed some resentment when I tossed out some generalizations for you fellas to think about, that's all . . .

It would be extra nifty if someone pointed out what the female member of a mixed team brings to the table.


Well Cindy you painted a pretty generalized profile of what a male mixed doubles player plays like. And yes I took a little offense to it, because to be honest I have yet to encounter a case where the women was the stronger player. I have been playing for hmmm... 20 years now, granted I have played with women that were better players than some of the men I have played with... but never on the same court. I would say there is at least a full level between women and men ie. 3.0 man and a 4.0 woman.

So what do women bring to a tennis match..? In a recreational setting... a smile and break from competitive tennis. In a competitive match... I have no idea, perhaps my worse confrontation on a tennis court was in a mixed doubles club tournament where my partner was verbally abusing the our male opponent what I would consider unsportsmanlike conduct. Fist pumping, screaming after every winner etc... my male counterpart had just about enough and got into a verbal exchange with her... After I got things calmed down... I took her aside and tried to get her to curb her conduct... but she said to me if they cannot take it screw them. I think that was the last time I played competitive mixed (we won the tournament by the way).

Like I said in another thread... playing mixed for me has always been a no win situation. I always have to temper my game because I don't feel the woman can protect herself from the speed of the game I play in my mens game. In mixed I find myself missing shots because I am trying to hit around the woman (rather than thru when required)... or because I am trying to take something off my shot. On a bad short lob (and I don't know why) the woman is always right where I want to hit my overhead. If it man is standing there... I would just hit it through him... with the woman there is always some offence taken if I do the same.

There must be *something* we ladies do well in a mixed match, right?

Right?

You ladies do well in mixed because of your partner or the fact that someone has to win 50% of the time.

Lets be honest here... your original post was full of barbs... and an attack on male tennis players... what did you expect as a response? A few barbs back...

Ripper014
11-10-2009, 09:02 AM
As mentioned above, I find that women tend to hit better angles and be more consistent than men at the same NTRP. Just watch any women's match and you will see long cross-court exchanges.



Actually my game is built around playing angles... unless you give me something high over the net... then yes I will hit it was pace and put the ball away.

As far as cross-court exchanges... well when I play doubles points seldom last more than few shots... serve, first volley and volley winner or a forced error. I am under no illusions that there are still a lot of forced errors (and even unforced errors) in our game. The only time I see long cross-court rallys is in singles. I play doubles at the net when at all possible.

Ripper014
11-10-2009, 09:11 AM
I don't know this fellow, so I don't know if he would blame his partner for this loss. He could say her serve is weak.

For me the hardest thing to do is to poach when you partner has no serve... I know as a receiving player against someone with no serve is that I can hold the ball on my racket forever... and if you do not poach early then it doesn't matter I can hit the ball cross-court beyond your reach no matter how fast you are... if you do poach early I can direct it down the line, and if for whatever reason I am in doubt it is an easy ball to lob (oh wait men don't do that). What I feel you don't seem to understand is that it is much easier to pick off weak returns from a strong serve, than being held hostage with a weak serve.

And if your partner has no mobility... you are dead in the water on her service game... since you are at the net covering the smallest portion of the court. They would probably had been better off playing two back (another thing men don't do).

Ripper014
11-10-2009, 09:24 AM
In a competitive situation I think someone earlier in this thread put it best when they said... Mixed Doubles is a game of keep away...

Nice to see you back and responding to this thread Cindy I have been looking forward to it.

raiden031
11-10-2009, 09:51 AM
She plays tennis non-stop and is at least 60 years old. I have partnered with her, and she wins a lot.

...

Now. There is no question in my mind that my female opponent had far, far superior net play to her partner. He made no move to fake, poach or get any of the dropshots. He wasn't able to stop me from hitting winners down the alley, off of the return or mid-point. The woman helped him hold at net, especially in the second set, but he didn't do a thing to help her hold. I am also quite certain that I am a stronger 3.5 at net than he is.


Hahaha I guarantee if you hit a ball 3 feet away from this 60 year old woman at the net, she will miss every time.

I have not stepped foot on a tennis court in the past 3 seasons and actually witness a female who had what I would I consider an aggressive volleying game, when compared to a good 3.5 men's volley game. And we're talking about females up to 4.5.

So there might be 3.5 men who suck at the net, but I'd say if I want to generalize league playing women, I'd say the most common strength is consistent neutral groundstrokes.

ohplease
11-10-2009, 09:56 AM
Sure, go ahead and generalize. I certainly do.

I just sensed some resentment when I tossed out some generalizations for you fellas to think about, that's all . . .

It would be extra nifty if someone pointed out what the female member of a mixed team brings to the table. There must be *something* we ladies do well in a mixed match, right?

Right?

Forget mixed doubles - good doubles partners make the game easier. They set up their partners with more assists than other players - or they put away more balls than other players. Ideally, a doubles team will have the point guard and the finisher working very well together.

To a woman, all of my mixed doubles partners have made the game harder. They certainly don't put away more balls than my male partners - which is fine, as maybe that's just a result of the difference in strength or size or height, or maybe a result of women's doubles generally being more passive than men's.

The problem is the also aren't very effective point guards either. They're not doing as much to generate offensive chances for me - at least not as many as my male partners. Even compared to my weaker male partners when I'm the allegedly strong one in combo.

The very best teams I've seen (mixed or otherwise) have members that can play both point guard and finisher. The next step down has a dedicated point guard, and dedicated finisher. The bottom rung has one player trying to do it all. If the female members of mixed doubles teams want to keep their male partners from feeling they have to do it all, the solution is in the mirror. Either stop squandering offensive chances, or get better at creating them. Complaining about how "he" is throwing away points is misinterpreting why he's got to play that way.

BTW - why is that, exactly? It's cause frankly, you're just not bringing enough to the table.

There are a select few women who legitimately make doubles easier. There are more who are very good at keeping things neutral until the other team coughs up something to kill. Most, however, are soft targets.

larry10s
11-10-2009, 10:11 AM
Oh, wow.



So I'm not buying that men are better at playing the net than women of the same NTRP level. That is not what I experience.

the net player often gets the glory when the partner hit the forcing shot to allow the net player to shine

5263
11-10-2009, 10:12 AM
Oh, wow.

What women of same NTRP level play the net better than men of the same level? *A lot.*

So I'm not buying that men are better at playing the net than women of the same NTRP level. That is not what I experience.

It's rough when your pack turns on you.

Cindysphinx
11-10-2009, 12:04 PM
Lets be honest here... your original post was full of barbs... and an attack on male tennis players... what did you expect as a response? A few barbs back...

Let's be accurate here.

The guys here threw the first punch. I think it odd that they would get their knickers in a twist when someone points out that *men* have certain shortcomings as doubles partners also. Barb all you want -- I don't mind.

The reason I don't mind is that, bottom line, the guys who are playing 7.0 and 8.0 league mixed tennis are not prisoners. They are volunteering to do it. If they don't want to, then they don't have to. Their partners will often be double their age and play very differently than what these guys are used to.

So why are these men doing it? Presumably they are getting something out of it. I think it rather *small* of some of the boys here to *whine constantly* about how their female partners are Ever So Lame, yet keep signing on to play mixed. If you don't like that you must play with a female player of your own NTRP player in mixed (who will have less upper body strength, slower footspeed, be shorter, and perhaps be older), you could consider (1) not playing mixed, and (2) stop yer complaining.

You have to remember that mixed is a form of combo doubles. Combo doubles always involves a weaker player and a stronger player.

I don't want to play 6.5 ladies combo anymore. That is because I have reached the point where I don't get much out of it and it isn't enjoyable. Rather than keep signing up and then whining about it here, I just didn't sign up. That's how it is done.

And Raiden?

Suffice it to say that this 60 year old lady had hands at net that the whippersnappers can only dream about.

raiden031
11-10-2009, 12:12 PM
Let's be accurate here.

The guys here threw the first punch. I think it odd that they would get their knickers in a twist when someone points out that *men* have certain shortcomings as doubles partners also. Barb all you want -- I don't mind.


There was no first punch thrown here. Someone asked about mixed tactics. It is impossible to discuss mixed tactics while being completely politically correct.

LeeD
11-10-2009, 12:14 PM
Hey... :):)
Just couple years ago I played against a 58 year old lady who volleyed at the women's 6.0 level. Like Div 1 #ONE S/V level.
Of course, she WAS Div1 (CalBerkeley) #1 Singles like early '70's or so ( we don't talk about our collective century + decade experiences). And of course, she hit the international tour for 3 years before deciding life was more than just chasing her childhood dream.
Alas, she only plays tennis maybe once a month or so, and can still volley better and more accurately, higher percentage and placement, than ranked 4.5 Men's players.
Naturally, we topspin lob her and hit to her partner.

Cindysphinx
11-10-2009, 12:29 PM
There was no first punch thrown here. Someone asked about mixed tactics. It is impossible to discuss mixed tactics while being completely politically correct.

The OP asked a legitimate and innocent question about tactics for mixed. Perfectly OK.

Others chose to seize the opportunity to make ridiculous statements and generalizations about female tennis players. Not cool.

I am actually kind of surprised that you would stand by the statement that if you take a male and female of the same NTRP, the male will have a better net game.

It completely and totally depends on what the individual's skill set is. **Net play/volleys is not a strength-dependent or footspeed-dependent skill.** It depends on reactions, quickness/agility, and the discipline to learn and maintain correct form. It tends to reward those who take the time to learn to do it properly. A middle-aged woman can strike a volley just as effectively as a muscle-bound guy or a male sprinter. Who will be the better net player depends on who has the better technique and fundamentals and experience and desire.

Ripper014
11-10-2009, 12:29 PM
To be accurate I think you threw the first punch... with your original post that was what appeared to be a blanket statement of male players.

As for having played mixed league in the past it was because I was pretty much begged to play by the women, because they could not get any other men to play. So I would not say so much as I volunteered than I was drafted, I did it out of the goodness of my heart or they would not have been able to field a team (I was not the only one that did it for this reason)... was it fun..? It was a Sunday morning out in the sun... playing some silly tennis for a few hours.

And if we are calling the kettle black weren't you whining about your partner in your first post? Maybe you should consider not playing mixed.

Cindysphinx
11-10-2009, 12:31 PM
I have never been able to take mixed doubles seriously. I was asked to play in a mixed league once, and agreed to do it... but I could not except as anything more than a social event.

Tactics... I guess like any other doubles... create a hole and hit a winner through it. And hit the ball at the weaker player... (not always the guy). I also like making the partner pay for a bad shot (ie. player puts up a weak shot, I drill it at the partner). And I guess poaching off the return of serve is always fun.

First punch in bold.

Ripper014
11-10-2009, 12:33 PM
First punch in bold.

Did I say it had anything to do with the women..??? Did you read the line underneath... "hit the ball at the weaker player (not always the guy)".




Sorry you fired the first savoy...

Tactics for mixed? Sure!

1. The guy is going to overhit. Try not to let this bother you.

2. The guy is going to play the net poorly, or on a good day average. He has good groundies and a good serve, but he is just not comfortable up there. He will not transition to net, ever.

3. The guy will not know how to poach using signals or play Australian. He will not fake or otherwise try to bother the returner. He will not understand the benefits of playing two-back. He may start every point on your serve with one foot in the doubles alley. He is not especially knowledgeable about doubles, as he doesn't consider it "real tennis" and he's not a fan of all that book learnin'.

4. He will not know the Rules or the Code. See Rule 3 about book learnin'.

5. He would rather die than be seen hitting a lob.

I think that about covers i! :)

Cindysphinx
11-10-2009, 12:34 PM
As for having played mixed league in the past it was because I was pretty much begged to play by the women, because they could not get any other men to play. So I would not say so much as I volunteered than I was drafted, I did it out of the goodness of my heart or they would not have been able to field a team (I was not the only one that did it for this reason)... was it fun..? It was a Sunday morning out in the sun... playing some silly tennis for a few hours.


Come on. Man up. No one gets drafted onto a tennis team. Own your decisions, please.

And if we are calling the kettle black weren't you whining about your partner in your first post? Maybe you should consider not playing mixed.

Nah. I like my partner. He's great. Gets irritated with me if I stay back, which I like. Tells me to poach and trusts my net game.

I wasn't complaining about him. I was letting you know how lame the anti-female remarks at TT sound to my ears. I mean, the OP wasn't even an invitation to bash women, but some folks here just can't help themselves . . .

Ripper014
11-10-2009, 12:37 PM
Nah. I like my partner. He's great. Gets irritated with me if I stay back, which I like. Tells me to poach and trusts my net game.

