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Sailing-fool
02-08-2010, 09:27 AM
I'm a returning player after taking 20 years off. I'm a tall man and have an imposing serve, and love being aggressive at the net and am hard to lob over. I'm playing a fair amount of mixed doubles. Do I need to back off the serves and volleys to the woman, or can I play every shot to win like when I play men? Of course I direct overheads away from the opponents if possible, but do aim for the feet often when volleying...

HitItHarder
02-08-2010, 09:33 AM
This thread has a pretty good discussion/debate about playing mixed, including my own experiences.

I would say start there.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=300709&highlight=about+play+mixed+first+time

mirnyifan
02-08-2010, 09:45 AM
Hit that big serve and drive those volleys at her feet... but be nice about it. Don't back off!

blakesq
02-08-2010, 11:40 AM
first question: are you playing in a social setting, or a competitive setting? If the former, then you usually take it easy on the women. If the latter, anything goes.

But you should be able to tell also, on how your male opponents play too.

I'm a returning player after taking 20 years off. I'm a tall man and have an imposing serve, and love being aggressive at the net and am hard to lob over. I'm playing a fair amount of mixed doubles. Do I need to back off the serves and volleys to the woman, or can I play every shot to win like when I play men? Of course I direct overheads away from the opponents if possible, but do aim for the feet often when volleying...

raiden031
02-08-2010, 11:46 AM
Don't ever double fault against the female opponent...

Ripper014
02-08-2010, 12:06 PM
first question: are you playing in a social setting, or a competitive setting? If the former, then you usually take it easy on the women. If the latter, anything goes.

But you should be able to tell also, on how your male opponents play too.


Mixed doubles is an ugly animal... even if you take your que off your male opponent it could put you at a major disadvantage... if he is a steady pusher. Since you are a big server who would not be using your best weapon, yet he is playing to his strength.

Geezer Guy
02-08-2010, 12:51 PM
Social XD - be nice, work on your touch volley's, laugh a lot.

Competitive XD - play hard, but don't hurt anyone.

Ironwood
02-08-2010, 02:23 PM
I play social mixed doubles once a week in addition mens doubles. Often social mixed doubles where you mix pairs of varying ability around, is nothing more than singles with interference!

jswinf
02-08-2010, 03:24 PM
Social XD - be nice, work on your touch volley's, laugh a lot.

Competitive XD - play hard, but don't hurt anyone.

Can't say it better than that, so I'll second it.

kelkat
02-08-2010, 03:36 PM
"...is nothing more than singles with interference!"

That's pretty funny.

raiden031
02-08-2010, 03:41 PM
"...is nothing more than singles with interference!"

That's pretty funny.

I feel like I'm playing monkey in the middle when I play mixed, and I'm always the monkey trying to get to the ball.

OrangePower
02-08-2010, 04:08 PM
I don't play mixed often; when I do, it's just social matches. But in my group of friends (most are at the 4.5 level) everyone is pretty competitive and will play every shot to win (but obviously not trying to hurt anyone). Actually my experience is that many women can handle the power ok if the ball is coming to them, but are not as strong if the ball is away from them or has heavy spin. So in some cases you might be better off taking off some power from your shots not to be nice but in order to be most effective.

Racer41c
02-08-2010, 04:08 PM
I'm a returning player after taking 20 years off. I'm a tall man and have an imposing serve, and love being aggressive at the net and am hard to lob over. I'm playing a fair amount of mixed doubles. Do I need to back off the serves and volleys to the woman, or can I play every shot to win like when I play men? Of course I direct overheads away from the opponents if possible, but do aim for the feet often when volleying...

On the serve, let it fly. If the return is weak your partner is cleaning up the points.

On volleys, hit your shot.

At some point, you need to be playing the right level against women who can handle your stuff. All the women I know who play 5.0 + can handle pretty much everything.

papatenis
02-08-2010, 04:21 PM
It really depends on what level you play.

If you are 3.5 and lower, then just play your game.

If you are 4.0 and above, have good control of your shots then;
Social matches, just keep the ball in play, forcing the women to make the error. Seconds serves only.

Tournament match play, anything goes.

OrangePower
02-08-2010, 05:08 PM
It really depends on what level you play.

If you are 3.5 and lower, then just play your game.

If you are 4.0 and above, have good control of your shots then;
Social matches, just keep the ball in play, forcing the women to make the error. Seconds serves only.

Tournament match play, anything goes.

???

I think you're underestimating the skills of 4.0+ women. Just keeping the ball in play isn't going to get it done. Unless you're a 6.0 of course (are you?)

papatenis
02-08-2010, 05:21 PM
???

I think you're underestimating the skills of 4.0+ women. Just keeping the ball in play isn't going to get it done. Unless you're a 6.0 of course (are you?)

A women that plays at the 4.0 and above are fair game. But it really depends on your level of play.

Social tennis should be fun.

Cruzer
02-08-2010, 06:58 PM
Generally in social mixed doubles the guys back off a little assuming that they are significantly stronger then the women. In some cases the guys need all the shots they have when playing mixed doubles because they don't know how to play doubles and/or they aren't very good.

The downside to social mixed doubles when the guys are expected to just "play nice" is that it gets real boring real fast. My wife has hooked me into playing a few of these types of matches over the years and they are not a whole heck of a lot of fun. Unless I have a singles match lined up after the mixed doubles torture is over I try to avoid social mixed doubles.

In competitive mixed doubles anything goes particularly since there tend to be a higher number of b*****s playing at the 4.0 and above level and they don't play social mixed doubles.

rich s
02-08-2010, 07:09 PM
I'm a returning player after taking 20 years off. I'm a tall man and have an imposing serve, and love being aggressive at the net and am hard to lob over. I'm playing a fair amount of mixed doubles. Do I need to back off the serves and volleys to the woman, or can I play every shot to win like when I play men? Of course I direct overheads away from the opponents if possible, but do aim for the feet often when volleying...

Bring what ya got.... both your opponents chose to be on the court opposite you. If either of them can't hack it, they shouldn't be there.

I can guarantee no one is letting up