I wasn't complaining about him. I was letting you know how lame the anti-female remarks at TT sound to my ears. I mean, the OP wasn't even an invitation to bash women, but some folks here just can't help themselves . . .

Well obviously it didn't come across that way did it...

raiden031
11-10-2009, 12:38 PM
I am actually kind of surprised that you would stand by the statement that if you take a male and female of the same NTRP, the male will have a better net game.

It completely and totally depends on what the individual's skill set is. **Net play/volleys is not a strength-dependent or footspeed-dependent skill.** It depends on reactions, quickness/agility, and the discipline to learn and maintain correct form. It tends to reward those who take the time to learn to do it properly. A middle-aged woman can strike a volley just as effectively as a muscle-bound guy or a male sprinter. Who will be the better net player depends on who has the better technique and fundamentals and experience and desire.

I kinda disagree. I think it is very important to be able to move around the court with quickness and agility in order to be a good volleyer (or maybe net player is the better term). I've seen some 60 year old women who can volley dependably when a ball comes to them, but I don't see them standing on the deuce side and volleying a floater on the ad side for a putaway. Like I said, I haven't faced that kind of aggressiveness in mixed. I'm sure they are out there, but I would guess its mainly the younger, former college types, who I don't see too often in the usta leagues.

Cindysphinx
11-10-2009, 12:38 PM
Did I say it had anything to do with the women..??? Did you read the line underneath... "hit the ball at the weaker player (not always the guy)".

Sorry you fired the first savoy...

I would apologize for misinterpreting your posts and your opinion of women tennis players, but I would say your subsequent posts demonstrate that I was right on the money.

Look. I really don't care whether you do or do not like mixed. Or women. Or women who play mixed.

Maybe just look at this as an opportunity for introspection that sometimes one's remarks about mixed can sound a bit harsh and unfair to middle-aged women like me who play mixed and don't happen to think they are inflicting terrible suffering on their male partners?

Ripper014
11-10-2009, 12:41 PM
Come on. Man up. No one gets drafted onto a tennis team. Own your decisions, please.


Ok... the next time I will think only of myself and have 7 other people not be able to play league because they cannot field a roster... I thought my mother taught me better than that... but you may have a point, maybe it is all about me.

Ripper014
11-10-2009, 12:43 PM
Maybe just look at this as an opportunity for introspection that sometimes one's remarks about mixed can sound a bit harsh and unfair to middle-aged women like me who play mixed and don't happen to think they are inflicting terrible suffering on their male partners?


I would not have brought it up at all if not for your original post... I am sure there are lots of men that enjoy mixed doubles.. if not for the social aspect for the competition. And you made it sound like your male partner was inflicting terrible suffering on you. I just wanted some balance to the discussion.

I hope you have had the opportunity to see things from the otherside.

Cindysphinx
11-10-2009, 12:45 PM
I kinda disagree. I think it is very important to be able to move around the court with quickness and agility in order to be a good volleyer. I've seen some 60 year old women who can volley dependably when a ball comes to them, but I don't see them standing on the deuce side and volleying a floater on the ad side for a putaway. Like I said, I haven't faced that kind of aggressiveness in mixed. I'm sure they are out there, but I would guess its mainly the younger, former college types who I don't see too often in the usta leagues.

Consider also this.

Say a floater is coming to the deuce court from the opponent. I am in the ad court, at the service line.

I could and should cross and take that ball. I would expect to hit a volley winner. I would definitely do it in ladies play.

Is this necessary in mixed? No. My partner, whether at service line or at net, will likely move up and swing volley/volley it for a winner, or bounce it and approach off of it. So I will let him. Failing to do so can cause a collision or a botched formation if my shot comes back. He wants the ball, he will do fine with it, so I let him have it.

Now, I have played with guys where I will cross etc. because of something specific about their game. Sometimes they are having an off night, or their BH isn't so hot, or whatever. For the most part, I think we do better if I play more conservatively in mixed, provided I have confidence that they will make the shot.

That does not mean my male partner has a better net game than I do. No way.

Ripper014
11-10-2009, 12:55 PM
Consider also this.

Say a floater is coming to the deuce court from the opponent. I am in the ad court, at the service line.

I could and should cross and take that ball. I would expect to hit a volley winner. I would definitely do it in ladies play.

Is this necessary in mixed? No. My partner, whether at service line or at net, will likely move up and swing volley/volley it for a winner, or bounce it and approach off of it. So I will let him. Failing to do so can cause a collision or a botched formation if my shot comes back. He wants the ball, he will do fine with it, so I let him have it.

Now, I have played with guys where I will cross etc. because of something specific about their game. Sometimes they are having an off night, or their BH isn't so hot, or whatever. For the most part, I think we do better if I play more conservatively in mixed, provided I have confidence that they will make the shot.

That does not mean my male partner has a better net game than I do. No way.

Why would you not take the shot...? Tennis is tennis... poach off the return and move in the direction of your shot... your partner should cover the area you vacated. The only reason that you would not make the shot is that you believe your partner could make a better shot. I always tell my partners be positive... if you feel you can make the shot go for it. If you miss you miss, we all miss... as long as you are doing tactically what you should be doing you cannot help but play better in the long run. Fear and doubt will kill your tennis game, play positive...

Cindysphinx
11-10-2009, 03:12 PM
Why would you not take the shot...? Tennis is tennis... poach off the return and move in the direction of your shot... your partner should cover the area you vacated. The only reason that you would not make the shot is that you believe your partner could make a better shot. I always tell my partners be positive... if you feel you can make the shot go for it. If you miss you miss, we all miss... as long as you are doing tactically what you should be doing you cannot help but play better in the long run. Fear and doubt will kill your tennis game, play positive...

Mmmm, nah. There are other reasons to defer.

The logistics of crossing are important. Yes, in an ideal world I could cross and my partner would position accordingly. This does not always happen. If my shot would be just as good as his shot and vice versa, then the biggest difference is our strength as a team should the ball come back. Having him simply come forward and handle it leaves us ideally positioned 100% of the time -- I simply adjust to whatever he chooses to do.

And there is the psychological issue. If you cross and take your partner's ball -- *a ball they planned to hit and were capable of hitting well* -- you are sending a message. That message is: "I don't trust you to hit this ball so I am going to take it." I will send that message and take that ball when it is warranted. When it isn't, I might defer just for the sake of deferring.

You know, I was cleaning the basement, and I cannot get Raiden's theory out of my head. The idea that [paraphrase] male 3.5s are better net players than female 3.5s. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around that.

Here's an example. You are a male 3.5, and you show up to play a 7.0 mixed match. Your two opponents come up and introduce themselves. They are Becky and Steve, both computer-rated 3.5s. They are the same age (around 40), and they look equally fit (healthy weight, etc.). Before the warm-up, what assumptions would you make about how Becky and Steve will play?

I would assume Steve's serve speed and spin will be better. Becky's serve consistency will probably be better (in that Steve will DF more).

I would assume Steve will be faster around the court and will have superior upper body strength. I would assume Steve will have a more powerful overhead.

I would assume Becky's FH will be flatter and Steve's will have more topspin. I wouldn't make any assumptions about the BH. I would expect neither will hit with (effective) slice.

That's all that occurs to me. No way would I assume that Becky will have the weaker net game.

apor
11-10-2009, 03:45 PM
Wow, everybody's got their panties/tighty-whities in a bunch here.
I played my first ever USTA match last Friday Mixed Doubles.
It was the first time I have ever hit with a female either on my side or on the other.
I had never met my partner before the match.
The male opponent turned out to be a buddy of mine that I hit with regularly during the week, doubles and singles.
His partner fits some of the stereotypes listed above- weak groundies, unable to handle any pace at all, weaker serve, no overhead, weak net game, no movement whatsoever. My buddy could almost make up for most of it.
My partner was a 4.0 woman. Very solid flat, fast and consistent serve. Excellent forehand with pace, depth and spin. Above average overhead, pretty good at the net. Not too quick on her feet.
I'd have to say she truly amazed me with her consistency. As long as she didn't have to move too much, her shots were very dependable.
I had sent her an email listing my strengths and weaknesses, and when we finally played, we worked out great. She knew I could scamper and retrieve most shots/lobs whatever that she couldn't get. She knew I could hit angles and pace with my backhand off the return. I knew she would never drop serve and that her tactics were sound. We both knew we could kill any overhead.
The thing is, we worked together to get the win.

Ripper014
11-10-2009, 03:48 PM
Just to stay on point Cindy... I always encourage my partner to make any shot they can make. I have always adherred to the policy of whoever is closest to the net has first shot at it. It is easier for the person behind the play to be able to see and adjust to the play. I usually do not bail out of a shot until contact is made... there are times my partner will attempt to make a shot but is not able to reach it (happens to me as well). I try not to overplay what I can comfortably reach... and allow my partner to play what would be considered their shots. I do not take it personally if my partner were to take any shot in front of me...that is part of the game.

I see you must have other personality issues to deal with besides just playing tennis, if that is the case I feel bad for you. Like I always say... tennis is just a game... its not like we are being paid to play.

raiden031
11-10-2009, 04:23 PM
And there is the psychological issue. If you cross and take your partner's ball -- *a ball they planned to hit and were capable of hitting well* -- you are sending a message. That message is: "I don't trust you to hit this ball so I am going to take it." I will send that message and take that ball when it is warranted. When it isn't, I might defer just for the sake of deferring.

You know, I was cleaning the basement, and I cannot get Raiden's theory out of my head. The idea that [paraphrase] male 3.5s are better net players than female 3.5s. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around that.

Here's an example. You are a male 3.5, and you show up to play a 7.0 mixed match. Your two opponents come up and introduce themselves. They are Becky and Steve, both computer-rated 3.5s. They are the same age (around 40), and they look equally fit (healthy weight, etc.). Before the warm-up, what assumptions would you make about how Becky and Steve will play?

I would assume Steve's serve speed and spin will be better. Becky's serve consistency will probably be better (in that Steve will DF more).

I would assume Steve will be faster around the court and will have superior upper body strength. I would assume Steve will have a more powerful overhead.

I would assume Becky's FH will be flatter and Steve's will have more topspin. I wouldn't make any assumptions about the BH. I would expect neither will hit with (effective) slice.

That's all that occurs to me. No way would I assume that Becky will have the weaker net game.

If I'm at the net and see that I have a chance to put the ball away, I will always take it as long as I don't feel like its too difficult a shot. I don't care about jumping in for my partner's ball, because if my partner is too far back, it will be a neutral shot for them but since I'm already close enough to be offensive, I'll take it.

I equate saying 3.5 men volley better than 3.5 women to saying that 3.5 men volley better than 3.0 men. Sure there are 3.0 men who volley better than some 3.5 men, but in general the higher rated (ie. better player) will typically volley better. 3.5 men is simply a higher level of tennis than 3.5 women, thats the whole motivation for thinking it. I haven't been proven otherwise yet, especially as the best women I've played against used groundstrokes as their main weapon.

As someone else said, more often you say doubles specialists playing mixed and singles players skipping out. Doubles specialists usually have the better net game, so I don't expect to see too many guys at 3.5 and above who don't come to the net.

naylor
11-10-2009, 04:30 PM
... My partner was a 4.0 woman. Very solid flat, fast and consistent serve. Excellent forehand with pace, depth and spin. Above average overhead, pretty good at the net. Not too quick on her feet. I'd have to say she truly amazed me with her consistency. As long as she didn't have to move too much, her shots were very dependable... I knew she would never drop serve and that her tactics were sound...

She serves well, she has an excellent forehand, she's consistent with dependable shots, her tactics are sound - which I take as meaning she can rally cross-court safely, without giving the opponent at the net easy putaway chances. In short, she can carry her own weight in a doubles match. Wow, where can I go buy (one like) her, as partner for my next mixed match?

Bungalo Bill
11-10-2009, 05:10 PM
I would not have brought it up at all if not for your original post... I am sure there are lots of men that enjoy mixed doubles.. if not for the social aspect for the competition. And you made it sound like your male partner was inflicting terrible suffering on you. I just wanted some balance to the discussion.

I hope you have had the opportunity to see things from the otherside.

Well, I for one do not enjoy mix doubles. However, I do know (as well as you) those that do. I will play to fill up a roster as you do and know how you feel. You want people to play tennis and you feel you can help even though you dont enjoy it a whole lot.

I actually think it is the opposite, that you are sacraficing what you would rather do "say no" and instead help other players get matches in. That is cool, so long as we don't show we don't enjoy it.

papa
11-10-2009, 05:28 PM
I also don't care for mixed doubles. Part of it is me because I just feel restricted especially when the ladies come to net. I know there are great women players - I've played with and watched many. I will hit with women but most don't care for that aspect of the game.

I'll play mixed with certain people at times but I'm really not into it and I'm sure its me. Had I played a lot of mixed doubles maybe I wouldn't get this feeling that I'm going to hurt someone. I know my reasoning might sounds silly but I certainly do not mean it as a dig to any female player.

Ripper014
11-10-2009, 05:37 PM
Well, I for one do not enjoy mix doubles. However, I do know (as well as you) those that do. I will play to fill up a roster as you do and know how you feel. You want people to play tennis and you feel you can help even though you dont enjoy it a whole lot.

I actually think it is the opposite, that you are sacraficing what you would rather do "say no" and instead help other players get matches in. That is cool, so long as we don't show we don't enjoy it.

Nope never... always show up with a smile on my face... and comment on good shots by my opponent and my partner. I don't really even care if I win or lose as long as everyone has a good time. In fact if my team is obviously better I will hit shots were the opponents can hit winning volleys etc.

In the end my opponents feel its the best they have played in a long time... and what a wonderful close match we had and that they will beat us the next time.

Ripper014
11-10-2009, 05:40 PM
I also don't care for mixed doubles. Part of it is me because I just feel restricted especially when the ladies come to net. I know there are great women players - I've played with and watched many. I will hit with women but most don't care for that aspect of the game.

I'll play mixed with certain people at times but I'm really not into it and I'm sure its me. Had I played a lot of mixed doubles maybe I wouldn't get this feeling that I'm going to hurt someone. I know my reasoning might sounds silly but I certainly do not mean it as a dig to any female player.


Exactly how I feel about playing Mixed Tournament tennis... I am instinctively a power player... and have never felt it was appropriate to bring it, so it blunted my best game. Obviously it has nothing to do with my opponents... it just something I personally have never been able to overcome.

GuyClinch
11-10-2009, 09:58 PM
Personally I just think Cindy has played with men who are lying about their ratings.. So that's why she has a bad opinion of these (male) players. And I do really think she started the attack thread about male doubles players. Saying that you personally don't take mixed doubles seriously is not an insult to women. Most pro men don't take it seriously either.

Anyway real league rated 3.5 man is equivalent at least to a 4.0 league rated woman IMHO. What's going on with Cindy is probably some 3.0 guys who mostly play singles are teaming up with her 3.5 women..

I know cause I played that kinda of game when I first started playing doubles. I am a LITTLE better at doubles now but still a better singles player. For real 3.5 players with doubles experience I don't think many of her generalizations hold true. Personally though I like playing mixed doubles. Then again I liked playing any kinda of tennis match for the most part - except maybe a competitive match with someone who hooks.

Pete

Bungalo Bill
11-10-2009, 10:08 PM
Power players can get a bad rap. I played some mixed doubles and got some smack talk from a female. What set it up was she didn't like my serve. I have a good lefty twist serve and she swung and missed a few. I guess it was sort of embarrassing for her. Then I got a chance to put a volley away at her feet and she errupted. I just looked over and said, "if I was going for your head, I wouldn't have hit it at your feet. You will know if I go for your head."

I also think Cindy has a point, that at times, in doubles the weaker player is the male.

I would play with Cindy because I like her attitude. She wants to win and play her best.

Bungalo Bill
11-10-2009, 10:13 PM
Ripper, that is good and I totally see your side. Perhaps, we also see Cindy's side. I am glad that smile is on your face when you help fill rosters. I just find it different chemistry when playing with a female. It is sort of an inconsistent mix of teamwork at times. I guess.

Ripper014
11-10-2009, 10:47 PM
Ripper, that is good and I totally see your side. Perhaps, we also see Cindy's side. I am glad that smile is on your face when you help fill rosters. I just find it different chemistry when playing with a female. It is sort of an inconsistent mix of teamwork at times. I guess.

I have not played mixed league in a long time... and since I am no longer a member at any club I don't expect to be doing it anytime soon.

I treat playing mixed like playing mens doubles with someone I don't know. So basically I just adjust my game to how my partner plays, I just try to fill the holes on defense and be as aggressive as I can when an opportunity presents itself. Or as you said inconsistent mix of teamwork.

GuyClinch
11-11-2009, 12:14 AM
The power game can get you in trouble - but women who play mixed doubles don't expect a guy to dink either. With some women you can't win. I find that most women expect a guy to have more pop in all his shots and enjoy it. If they didn't they wouldn't play mixed.

raiden031
11-11-2009, 05:25 AM
Personally I just think Cindy has played with men who are lying about their ratings.. So that's why she has a bad opinion of these (male) players. And I do really think she started the attack thread about male doubles players. Saying that you personally don't take mixed doubles seriously is not an insult to women. Most pro men don't take it seriously either.

Anyway real league rated 3.5 man is equivalent at least to a 4.0 league rated woman IMHO. What's going on with Cindy is probably some 3.0 guys who mostly play singles are teaming up with her 3.5 women..

I know cause I played that kinda of game when I first started playing doubles. I am a LITTLE better at doubles now but still a better singles player. For real 3.5 players with doubles experience I don't think many of her generalizations hold true. Personally though I like playing mixed doubles. Then again I liked playing any kinda of tennis match for the most part - except maybe a competitive match with someone who hooks.

Pete

I don't necessarily think she is partnering with 3.0s (unless she plays on the worst mixed teams in the league)...I mean she plays in a neighboring county to mine, and its actually stronger than mine. I think its just that mixed has a very different dynamic than men's doubles. If Cindy and a strong 3.5 lady play against two of her 3.5 male partners, then she will see how much better they really are. But when the 3.5 male is playing mixed and doesn't know how to win, then they will make a lot of mistakes in the process and hit stupid shots.

I play both 7.0 and 8.0 and find myself playing far better in 8.0 and having more successful results as well. Having a strong partner who can hold their own brings out the best in me. If I have a partner that struggles to hit more than 1 or 2 balls in a row, then I tend to make mistakes trying to find a way to inject myself into the match.

I love 8.0 by the way, so I'm not one of those people who think mixed is a waste of time. I'm not so fond of 7.0, although I play it just to get more matches and also because it is a challenge for me to figure out how to win.

Topaz
11-11-2009, 05:57 AM
Now the shoe is on the other foot, isn't it boys? :)

Whooo boy, it sure is, and some reallly don't like it do they? LOL

How else can you discuss mixed doubles tactics without generalizations? .

By being fair and honest with yourself and not letting your ego get in the way of either of those two things.


It would be extra nifty if someone pointed out what the female member of a mixed team brings to the table. There must be *something* we ladies do well in a mixed match, right?

Right?

Good luck Cindy...remember the majority of this board thinks they can take down Serena Williams. :roll: LOL


Don't make me go get Topaz. :)

Sorry I'm late!!! ;)

Well Cindy you painted a pretty generalized profile of what a male mixed doubles player plays like.

Again, she was giving you guys a taste of what men do on this board daily without even thinking about it. It doesn't feel too good, does it?

And yes I took a little offense to it, because to be honest I have yet to encounter a case where the women was the stronger player. I have been playing for hmmm... 20 years now, granted I have played with women that were better players than some of the men I have played with... but never on the same court. I would say there is at least a full level between women and men ie. 3.0 man and a 4.0 woman.

And yet, later on you say this?

I have not played mixed league in a long time... and since I am no longer a member at any club I don't expect to be doing it anytime soon.

.


So what do women bring to a tennis match..? In a recreational setting... a smile and break from competitive tennis. In a competitive match... I have no idea, perhaps my worse confrontation on a tennis court was in a mixed doubles club tournament where my partner was verbally abusing the our male opponent what I would consider unsportsmanlike conduct. Fist pumping, screaming after every winner etc... my male counterpart had just about enough and got into a verbal exchange with her... After I got things calmed down... I took her aside and tried to get her to curb her conduct... but she said to me if they cannot take it screw them. I think that was the last time I played competitive mixed (we won the tournament by the way).

If you haven't played and have no idea, then where are your suggestions coming from? Your own personal experience right? Just like Cindy...she's drawing on her own personal experience. You wouldn't want anyone to tell you that your experiences are *wrong*, so don't do the same to her.

For every story like yours, Cindy and I can come up with a 'man behaving badly' story...that's how it goes. No gender has a lock on bad behavior on a tennis court.

You ladies do well in mixed because of your partner or the fact that someone has to win 50% of the time.

How absolutely rude. Guess what...a guy can't win a mixed match alone. And if you've even admitted to the guy sometimes being the weak partner, then how can you say what you did? A bit inconsistent. Again, not used to someone treating you the way you treat others, I suspect.

Lets be honest here... your original post was full of barbs... and an attack on male tennis players... what did you expect as a response? A few barbs back...

And you had plenty of attacks on female players. If you are going to dish it out, expect to get it back.



The thing is, we worked together to get the win.

Which is what you have to do in *any* doubles game, right? Work as a team! *dingdingding* We have a winneh!

Personally I just think Cindy has played with men who are lying about their ratings..


Uh, no. She plays USTA mixed league with male partners with verified computer ratings.

The power game can get you in trouble - but women who play mixed doubles don't expect a guy to dink either. With some women you can't win. I find that most women expect a guy to have more pop in all his shots and enjoy it. If they didn't they wouldn't play mixed.

It sure can, especially when you keep blasting that ball right into the bottom of the net and/or the back curtain.

Topaz
11-11-2009, 06:03 AM
My thoughts for the OP, from playing both 6.0 (as the 3.0 female) and 7.0 (as a 3.5 female) mixed:

*You heard a few others say it...PLAY AS A TEAM. Do not tell the woman how to play or what to do...there's a good bet she knows her own game better than you. Ask her about her strengths and weaknesses, see how they match up with your own, and devise your strategy from there.

*YOU DO NOT WIN A MATCH BY HITTING THE HARDEST ON THE COURT. So, if those unforced errors start to pile up because you're feeling pressure to hit some insane winner, stop, take a deep breath, and work on placement.

*If you feel afraid to hit at the woman at the net, that is your problem. It is never cool to go for anyone's head, but body shots are part of the game. Actually, it is much easier to hit a volley off of a flat, hard shot, so by all means, hit it right at her. She'll stick her racquet out, do practically nothing, and probably end up winning the point!

*I think Raiden already mentinoned this...play with spin! Us ladies generally don't have problems blocking back your pace, so as your try to hit harder and harder and rack up the UE, we are silently encouraging you. However, a good spin serve gives me fits!!! (I'm short, and once played against a guy who literally just spun it over my head ALL NIGHT LONG...quite an effective tactic!)

For every woman who dinks, there is a man who blasts the back curtain. If you're going to hand out the generalizations, don't be surprised when some are handed right back at you!

I would like to give a shout out to TTW's own JRStriker, who was one heck of a mixed partner!

Cindysphinx
11-11-2009, 01:07 PM
To Raiden:

You know I like you, so no hard feelings of course.

I understand that you feel better and do better in 8.0 than 7.0. The gap between a 4.0 guy and a 3.0 woman is absolutely huge. Having an unbalanced doubles pairing is a nightmare. It would be like my playing 5.5 combo with a 2.0. At some point, it just isn't worth it.

And you are correct that the men I partner with are computer-rated 3.5s in our large county. They are not 3.0s. They sometimes don't know a single thing about doubles strategy, and like many inexperienced doubles players, they don't know what they don't know.

I do catch myself wondering what men's 3.5 doubles looks like. I imagine it is The Land Of The Hot Serve And The Big FH. I caught a bit of 7.5 men's combo play at Districts recently, and entire games were played 1-up, 1-back.

Still, Raiden, I have noticed in some of your prior posts a certain, um . . . mathematical and linear approach to comparing the NTRP ratings of players derived from the idea that men's NTRP and women's NTRP tend to be .5 apart. I think you are taking that concept a bit too far, especially when it leaves you saying things like a 3.5 guy will have a better net game than a 3.5 woman.

I mean, mental toughness is a big part of winning, and winning games is what NTRP is all about. Would anyone think it reasonable to say that a 3.5 guy will be more mentally tough than a 3.5 woman? Of course not. The reason is because we all know that any physical strength advantages a man may have over a woman won't help him with issues of mental strength.

I would suggest to you that effective net play is not strength-dependent and is therefore not something at which one could expect a man to automatically be better. That a man might be a 3.5 (and therefore be expected to possess a faster serve and a more powerful FH) tells you nothing about whether a 3.5 woman might be a stronger net player.

Sorry to keep coming back to this, but I keep shaking my head over it. When I played my last mixed match, a friend of mine was playing for the other team on the adjacent court. My friend is a strong net player; playing the net is her thing, which is one reason I like her so much. She was paired with a computer-rated 3.5 guy who was a can of soup at the net, and she was quite frustrated by this.

If my friend heard you say that 3.5 guys play the net better than 3.5 women, she would probably throw a blood clot!

Ripper014
11-11-2009, 01:22 PM
My thoughts for the OP, from playing both 6.0 (as the 3.0 female) and 7.0 (as a 3.5 female) mixed:

*You heard a few others say it...PLAY AS A TEAM. Do not tell the woman how to play or what to do...there's a good bet she knows her own game better than you. Ask her about her strengths and weaknesses, see how they match up with your own, and devise your strategy from there.

*YOU DO NOT WIN A MATCH BY HITTING THE HARDEST ON THE COURT. So, if those unforced errors start to pile up because you're feeling pressure to hit some insane winner, stop, take a deep breath, and work on placement.

*If you feel afraid to hit at the woman at the net, that is your problem. It is never cool to go for anyone's head, but body shots are part of the game. Actually, it is much easier to hit a volley off of a flat, hard shot, so by all means, hit it right at her. She'll stick her racquet out, do practically nothing, and probably end up winning the point!

*I think Raiden already mentinoned this...play with spin! Us ladies generally don't have problems blocking back your pace, so as your try to hit harder and harder and rack up the UE, we are silently encouraging you. However, a good spin serve gives me fits!!! (I'm short, and once played against a guy who literally just spun it over my head ALL NIGHT LONG...quite an effective tactic!)

For every woman who dinks, there is a man who blasts the back curtain. If you're going to hand out the generalizations, don't be surprised when some are handed right back at you!

I would like to give a shout out to TTW's own JRStriker, who was one heck of a mixed partner!

Ok... I didn't want to get into this... cause when I posted my barbed post it was in reaction to what Cindy wrote... if you note at the beginning of it I reference LeeD's remark that Cindy was mocking us.

I have been biting my tongue through this process... and though I have enjoyed this banter I find it humorous that a 3.0/3.5 player is telling me how the game is played.

Like I have mentioned in other posts... I have been played a lot of years... I have also been away from the game for a long time. I have been back since the summer and have been invited to play with some of the best players the clubs have to offer... and guess what my game is still holding up just fine. In fact it is them that are amazed I can hit as consistant and hard with technology from the 80's...

I also am asked to play with players that are 4.0 3.0 and even probably 2.5, why...? Believe it or not because I am a nice guy... I like to help anyone who truly enjoys the game... do I play to beat them? Of course not... do they play well against me? Absolutely... I hit the ball where they can get it back... and I always provide them an opening to beat me with, if they can make the shot. People who have been watching me play ask me why I take it so easy on them... my reply is I know at what level I play I have nothing to prove. And isn't it all about enjoying the game.

I am getting well off topic here but... trust me... for 3.0 3.5 4.0 women, if the people on the board say that you could not defend yourself, trust me you are not going to get your racket on the ball. I play with 4.0 and 3.5 men on regular basis for fun, and I hit them in the chest with a volley by accident, not because I hit it hard... but that the ball arrived too quick for them.

user92626
11-11-2009, 01:31 PM
*YOU DO NOT WIN A MATCH BY HITTING THE HARDEST ON THE COURT.



That's an imcomplete sentence which makes it wrong. Whether you hit hard or not, you need to hit it in. If a shot is in, hitting hard is always better than hitting soft!!! A no-brainer.

I almost never lost to anyone how hits softer than I. The people who beat me always hit equally hard or harder (which it goes without saying throws off my timing, causes me unable to reach the ball or exhausts me).

Topaz
11-11-2009, 01:41 PM
I have been biting my tongue through this process... and though I have enjoyed this banter I find it humorous that a 3.0/3.5 player is telling me how the game is played.

Where was anyone telling you how the game is played? We are making observations based on our experiences. Are you suggesting that Cindy and I are not capable of making those observations? Well, I hope not, 'cause that's wrong. Why won't you take what Cindy and I see as face value? Because we are (*gasp*) 3.5 women?

I've played mixed in a national tournament. Do my observations have more *value* to you now?

Like I have mentioned in other posts... I have been played a lot of years... I have also been away from the game for a long time. I have been back since the summer and have been invited to play with some of the best players the clubs have to offer... and guess what my game is still holding up just fine. In fact it is them that are amazed I can hit as consistant and hard with technology from the 80's...

That's nice. That's not what we're talking about though. Again, if you want to use your experience to back up your statements, that's fine. Everyone else gets to do the same, and don't assume that your experience is better or more valuable.

I am getting well off topic here but... trust me... for 3.0 3.5 4.0 women, if the people on the board say that you could not defend yourself, trust me you are not going to get your racket on the ball. I play with 4.0 and 3.5 men on regular basis for fun, and I hit them in the chest with a volley by accident, not because I hit it hard... but that the ball arrived too quick for them.

WHAT? So, instead of using my own brain, I should just listen to how the people on the board tell me to do? If they ('the people on the board') say I can't defend myself, then I sure can't get my racquet on the ball? ARE YOU SERIOUS? Why don't you believe our own observations on our own play? You're kidding me, right? You gotta be.

I regularly play with guys higher rated than me, and I can get my racquet on the ball just fine. In that tournament, I even got my racquet on the ball (twice!) when it came to me from a 5.0 guy.

This is just...unbelievable. I don't think you're trying to be rude, but this post reeks of condescension and male ego.

Topaz
11-11-2009, 01:45 PM
That's an imcomplete sentence which makes it wrong. Whether you hit hard or not, you need to hit it in. If a shot is in, hitting hard is always better than hitting soft!!! A no-brainer.

I almost never lost to anyone how hits softer than I. The people who beat me always hit equally hard or harder (which it goes without saying throws off my timing, causes me unable to reach the ball or exhausts me).

Actually, it is a complete sentence. It has a subject, a verb, and a predicate.

You win by hitting the ball back (yes, in the court) one more time than your opponent. You don't get extra points for hitting it harder. If players did, than Gonzales, Berdych, and Gulbis would be 1, 2, and 3 in the world.

Many people have trouble creating their own pace, and hitting with more spin and less pace would force errors. I'm also alluding to the observations that both Cindy and I have made in mixed regarding male partners who hit hard, make errors, and try to fix that by hitting even harder instead of taking something off of the ball and getting it in the court. I thought I made that clear with the explanation that came after my complete sentence.

Cindysphinx
11-11-2009, 01:54 PM
Ripper, I honestly don't even know what point you are trying to make. You've totally lost me.

You play doubles, and you think you do it well. Fine.

What has that got to do with anything?

BTW, I'm not a 3.0. I am a computer-rated 3.5. I play 3.5 ladies, 7.5 ladies combo and 7.0 mixed. I have played with 10 different 7.0 mixed partners, 8 of them 3.5s. I think I have played about 27 mixed 7.0 matches, which gave me the opportunity to observe 27 different male opponents. That's what I base my own observations on, FWIW.

Perhaps if you are truly playing at a significantly higher level, you may be somewhat out of touch with the capabilities of your 3.5 brethren in a mixed doubles setting?

Cindy -- who would happily partner with BB, so long as she gets the ad side

Cindysphinx
11-11-2009, 02:06 PM
One more thing about mixed.

Some guys don't like mixed because they (1) don't feel comfortable hitting at the woman or (2) fear they will miss their target and hit the woman by accident and therefore cannot relax and enjoy the match. Some guys have told us tales of women who went postal when the guy hit at them or hit them by accident.

To that I say: You guys are being played. Totally.

I think the women who have called you out for Ordinary Doubles Play (which includes accidental hits and balls struck toward the body and feet rather than the head) are manipulating you to gain a competitive advantage.

I would hope the next time a female opponent tries this gamesmanship you will be prepared. Let her say her piece. If you were headhunting or crushing overheads at her (or your male opponent) at net, apologize and stop doing it. If you were hitting a legitimate shot, suggest that she move back to the baseline and then keep playing your game.

Topaz, what do you think about this? There has not been one time in one of my matches where I got mad and confronted a guy for hitting at me, nor has an opposing female done lectured my partner for it.

The only time I heard through the grapevine a woman take exception to being hit at was a particular lady who is hypercompetive, a gamer, and who will do anything to win, no matter how unethical. Which only bolsters my belief that these objections are all gamesmanship.

Bungalo Bill
11-11-2009, 02:46 PM
My thoughts for the OP, from playing both 6.0 (as the 3.0 female) and 7.0 (as a 3.5 female) mixed:

*You heard a few others say it...PLAY AS A TEAM. Do not tell the woman how to play or what to do...there's a good bet she knows her own game better than you. Ask her about her strengths and weaknesses, see how they match up with your own, and devise your strategy from there.

This is where some men might have a problem. If the man is the better player, then the woman or the weaker player better listen and play as a team. The better players should generally be the leader and exhibit teamwork and direction.

If a woman, who is the weaker or stronger player, exhibits an attitude of "dont tell me what to do", then the teamwork is defeated.

If a man, who is the weaker or stronger player, exhibits an attitude of "don't tell me what to do", then the teamwork is defeated.

Now, I do know there are players on both sides of the fence who think their duty no matter is to boss people around whether male or female. Also, there are some females that are just horrendous to play with personality wise just as there are men.

I was playing with this female who tried and tried and tried hitting the ball but was just a mess. She kept apoligizing over and over again and each time I said "just keep swinging, it is no big deal to me. As long as you are trying, we are a team and I will support you."

Shortly after that, she missed again, this time she broke down into tears and the women watching the match ran to her side and were comforting her. I mean she was balling her head off with makeup streaming down her face and what not.....maybe she had a $100 riding on the match or something. :)

Now, I will go so far, but I am sorry, that was a little bit too much for me to handle. Crying? Come on. Hahaha, I hope you aren't like that Cindy, or I will kick you in the rump to get you going. :P

Bungalo Bill
11-11-2009, 02:51 PM
Cindy -- who would happily partner with BB, so long as she gets the ad side

You can have the AD side so long as you are aggressive and take some risk on that side. :)

EikelBeiter
11-11-2009, 03:02 PM
Cindy -- who would happily partner with BB, so long as she gets the ad side

Why do you want the Ad side? Are you a lefty? Or is your backhand better than BB's?

You can have the AD side so long as you are aggressive and take some risk on that side. :)

I happen to play in a mix team and have played my fair share of mixed doubles. Around here it is the consensus that the better player should play the ad side (can also be the girl) because that is where all the important points are played.

Bungalo Bill
11-11-2009, 03:09 PM
One more thing about mixed.

Some guys don't like mixed because they (1) don't feel comfortable hitting at the woman or (2) fear they will miss their target and hit the woman by accident and therefore cannot relax and enjoy the match. Some guys have told us tales of women who went postal when the guy hit at them or hit them by accident.

To that I say: You guys are being played. Totally.

Sometimes that is how I feel especially if I know the woman is a level too low but is playing anyway.

And you woman make it difficult for a man to play. When he is domineering, he is a male chauvanist pig. If he is too soft, he is a wimp or is reducing your womanhood value, when he hits the ball hard, he is showing off or is inconsiderate. I mean come on!!!

I did play on the opposite side of a woman who knew I hit the ball hard and fast, but she walked up and said "don't you dare take pace off the ball or I will kick you in the nuts." When the shock settled after hearing her lady-like motivational speech, I said, "ahhhh, okay."

So, I was on the AD side, my partner served, and that nice lady on the other side was playing the duece-side and was the net"person" for their team. She looked at me and I looked at her. She growled at me, and I rolled my eyes and said "whatever", and focused on the returner.

The returner hit a decent ball but something I could poach on so I did. Now since I am lefthanded this ball was right to my forehand and I plastered the ball right at that polite ladies feet. She didn't even flinch. As I turned around, she shouts "is that all you got?" I turned around and just smiled at her (I was thinking "what a chump").

The next time I was playing net on the AD side, nearly the same thing happened but this time, my intent was to nail it at her feet with a lot more punch. I went for too much and slightly hit it off target. Instead of hitting it at her feet, the ball slammed into her stomach and I knew it was a real stinger. I felt real bad and was immediately sorry. She buckled over obviously in a bit of pain and I said, "I am sorry, I was going at your feet." She got up, shook it off, turned and walked back to the baseline. When she turned around, she shouted, "is that all you got?"

I looked at my partner and said, "what is with this chick, is she RoboCop or something?" We had a good laugh.

Bungalo Bill
11-11-2009, 03:22 PM
Why do you want the Ad side? Are you a lefty? Or is your backhand better than BB's?



I happen to play in a mix team and have played my fair share of mixed doubles. Around here it is the consensus that the better player should play the ad side (can also be the girl) because that is where all the important points are played.

Eikel, I think you are missing the "joking" around in the posts. I am sure Cindy knows the stronger player plays the AD side. But you are right, the AD side should have the better player and some teams put the person who takes more risk and may not be as steady as his partner. Still other teams like the lefty in the AD court for various reasons.

5263
11-11-2009, 03:39 PM
Ok...

I have been biting my tongue through this process... and though I have enjoyed this banter I find it humorous that a 3.0/3.5 player is telling me how the game is played.



lol, get used to it on this forum. lol

Ripper014
11-11-2009, 05:02 PM
Eikel, I think you are missing the "joking" around in the posts. I am sure Cindy knows the stronger player plays the AD side. But you are right, the AD side should have the better player and some teams put the person who takes more risk and may not be as steady as his partner. Still other teams like the lefty in the AD court for various reasons.

Hey Bill... I like reading your posts... I would like to make my thoughts on playing the AD side of the court, I don't always play the stronger player on that side. I think there are times when your partner is more comfortable on that side it is better to let them play there. The other reason is because it is easier for those that do not have a fully developed game to be able to hit their backhands cross court. The last reason I would consider doing it is to put strength in the middle of the court where most of the points are played.

This is how I have always dealt with which side to play.... usually my partner will say you have a really good backhand you play the AD side, and I always come back with "which side are you more comfortable with"?

Ripper014
11-11-2009, 05:06 PM
I regularly play with guys higher rated than me, and I can get my racquet on the ball just fine. In that tournament, I even got my racquet on the ball (twice!) when it came to me from a 5.0 guy.

This is just...unbelievable. I don't think you're trying to be rude, but this post reeks of condescension and male ego.


I am not trying to be rude... if you knew me it would be the last thing you would say about me.

And I consider myself to be that 5.0 guy... but most of the people that know me would say I am sandbagging and should be a 5.5

Ripper014
11-11-2009, 05:12 PM
lol, get used to it on this forum. lol

Thanks... I find it hard to post on this forum without sounding like I am some arrogant know it all. But some things to me seem rather obvious, but then as some here have said maybe I am just delusional.

The problem is that I had female friends that had scholarships with the U of Texas that I played with all the time and though they were pretty and hit the ball with some pace, they really were not much of a threat at the net unless you gave them a sitter. But I guess the women playing 3.5 are much better than I thought... and if that is the case. I owe someone an apology.

raiden031
11-11-2009, 05:26 PM
To Raiden:

You know I like you, so no hard feelings of course.

I understand that you feel better and do better in 8.0 than 7.0. The gap between a 4.0 guy and a 3.0 woman is absolutely huge. Having an unbalanced doubles pairing is a nightmare. It would be like my playing 5.5 combo with a 2.0. At some point, it just isn't worth it.

And you are correct that the men I partner with are computer-rated 3.5s in our large county. They are not 3.0s. They sometimes don't know a single thing about doubles strategy, and like many inexperienced doubles players, they don't know what they don't know.

I do catch myself wondering what men's 3.5 doubles looks like. I imagine it is The Land Of The Hot Serve And The Big FH. I caught a bit of 7.5 men's combo play at Districts recently, and entire games were played 1-up, 1-back.

Still, Raiden, I have noticed in some of your prior posts a certain, um . . . mathematical and linear approach to comparing the NTRP ratings of players derived from the idea that men's NTRP and women's NTRP tend to be .5 apart. I think you are taking that concept a bit too far, especially when it leaves you saying things like a 3.5 guy will have a better net game than a 3.5 woman.

I mean, mental toughness is a big part of winning, and winning games is what NTRP is all about. Would anyone think it reasonable to say that a 3.5 guy will be more mentally tough than a 3.5 woman? Of course not. The reason is because we all know that any physical strength advantages a man may have over a woman won't help him with issues of mental strength.

I would suggest to you that effective net play is not strength-dependent and is therefore not something at which one could expect a man to automatically be better. That a man might be a 3.5 (and therefore be expected to possess a faster serve and a more powerful FH) tells you nothing about whether a 3.5 woman might be a stronger net player.

Sorry to keep coming back to this, but I keep shaking my head over it. When I played my last mixed match, a friend of mine was playing for the other team on the adjacent court. My friend is a strong net player; playing the net is her thing, which is one reason I like her so much. She was paired with a computer-rated 3.5 guy who was a can of soup at the net, and she was quite frustrated by this.

If my friend heard you say that 3.5 guys play the net better than 3.5 women, she would probably throw a blood clot!

When it comes to mental strength, I don't really worry about it that much. I think its not as important as physical aspects of tennis. I think a 3.0 can be mentally stronger than a touring pro, but if they aren't skilled enough to hit the ball in the court, they will lose at 3.0/3.5. I think mental strength is what separates players who have already mastered the physical aspects of the game.

I think I have occasional mental breakdowns such as on key points when the match is close, but still if you are physically that much better than your opponents, there will be no key points because you will win easily without much fight.

Back to net play, I don't think strength is what makes the men generally better. It is agility, quickness, and killer instinct. Let me tell you about my net game. The biggest weakness in my net game is that I have poor hand-eye coordination and so I have a hard time taking on hard shots from too close to the net, something I think many women at my level or even below can do better than me. However I make up for it by being quick enough to close in on the net as soon as I see a shot that is weak from any position on the court. I can regularly hit putaway volleys on my first volley after serving. And when I hit putaways, people turn around because they know its coming hard and there's that intimidation factor.

Of all the women I have been against, I have yet to see one who can putaway their own first volley or can putaway a shot that requires them to rush forward or to the other side of the court. I just think their movement is always lacking and I'd rather face a 4.0W net player than a 3.5M net player any day. Its one thing if most of your experience is against male singles players, but thats not been the case for me. I actually think the 3.5M doubles players are usually good at the net and kinda weak from the baseline. I think the 3.5W players are usually more solid at the baseline and while they might be able to hit volleys cleanly and take on hard shots at them when at thenet, they're not very effective because they don't move quick enough. I hit the ball low and slightly out of their reach and they fail to stop me every time. I never hit it right to them because thats what they want and are used to.

But really this is my opinion, and I've been wrong about things. This is just how I perceive things so no need to bang your head trying to determine whether I am right or wrong.

Bungalo Bill
11-11-2009, 05:55 PM
Hey Bill... I like reading your posts... I would like to make my thoughts on playing the AD side of the court, I don't always play the stronger player on that side. I think there are times when your partner is more comfortable on that side it is better to let them play there. The other reason is because it is easier for those that do not have a fully developed game to be able to hit their backhands cross court. The last reason I would consider doing it is to put strength in the middle of the court where most of the points are played.

This is how I have always dealt with which side to play.... usually my partner will say you have a really good backhand you play the AD side, and I always come back with "which side are you more comfortable with"?

That can work too. Lot's of ways to skin that cat.

apor
11-11-2009, 06:27 PM
I don't always play the stronger player on that side. I think there are times when your partner is more comfortable on that side it is better to let them play there. The other reason is because it is easier for those that do not have a fully developed game to be able to hit their backhands cross court. The last reason I would consider doing it is to put strength in the middle of the court where most of the points are played.

This is how I have always dealt with which side to play.... usually my partner will say you have a really good backhand you play the AD side, and I always come back with "which side are you more comfortable with"?

This comes from my one-and-only MXD match.
My female partner took the Ad side. Why she wanted it? I don't know. But she has a wicked forehand, and this put it right in the middle of the court. I have a wicked backhand, with me playing deuce, it's right in the middle of the court. Besides, I love hitting sharp angles off serves coming to my backhand, setting up my partner at the net.
Don't the Bryans tend to put their forehands in the middle?

5263
11-11-2009, 06:35 PM
This comes from my one-and-only MXD match.
My female partner took the Ad side. Why she wanted it? I don't know. But she has a wicked forehand, and this put it right in the middle of the court. I have a wicked backhand, with me playing deuce, it's right in the middle of the court. Besides, I love hitting sharp angles off serves coming to my backhand, setting up my partner at the net.
Don't the Bryans tend to put their forehands in the middle?

you guys did it right for your strengths, but often the guy's best shot is his Fh and the ladies tend to often do better with their 2handed Bh. Guy in the Ad court also sets up for him to hit overheads all over the court if he is right handed.

Ripper014
11-11-2009, 06:58 PM
you guys did it right for your strengths, but often the guy's best shot is his Fh and the ladies tend to often do better with their 2handed Bh. Guy in the Ad court also sets up for him to hit overheads all over the court if he is right handed.

Like BB said, there are lots of ways to skin a cat. Finding what works for you is the key.

5263
11-11-2009, 07:02 PM
Like BB said, there are lots of ways to skin a cat. Finding what works for you is the key.

yep, but what I posted are some of the reasons bb would expect the Guy in the Ad court to be standard and to adjust from there based on player strengths and chemistry.

Topaz
11-11-2009, 07:04 PM
Topaz, what do you think about this? There has not been one time in one of my matches where I got mad and confronted a guy for hitting at me, nor has an opposing female done lectured my partner for it.
.

I had an issue with it once where I suspected head hunting.

This is where some men might have a problem. If the man is the better player, then the woman or the weaker player better listen and play as a team. The better players should generally be the leader and exhibit teamwork and direction.

Why is it up to the woman to 'listen and play as a team'? Why not *both of them*? If the guy, even if he is better, is suggesting something that the woman doesn't do well...uhhh, then she should just shut up and listen?

Why not encourage players to listen to each other and work together? Regardless of gender?

Like you later said...be encouraging and supportive of each other!

I once played on a mixed team that had this one guy that literally none of the women would play with...he yelled at his partner continuously in every match. He took absolutely no ownership of his own mistakes...and oddly enough, he is still down at 3.0, and *all* of the women from that team have since moved up to 3.5. No lie!

I am not trying to be rude... if you knew me it would be the last thing you would say about me.

And I consider myself to be that 5.0 guy... but most of the people that know me would say I am sandbagging and should be a 5.5

Well, I honestly didn't think you were trying to be...but again, do you see where maybe your comments are condescending? It is great that you love tennis and you have lots of experience...but you aren't the only one. And we all have different experiences and have the right to share them here.

And again, I still got my racquet on the 5.0 ball.

Thanks... I find it hard to post on this forum without sounding like I am some arrogant know it all. But some things to me seem rather obvious, but then as some here have said maybe I am just delusional.

The problem is that I had female friends that had scholarships with the U of Texas that I played with all the time and though they were pretty and hit the ball with some pace, they really were not much of a threat at the net unless you gave them a sitter. But I guess the women playing 3.5 are much better than I thought... and if that is the case. I owe someone an apology.

Well, that could be the case...I know here on TTW 3.5 is treated as the scourge of the levels, but it is usually people who don't play USTA and have no idea of the rating system (with all its ins, outs, and foibles) who have that view. Cindy and I (and Raiden) are all in the same section...and the mixed teams here are pretty darn solid. 3.5 covers a huge range of ability...as I'm sure you know. But generally speaking 3.5 players are solid intermediate level (assuming 4.5 as a high level).

you guys did it right for your strengths, but often the guy's best shot is his Fh and the ladies tend to often do better with their 2handed Bh. Guy in the Ad court also sets up for him to hit overheads all over the court if he is right handed.

With JRStriker, I played AD. We played to his strength, which also happened to line up with my strength (FH in the middle).

And, honestly...those of you who say a woman's BH is usually stronger, don't play much women's tennis do you? In my clinic groups, there isn't one of us who doesn't have a stronger FH than BH (me included), and at least three of us have FHs that you don't want to play to given the opportunity.

I think it is really kind of ignorant to continue making those kinds of blanket statements (about any gender at any level)....players are individuals.

Bungalo Bill
11-11-2009, 08:05 PM
Why is it up to the woman to 'listen and play as a team'? Why not *both of them*? If the guy, even if he is better, is suggesting something that the woman doesn't do well...uhhh, then she should just shut up and listen?

Topaz, I did indicate both and I think you should reread my post. Further down, I qualified that either player should be able to provide advice to their partner. However, the better player (whether male or female) should be considered more due to their experience and play. They in general will have played or play a more matured doubles game and whoever the weaker player is should consider the advice. In other words, odds are it will be good advice whether it might come across as criticism. There is nothing wrong with criticism as long as it is healthy and not self-serving.

I have played with women and I have rarely had a woman challenge me on the advice I gave concerning how we should play or if I tell her to reposition herself. However, I do realize we are living in a different age and some women may find that advice male chauvanistic. If they do, I start looking for another partner. I don't need the drama.

5263
11-11-2009, 08:24 PM
With JRStriker, I played AD. We played to his strength, which also happened to line up with my strength (FH in the middle).

And, honestly...those of you who say a woman's BH is usually stronger, don't play much women's tennis do you? In my clinic groups, there isn't one of us who doesn't have a stronger FH than BH (me included), and at least three of us have FHs that you don't want to play to given the opportunity.

I think it is really kind of ignorant to continue making those kinds of blanket statements (about any gender at any level)....players are individuals.

I agreed that a team plays to it's strength and I agreed with BB that the man in the Ad court is considered standard. Of course you are correct that I don't play with 3.5 women mixed much. Actually none to be exact. I only play mixed with double AA, high level women, which are normally college or previous college players and I try to avoid even that for the most part. They tend to have stronger 2handed Bhs at this level, but also tend to be weak at net relative to the men. I'm sure I don't want to face your fiery Fh, but besides that, I do pretty well against the women's shots.

Ripper014
11-11-2009, 08:32 PM
And, honestly...those of you who say a woman's BH is usually stronger, don't play much women's tennis do you? In my clinic groups, there isn't one of us who doesn't have a stronger FH than BH (me included), and at least three of us have FHs that you don't want to play to given the opportunity.

If you were my partner it would not be so much how good your forehand is as much as it would be how weak your backhand is. I would rather have you play the AD side where you could make the cross court backhand return and inside out forehand return opposed to you being able to hit big forehand returns off the deuce court but return every backhand to the net man.

For me it really is about minimizing our weaknesses, and then playing to our strengths... like has been mentioned all over this thread, just the way I like to do things. Not a strategy cut in stone... but it is what I lean towards as long as my partner is comfortable and confident with it.

naylor
11-12-2009, 12:34 AM
One more thing about mixed...
You guys are being played. Totally... the next time a female opponent tries this gamesmanship... Let her say her piece... If you were hitting a legitimate shot, suggest that she move back to the baseline and then keep playing your game... There has not been one time in one of my matches where I got mad and confronted a guy for hitting at me, nor has an opposing female done lectured my partner for it... The only time I heard through the grapevine a woman take exception to being hit at was a particular lady who is hypercompetive... Which only bolsters my belief that these objections are all gamesmanship.

All I can say is, I'll be happy to play mixed doubles in your planet (please send invite and plane / rocket ticket). I played a mixed competition two weekends ago and this is just two incidents:-
1. I intercepted a high service return from the ad side from her partner, played a high-volley that landed two feet inside the baseline and singles sideline, and as she was standing in the middle of the deuce service box (wrong place when receiving) the ball whistled past her head - I was accused of headhunting;
2. the opposition woman intercepted a shot from my partner from the ad side baseline weakly just over the net, so I just moved across to drill a backhand past her - as soon as she saw my move, she just shrieked and charged the net (kamikaze-style, except she was Russian, what's the Russian equivalent?)... I missed... so I glared at her, turned to my partner and told her that if she did that again I'd just drill her well and good. Anyhow, the opposition woman stayed at the baseline from them on - either I can glare in perfect Russian, or her English comprehension was a few levels higher than her tennis...

Frankly, my main beef about mixed doubles is not about being in a position to drill the woman at the net - if I drill her, the ball is somewhere close to her racket, and it only takes a lucky move by her to somehow knock the ball over my side for a lucky winner, so I always play it down (or to dip quickly over the net) to her feet; if she gets it back, there's no luck involved, she just played it well. My beef is when MY partner forgets that doubles is mostly about playing cross-court tidily to avoid the opposition netperson, her bad shot gets intercepted and I get drilled.

Still, I regard myself as a true egalitarian, I get just as p*ssed off when my partner does likewise in men's doubles - the only difference is if he does it twice, then my next "cross-court" will result in him eating a dose of fluff when the opponent at the net picks him off...

naylor
11-12-2009, 01:45 AM
If you were my partner it would not be so much how good your forehand is as much as it would be how weak your backhand is. I would rather have you play the AD side where you could make the cross court backhand return and inside out forehand return opposed to you being able to hit big forehand returns off the deuce court but return every backhand to the net manů it really is about minimizing our weaknesses, and then playing to our strengths... as long as my partner is comfortable and confident with it.

... Around here it is the consensus that the better player should play the ad side (can also be the girl) because that is where all the important points are played.

You can have the AD side so long as you are aggressive and take some risk on that side. :)

My feelings precisely, particularly Ripper's. I always play ad side in mixed, by I always go cross-court on returns (unless I get a short sitter where the better option to finish the point is to go past the netperson) and I always try to run around for an inside-out forehand to avoid the netperson and put the server under pressure (male or female).

However, when playing men's doubles, even though my backhand is the stronger side, if my partner is comfortable blocking backhand returns safely across and is aggressive enough with his forehand to run around to play it often from the ad side, then (unless we're playing a lefty with a swinging serve) I always let him play ad and take the deuce side. My own forehand returns are (not blistering, but) adequate and safe, my inside-out backhand returns (top or slice) are good, and I regularly drill topspin backhand returns down the line for winners to keep the netperson awake, so our team strengths cover the middle very well, and also any switches... only 1 loss in 30-odd competitive interclub men's doubles matches this year so far.

Ken Honecker
11-12-2009, 02:16 AM
"If my friend heard you say that 3.5 guys play the net better than 3.5 women, she would probably throw a blood clot!"

But I think overall it is very likely they do. Certainly there are some exceptions and in league play I would expect the women to be of a more agressive skill set then say a 3.5 you might run into at the city park. If I am not totally lost on the whole rating deal 3.5 are rec players and I've played a lot of other coed rec sports. I've played coed softball since 1985 and out of those 24 years we've only had a woman pitcher 3 1/2 years because the majority of women simply aren't dumb enough to stand that close to the batter. Heck Jerry had to wear shin pads this year because they kept pegging him.

In Spokane I can calmly state that 2/3 of the female tennis populace isn't comfortable at the net. Now that is from a small family sampling but only my eldest daughter wants any part of it while my wife and youngest are baseliners all the way.

Like any coed sport it is all about the women folk. If you have good girls you can get by with adequate men. I just wish I lived in a bigger market where I could get in on some of the fun.

Topaz
11-12-2009, 03:47 AM
Topaz, I did indicate both and I think you should reread my post. Further down, I qualified that either player should be able to provide advice to their partner. However, the better player (whether male or female) should be considered more due to their experience and play. They in general will have played or play a more matured doubles game and whoever the weaker player is should consider the advice. In other words, odds are it will be good advice whether it might come across as criticism. There is nothing wrong with criticism as long as it is healthy and not self-serving.

Yes, you did, and I had wanted to quote it, but I got all mixed up in the quoting...I did acknowledge that you said that and I think you are spot on (as usual).

The men who have been able to criticise in a healthy and not self-serving way in mixed, however, *in my experience*, are in the minority!

And the more mature doubles player, again, is not always the guy. Women around here play much more doubles and play many more doubles clinics than the men, who tend to go out and just 'hit around'. (yes, yes, generalization alert) But how many men will admit that to their female partner during a mixed match?

I have played with women and I have rarely had a woman challenge me on the advice I gave concerning how we should play or if I tell her to reposition herself. However, I do realize we are living in a different age and some women may find that advice male chauvanistic. If they do, I start looking for another partner. I don't need the drama.

Well, I imagine that you are also a supportive partner, and offer the advice in supportive way. JRStriker, again, was an awesome example of this. In devising strategy as a team, advice is going to be given...but it needs to be advice, and not 'orders'.

If you were my partner it would not be so much how good your forehand is as much as it would be how weak your backhand is. I would rather have you play the AD side where you could make the cross court backhand return and inside out forehand return opposed to you being able to hit big forehand returns off the deuce court but return every backhand to the net man.

For me it really is about minimizing our weaknesses, and then playing to our strengths... like has been mentioned all over this thread, just the way I like to do things. Not a strategy cut in stone... but it is what I lean towards as long as my partner is comfortable and confident with it.

Well, and that brings up an interesting point. Several people have said they put the guy in Ad automatically. If you put me in deuce, and we have smart opponents who serve down the T, the one return I do *not* have consistently is an inside out BH. I'd much rather return on the AD side (personally) because that is where I feel I'm the more effective returner.

Topaz
11-12-2009, 03:51 AM
"If my friend heard you say that 3.5 guys play the net better than 3.5 women, she would probably throw a blood clot!"

But I think overall it is very likely they do. Certainly there are some exceptions and in league play I would expect the women to be of a more agressive skill set then say a 3.5 you might run into at the city park. If I am not totally lost on the whole rating deal 3.5 are rec players and I've played a lot of other coed rec sports. I've played coed softball since 1985 and out of those 24 years we've only had a woman pitcher 3 1/2 years because the majority of women simply aren't dumb enough to stand that close to the batter. Heck Jerry had to wear shin pads this year because they kept pegging him.

In Spokane I can calmly state that 2/3 of the female tennis populace isn't comfortable at the net. Now that is from a small family sampling but only my eldest daughter wants any part of it while my wife and youngest are baseliners all the way.

Like any coed sport it is all about the women folk. If you have good girls you can get by with adequate men. I just wish I lived in a bigger market where I could get in on some of the fun.

But Cindy, who *is* a 3.5 woman and plays lots more doubles with women than you do (I'm willing to bet) is telling you her experience (which includes about a million doubles matches)...maybe the areas are different, but I find it interesting that you guys challenge her observations. You don't have to be a 4.5 or higher to make intelligent observations about the tennis that you see and play.

3.5 in this area is 'recreational' but also highly competitive.

Cindysphinx
11-12-2009, 05:24 AM
Eikel, I think you are missing the "joking" around in the posts. I am sure Cindy knows the stronger player plays the AD side. But you are right, the AD side should have the better player and some teams put the person who takes more risk and may not be as steady as his partner. Still other teams like the lefty in the AD court for various reasons.

No, I'm not joking. I play ad side in ladies and in mixed. The reason is that I like to hit my inside-out FH, and I like to hide my BH on the ad court (not good at inside-out BH). On good days, I can take my BH DTL to defeat a poacher. I lack confidence in my cross-court FH, and I tend to get seizures of stupidity and attempt to take my FH DTL too often. When I play ladies, I usually have the stronger overhead and can hit high BH volleys. So ad makes sense for me.

That said, I am learning the deuce side, but I rarely get an opportunity to play deuce in ladies matches. There are far more deuce players than ad players on my ladies team. In my last mixed match, however, I did play the second set on the deuce side (with a lefty partner!). I did really well, much better than when I played the ad side in the first set. So maybe there is hope for me?

FloridaAG
11-12-2009, 05:28 AM
I play mixed with my wife, I am a much stronger player than she is. Through trial and error we have learned that she plays much better in the Ad court - I have no idea why - her backhand is better than her forehand but for whatever reason, she is more comfortable over there and it works better for us.

Ken Honecker
11-12-2009, 05:39 AM
Maybe I come across as a doof but the doubles I see are on the public courts and in that situation quite often the women would just as soon not get too involved in the action. I'm sure it would be different if I belonged to a club but I don't, or if I played in a league but since I'm not sure if I want to sign up for a league that plays indoors in the winter I might never get that experience. As for tournements last year there was one in town and Jan. when there is 5 feet of snow on the ground isn't the heart of my tennis season.

Talking about which side a person plays on is interesting to me because believe it or not dispite the fact that I played a ton of doubles (mostly men) I never really equated side with ability. I played the deuce side because that felt right to me. Maybe my left leg is shorter because I also liked to play on the right side in football.

Now that I have been playing more mixed doubles with my family I have been taking the Ad side just because I have a better chance of not losing the final point on an ugly return.

Cindysphinx
11-12-2009, 05:46 AM
Back to net play, I don't think strength is what makes the men generally better. It is agility, quickness, and killer instinct.

Killer instinct? Sorry, but I don't think there is a gender difference here at all. Believe me, 3.5-4.0 women *want* to hit the ball hard, *want* to finish points with their overheads, *want* to have their volleys land for winners. They might or might not have the skills to make that happen, just like the men.

I think it is quaint and outdated in a competitive sport to suggest one gender doesn't have the "killer instinct." I have played with some mighty passive men, let me tell you. In fact, many of the errors I see in myself and my female partners are in trying to kill the ball too much.

Let me tell you about my net game. The biggest weakness in my net game is that I have poor hand-eye coordination and so I have a hard time taking on hard shots from too close to the net, something I think many women at my level or even below can do better than me. However I make up for it by being quick enough to close in on the net as soon as I see a shot that is weak from any position on the court. I can regularly hit putaway volleys on my first volley after serving. And when I hit putaways, people turn around because they know its coming hard and there's that intimidation factor.

Let me tell you about my net game. My biggest weakness at net is for shots to my body, as I tend not to get out of my own way and simply block the ball. I make up for it by being quick enough to close in on the net as soon as I see a shot that is weak from any position on the court. I can regularly hit putaway volleys on my first volley after serving (but I am learning that it is actually better to hit a deep slice approach volley instead). When I hit putaways, people don't tend to turn around and concede the point, but that's OK because I still win the point anyway.

Am I blowing smoke?

Last night, I played a 7.5 combo match. My opponents were a good 4.0 and a middle 3.5, and my partner was a middle 3.5. On my first service game, I stayed back and was broken.

For every single serve and return for the remainder of the match, I came to net immediately. Long story short: I played the net great, and I was really proud that I was brave enough to S&V consistently and effectively against a 4.0 with some fierce groundstrokes. And of course I follow good shots/lobs to net. I've been doing that for years.

Oh, well.

raiden031
11-12-2009, 05:47 AM
With JRStriker, I played AD. We played to his strength, which also happened to line up with my strength (FH in the middle).

And, honestly...those of you who say a woman's BH is usually stronger, don't play much women's tennis do you? In my clinic groups, there isn't one of us who doesn't have a stronger FH than BH (me included), and at least three of us have FHs that you don't want to play to given the opportunity.


Almost every mixed partner I've played with prefers the AD side. I prefer the deuce side, but usually base my decision around what my partner prefers. If they are better on the ad side, then I'm not going to make them play on their worst side.

Because I have better results in 8.0 mixed verses 7.0 mixed, I think the conclusion for me is that the weaker player makes the team. I might be the strongest player on the court in a 7.0 match and we'll still lose badly. Yet in 8.0 I can win or play a tight, competitive match even when the male opponent is better than me. So this is why I put more emphasis on my partner playing to their strengths than me playing to my strengths.

Also on the FH/BH thing, I too notice that the women tend to have more solid BHs. I think one generalized weakness of 3.5M league players is the un-developed one-handed backhand. They just arm the ball or block it just good enough to get the job done. I think the women can't really arm the ball because they don't have the strength, so you see them developing more 2-handers, which due to the stroke's restrictiveness, actually forces them to hit more properly. Although one weakness I notice with 3.5W is over-use of two-handed swinging volleys.

Cindysphinx
11-12-2009, 05:54 AM
I am not trying to be rude... if you knew me it would be the last thing you would say about me.

And I consider myself to be that 5.0 guy... but most of the people that know me would say I am sandbagging and should be a 5.5

Ripper, I think one issue we are having is that this board contains players from 2.5-6.0. As a result, it is always necessary to view everyone's remarks in light of their level.

If I say 3.5 men are not necessarily stronger at net than 3.5 women, that cannot be viewed through the lens of someone who is used to 5.0 men and women. If Topaz says she has a killer FH, she means she has a killer FH for her level -- obviously Nadal wouldn't be troubled by it.

So if I have way more experience in competitive matches at 7.0 mixed and I tell you something about how the 3.5 men tend to play, there might be something to my observations. Similarly, if you told me something about how 5.0 women play, I'd have to respect that because I have no experience with it.

One more thing: I think it is important that folks not "pull rank" in these discussions. I mean, some technical stuff people say is objectively wrong, and someone who is an instructor or a high-level player would likely know more. But much of what is discussed is level-specific. If I am discussing something with someone who is a 3.0, it is hardly helpful for me to bolster my argument with "Puh. I play 3.5 and 4.0, so what I say has more weight."

raiden031
11-12-2009, 05:56 AM
Killer instinct? Sorry, but I don't think there is a gender difference here at all. Believe me, 3.5-4.0 women *want* to hit the ball hard, *want* to finish points with their overheads, *want* to have their volleys land for winners. They might or might not have the skills to make that happen, just like the men.

I think it is quaint and outdated in a competitive sport to suggest one gender doesn't have the "killer instinct." I have played with some mighty passive men, let me tell you. In fact, many of the errors I see in myself and my female partners are in trying to kill the ball too much.

Let me tell you about my net game. My biggest weakness at net is for shots to my body, as I tend not to get out of my own way and simply block the ball. I make up for it by being quick enough to close in on the net as soon as I see a shot that is weak from any position on the court. I can regularly hit putaway volleys on my first volley after serving (but I am learning that it is actually better to hit a deep slice approach volley instead). When I hit putaways, people don't tend to turn around and concede the point, but that's OK because I still win the point anyway.

Am I blowing smoke?

Last night, I played a 7.5 combo match. My opponents were a good 4.0 and a middle 3.5, and my partner was a middle 3.5. On my first service game, I stayed back and was broken.

For every single serve and return for the remainder of the match, I came to net immediately. Long story short: I played the net great, and I was really proud that I was brave enough to S&V consistently and effectively against a 4.0 with some fierce groundstrokes. And of course I follow good shots/lobs to net. I've been doing that for years.

Oh, well.

What you describe of yourself doesn't fit the profile of what I've played against. There are always exceptions. It could be all relative as well...maybe what you consider quickness and aggressiveness aren't what I consider them to be.

You also talk about signals and aussie formation like its commonly used, but in 3 seasons of men's, combo, and mixed, I've rarely come across opponents who utilize these strategies.

Cindysphinx
11-12-2009, 06:05 AM
Although one weakness I notice with 3.5W is over-use of two-handed swinging volleys.

Truer words were never spoken.

I am feeling some frustration today. I played last night with a woman who takes clinic with me. We do great together. She has great groundstrokes. Great serve. Great 1HBH approach volley. I love her to death.

But despite the fact that she can dig out low 1HBH approach volleys that are below net level, when she is close to the net and she has a high volley she hits a 2HBH volley. And these 2HBH volleys find the bottom of the net a high percentage of the time. It is her Achilles heel. I hit a good serve, a floater comes to her BH when she is right on top of the net, and her 2HBH volley takes it into the net.

After our match, I finally said something. She was expressing frustration about missing so many easy volleys, and I suggested she would do better to hit all of her volleys with 1H like her approach volleys. She said what everyone says when given this advice: "My arm/wrist isn't strong enough and I wouldn't get enough pace with just 1H." Gah! If you are strong enough to zing low approach volleys from deep in the court with 1HBH, how can it be tougher when you are right on top of the net finishing a high volley? I told her to talk to our pro about it; don't know if she will.

Serious question: Why is it that people have such a hard time finishing a head-high volley with 2HBH? I have seen this problem with a lot of men and women.

Topaz
11-12-2009, 06:08 AM
Maybe I come across as a doof but the doubles I see are on the public courts and in that situation quite often the women would just as soon not get too involved in the action. I'm sure it would be different if I belonged to a club but I don't, or if I played in a league but since I'm not sure if I want to sign up for a league that plays indoors in the winter I might never get that experience. As for tournements last year there was one in town and Jan. when there is 5 feet of snow on the ground isn't the heart of my tennis season.

Talking about which side a person plays on is interesting to me because believe it or not dispite the fact that I played a ton of doubles (mostly men) I never really equated side with ability. I played the deuce side because that felt right to me. Maybe my left leg is shorter because I also liked to play on the right side in football.

Now that I have been playing more mixed doubles with my family I have been taking the Ad side just because I have a better chance of not losing the final point on an ugly return.

Ok, there is a *big* difference between the type of competitive league mixed that Cindy, Raiden, and I are talking about and what you are observing.

I hear 'ya on the weather...feels like we're in the middle of monsoon season here! :(

In women's doubles, which side I play is different depending on partner. With some, we click one way, and with others, we work a different way. That's part of the challenge of doubles...figuring out how best you work *as a team*.

Topaz
11-12-2009, 06:12 AM
Serious question: Why is it that people have such a hard time finishing a head-high volley with 2HBH? I have seen this problem with a lot of men and women.

In my clinics, when we work on high volleys, we concentrate on keeping the 'other' hand high (high with the racquet hand) to keep the body balanced. For me, that also helps keep me from swinging...most of the time. So, when that high volley comes, both hands go up.

And, FYI, probably took me at least a good year to transition my BH volley from a two hander to a decent one hander. I would imagine many players who are happy where they are are not going to put in that blood, sweat, time, and tears to change the stroke.

raiden031
11-12-2009, 07:06 AM
Serious question: Why is it that people have such a hard time finishing a head-high volley with 2HBH? I have seen this problem with a lot of men and women.

Are you talking about swinging volleys? Those are what I was referring to, and they are much more difficult to time correctly, which is why they always get dumped into the net. I've actually done swinging volley drills with my ball machine (although one-handed on both sides) and it always starts off with like 10 of them at the bottom of the net until I figure out the right timing.

Nellie
11-12-2009, 07:33 AM
Serious question: Why is it that people have such a hard time finishing a head-high volley with 2HBH? I have seen this problem with a lot of men and women.

Because people start low and finish below the ball (thereby having a swing path that sweeps way up vertically to contact, and then sweeps back down vertically), leading to a very hard shot to time. People also try to hit down at the ball instead of through the ball (gravity will bring it down). If, instead, you start high, hit straight through the ball and finish high, the shot is pretty easy.

P.S. - I have been hitting a swinging slice volley in this situation (kind of like a backhand overhead), which I find to be much easier to hit with a little bit of practice.

Cindysphinx
11-12-2009, 08:31 AM
Are you talking about swinging volleys? Those are what I was referring to, and they are much more difficult to time correctly, which is why they always get dumped into the net. I've actually done swinging volley drills with my ball machine (although one-handed on both sides) and it always starts off with like 10 of them at the bottom of the net until I figure out the right timing.

Swinging volley? Really?

I'm not sure how much that happens. Either my partner is at net and is most likely to hit a regular volley, or she is at baseline and is loathe to take a ball out of the air, but I wouldn't know because I am in front of her. So I don't see that very often.

BTW, you mentioned earlier that I said I see a lot of people playing Australian and doing signaled poaches. If I said that, I misspoke. I mean that *I* like to do signaled poaches and play Australian. I get the impression that many of my opponents do not have much experience with it, which is why it has been helpful in turning around a match and getting some cheap points.

I am starting to see a bit of signaling from some opponents at 7.5 combo. Twice so far this season, out of three matches played (one that was an exhibition that didn't go into TennisLink). In the exhibition match, they only started signaling because we did it first! :)

Bungalo Bill
11-12-2009, 08:47 AM
Yes, you did, and I had wanted to quote it, but I got all mixed up in the quoting...I did acknowledge that you said that and I think you are spot on (as usual).

The men who have been able to criticise in a healthy and not self-serving way in mixed, however, *in my experience*, are in the minority!

And the more mature doubles player, again, is not always the guy. Women around here play much more doubles and play many more doubles clinics than the men, who tend to go out and just 'hit around'. (yes, yes, generalization alert) But how many men will admit that to their female partner during a mixed match?

Well, I imagine that you are also a supportive partner, and offer the advice in supportive way. JRStriker, again, was an awesome example of this. In devising strategy as a team, advice is going to be given...but it needs to be advice, and not 'orders'.

Got to be. Nothing worse than a demanding nitwit that makes mistakes themselves bossing their partner around. This happens both from men and women. They are the ones that blame you for not being able to defend the net because of their poor serve placement or pace. You get killed and blamed for not handling it!!! lol

And yes, on court, when playing with a player that is rated lower, whether male or female, I move into a mode where I would rather develop teamwork and enjoyment rather than just have a goal of winning. Dont get me wrong, winning is important, but teamwork and mutual respect is more important to me in that situation.

Recently, there was an elderly lady, very nice person, wanting to play tennis. She was getting up in age and didnt have that spring in her step. However, she really wanted to play. Age has settled into her joints and she didnt have the elasticity in her muscles she once had, but she was just a great person.

It was a pleasure to play along side her and be her partner. She really wanted to improve and compete. Her serve was nothing special of course, and instead of telling her "serve here, with this pace" or getting on her because she didnt know where to be at certain times, I just enjoyed the spirit she brought to the table.

We lost, but we had fun playing as a team.

Ripper014
11-12-2009, 10:58 AM
Ripper, I think one issue we are having is that this board contains players from 2.5-6.0. As a result, it is always necessary to view everyone's remarks in light of their level.

If I say 3.5 men are not necessarily stronger at net than 3.5 women, that cannot be viewed through the lens of someone who is used to 5.0 men and women. If Topaz says she has a killer FH, she means she has a killer FH for her level -- obviously Nadal wouldn't be troubled by it.

So if I have way more experience in competitive matches at 7.0 mixed and I tell you something about how the 3.5 men tend to play, there might be something to my observations. Similarly, if you told me something about how 5.0 women play, I'd have to respect that because I have no experience with it.

One more thing: I think it is important that folks not "pull rank" in these discussions. I mean, some technical stuff people say is objectively wrong, and someone who is an instructor or a high-level player would likely know more. But much of what is discussed is level-specific. If I am discussing something with someone who is a 3.0, it is hardly helpful for me to bolster my argument with "Puh. I play 3.5 and 4.0, so what I say has more weight."

Actually I find it difficult to find people that play at my level anymore... the higher you go the fewer people there are around. I have moved since coming back to tennis... and the level of play here is not that high. I do get a chance to play with a lot of 3.0 and 3.5 players because they are the majority of the people that play. As I mentioned earlier... I play for fun... and I genuinely like these people and live vicariously through their successes. Yes I do patronize them to some point since I do not blast the ball past them, but they are not so delusional that they think they play at my level. We enjoy the game... I always leave them openings to hit winners and when they do I see a fist pump or a big smile (love to see that).

I guess my point is that I am not totally out of touch with players at lower levels of play. It is sometimes what you thing you have experienced is not really what it is. An example is that you may think you are having a great day at the net... but if you actually tracked your points... half your shots were errors.

I like to tell a story of when I first started playing... I could play for an hour and a half... make one great shot... and that memory would bring me back to play. If I ever looked at my overall play and thought of all the horrible shots I made I may never have come back.

Just one last story... I was at a local court the other day and was just finishing up when I noticed someone hitting serves on another court. He had been there since we started our last set of play. So I asked him how he was doing and if he was with anyone. He said he was there for a 4.0 match but it didn't seem like his opponent was going to show up. So being the friendly guy I am I asked if he would like to hit for a bit. I took out a old wooden frame from my bag, an old Slazenger. We hit for a little while and then he asked if I would be willing to play a set with him. Again I am not one to say no... I ended up beating him 6-1 6-0, I did not aggressively go after him, he just did not have any weapons that could hurt me. Afterwards he said to me it was the most enjoyable tennis he had maybe ever played.

My point is that I am not a bad guy... and I really do not have anything to prove. As you stated... our viewpoints are our viewpoints. But give us some credit too... we have played with other levels of players, even if it was not last week... at one time we were the 3.5 player.

Looking over this post I think I talk too much.. lol

Ripper014
11-12-2009, 11:06 AM
It was a pleasure to play along side her and be her partner. She really wanted to improve and compete. Her serve was nothing special of course, and instead of telling her "serve here, with this pace" or getting on her because she didnt know where to be at certain times, I just enjoyed the spirit she brought to the table.

We lost, but we had fun playing as a team.

I like this guys attitude, there are times you play for the enjoyment of the game... and there are times you play to compete.

I would play with that woman anytime as long as she had a good attitude.


There is one more point I would like to make... and it might come back to bite me in the ***. As mentioned I am sure everyone on the forum has seen or played with members of both sexes in most of the levels. Especially if you have played the game long enough. But consider this... don't you think maybe... just maybe some of these people are better to evaluate your level of play and skills since they have less invested?


<<< Bending over preparing to get bitten.

naylor
11-12-2009, 04:10 PM
... there are times you play for the enjoyment of the game... and there are times you play to compete...

Absolutely right. A (male) friend and I - we're 4.5 and doubles specialists - got paired with a couple of 3.0 ladies to play mixed for half-an-hour at our club. The first couple of points (one of the ladies serving) soon developed into baseline-to-baseline high cross-court loops between the girls - he and I just stood in the service boxes, looked at each other and watched the exchange. What we then did is to fit in some control practice for ourselves. First, every time the serve came to one of us, we'd return to the man (if serving, to force him to pick up a volley at his feet when coming in, and then a second volley at the net; if at the net, then one volley to the forehand and one to the backhand). By that time, we knew where our partners were, so at that point whoever was hitting would play to the opposition girl, close enough for her to be able to get to the ball and hit it, but also forcing her to move for each shot. Then, the rally would continue. If it was between the girls, then we simply waited for play to switch to us naturally or for an easy intercept, we tested each other with a couple of volley/pass routines, and back to the girls. But if the girl started rallying with one of us, then we'd keep rallying back to her, forcing her to stay in the point for an extra shot, and another, and another. Serving was strictly seconds, with a bit of kick to force the receiving girl to watch the ball for the break.

The end result is that we had lots of pretty long rallies, and the mistakes that ended them were fairly evenly spread amongst the 4. At the end of the game, one of the girls said she'd enjoyed it tremendously - she'd probably hit twice as many balls (so played about twice as much tennis) as she would have hit in an all-3.0 foursome. And my mate and I didn't disagree with her assessment, we'd also got good value from keeping the ball going for long rallies.

Cindysphinx
11-12-2009, 05:14 PM
But consider this... don't you think maybe... just maybe some of these people are better to evaluate your level of play and skills since they have less invested?


Only if they have actually seen me play.

Ripper014
11-12-2009, 05:35 PM
Only if they have actually seen me play.

Sorry when I said you... I meant it in a generic way towards all 3.5 players, not you specifically.

Ripper014
11-12-2009, 05:38 PM
Absolutely right. A (male) friend and I - we're 4.5 and doubles specialists - got paired with a couple of 3.0 ladies to play mixed for half-an-hour at our club. The first couple of points (one of the ladies serving) soon developed into baseline-to-baseline high cross-court loops between the girls - he and I just stood in the service boxes, looked at each other and watched the exchange. What we then did is to fit in some control practice for ourselves. First, every time the serve came to one of us, we'd return to the man (if serving, to force him to pick up a volley at his feet when coming in, and then a second volley at the net; if at the net, then one volley to the forehand and one to the backhand). By that time, we knew where our partners were, so at that point whoever was hitting would play to the opposition girl, close enough for her to be able to get to the ball and hit it, but also forcing her to move for each shot. Then, the rally would continue. If it was between the girls, then we simply waited for play to switch to us naturally or for an easy intercept, we tested each other with a couple of volley/pass routines, and back to the girls. But if the girl started rallying with one of us, then we'd keep rallying back to her, forcing her to stay in the point for an extra shot, and another, and another. Serving was strictly seconds, with a bit of kick to force the receiving girl to watch the ball for the break.

The end result is that we had lots of pretty long rallies, and the mistakes that ended them were fairly evenly spread amongst the 4. At the end of the game, one of the girls said she'd enjoyed it tremendously - she'd probably hit twice as many balls (so played about twice as much tennis) as she would have hit in an all-3.0 foursome. And my mate and I didn't disagree with her assessment, we'd also got good value from keeping the ball going for long rallies.

That is pretty much exactly what I do... except I will play it back until they hit a winner or they miss the ball. And I have been there with the cross court rallys... standing there feeling like a stick of furniture... and then perhaps a lob into the other corner, and the cross court play starts all over again.

tennytive
11-14-2009, 06:58 AM
I hit a good serve, a floater comes to her BH when she is right on top of the net, and her 2HBH volley takes it into the net.

I sympathize.

If it's really a high floater, she should have time to slide over a few steps and hit a forehand. Otherwise blocking the ball to the open court with a firm backhand and essentially no swing at all should be the easiest option. It isn't how hard she hits the ball, it's where that's most important.

Many players see some of the pros using a swing volley and think that's the answer, when it's really one of the hardest shots to make because of the exact timing required.

Good luck when you play with her next.

J011yroger
11-14-2009, 07:37 AM
Wow...surprised to find so few positive responses. In the last year or so, I have been practicing a lot with the local 9.0 and 10.0 teams. Has been an absolute blast, and the girls are great.

*shrug*

As far as strategy, I just play like normal dubs. Doesn't matter if the opponent/partner is a guy or gal, I just look at strengths/weaknesses. I just don't get the guy this girl that strategy, I mean, if you can serve, return, and volley, then it shouldn't matter who is on the other side of the net, just hit your shots.

J

GuyClinch
11-14-2009, 09:46 AM
There is a huge gap between college women - and older late 30 - 50 something women with almost nothing in between, IMHO. Be happy you get a chance to hit with that first crowd..

Pete

naylor
11-14-2009, 11:10 AM
There is a huge gap between college women - and older late 30 - 50 something women with almost nothing in between... Pete

You're absolutely right there. On Friday, I watched our top women in a club match - they and the opposition were not a day past 21 (average age, about 18 ). Yesterday, I watched a match played by their reserves, if anything the avearge age was lower, but there was the odd granny in her late 20s (the team captain!). The women in the next team down in my club (who play top interclub mixed), the average age is 40-45.

Looks like tennis becomes a no-no sport for women between the ages of 20 and 40. Obviously, other interests and priorities kick in.

Ripper014
11-14-2009, 12:16 PM
There is a huge gap between college women - and older late 30 - 50 something women with almost nothing in between, IMHO. Be happy you get a chance to hit with that first crowd..

I would not put it this way... it is more about skill than age. You can be 30-50 and still be skilled... Stefi Graf is half way to 50... she can serve and return and she is an "OK" volleyer.

I am glad someone resurrected this thread... it is my favorite, seems to almost get personal... I kind of like that. I like to have people say what is on their mind.

J011yroger
11-14-2009, 12:25 PM
Stefi Graf is half way to 50.

Isn't half way to 50 25?

J

Topaz
11-14-2009, 12:27 PM
Looks like tennis becomes a no-no sport for women between the ages of 20 and 40. Obviously, other interests and priorities kick in.

Hmmm, and what do you think they might be? ;)

I'm 34, started playing again at 29. At that time, and even still now, I'm the youngest woman on my USTA team!

maverick66
11-14-2009, 12:30 PM
Isn't half way to 50 25?

J

Maybe in your twisted world but in the real world half way to 50 makes her anywhere between 20-49.:)

As for having a mixed doubs partner give me a girl that can play angles over a blaster anyday. Very few female players play angles anymore. If you find one that does dont ever let her play with someone else as you want to hold onto her for future winning.

Ripper014
11-14-2009, 04:05 PM
Isn't half way to 50 25?

J

Ya sorry I was thinking of her being between 40 and 50... I think she is 45.

5263
12-01-2009, 07:33 AM
Sure, go ahead and generalize. I certainly do.



Just a point that may have been mentioned in this thread somewhere.

The NTRP system accounts for gender , at a minimum. Not saying women or men are higher on the scale (i won't go there), but when looking at your rating, it is figured against your own gender. So if a gal is out there winning some and losing some against 4.0 men, that does not mean she is a 4.0
My guess is she would be higher rated against against the proper measurement based on playing other ladies , and how she fares at the different levels with them.

Also says you are the rating of your best, either doubles or singles. So a guy like me, who plays more doubles and is not really in shape for tough singles running, might get whacked good in a singles match at my level, whatever that is, based on doubles.
Very interesting...

GuyClinch
12-02-2009, 05:18 AM
^^^ I have never heard of any age modifier. NTRP based on competition. If your a 60 year old guy and you consistently lose to a 3.0 20 year olds - your not a 4.0 just because of your age.


As for the "gender" modifier.. It just reflects that women lose to men rated .5 to 1 level lower then them. Thus a 3.5 women can lose to a very athletic younger guy who is just starting out (2.5) - or a 3.0 male "hacker" and Serena gets smacked down by a chain smoking '200' ranked pro..

Pete

naylor
12-02-2009, 11:56 AM
... As for the "gender" modifier.. It just reflects that women lose to men rated .5 to 1 level lower then them...

OK, just so that I undertand you correctly, let's assume you have 4 men, who all know how to play doubles, and all ranked 4.0. Then, in principle, a doubles match between them will be reasonably balanced.

Now, let's pick any two of them, and pair them with two women, who again know how to play doubles, to play a mixed match. If I understand you correctly, for that mixed to be reasonably balanced again (with the women not being the "weak link" in each pairing), the women have to be graded 4.5 or 5.0. Have I got it right?

Thanks!

5263
12-02-2009, 02:18 PM
Pete, looks like I mis-read it.
instead of your age, it was
ANy age... lol.
I was surprised too when I mis-read this, as I had never heard any ref to age before.
Oh well, thanks for pointing it out.

papa
12-03-2009, 04:33 PM
One of the things that happens is that players do not like (except in tournaments) like to be ranked lower as they age. They, again most, feel that "by God I got to that level (whatever it may be) and I'll be damned if I'm going backward". I think they look at it like a educational degree - doesn't seem to matter that kids today might be exposed/challenged more or more might be expected of them. I've know players who have actually quit the game because they were going to be demoted/asked to play at a lower level -- hard for many to accept that their skill levels have fallen off.

There is also this "the older I get the better I was concept".

Also, for many, where they play (geographical speaking) creeps into the picture. For instance is a 4.0 player from the mid-west (doesn't matter what area you choose) equal to a 4.0 from Florida or Russia? Its supposed to be the same but is it?

So the bottom line is that everything in life is relative. When we say someone is good, we are measuring them to some standard and most of time its a local measure. We also have this "self rated" business going on which really messes up the whole picture. When the player really get good locally and start to travel they more often than not, find they aren't quite as good as they/others thought. So the argument goes on and on.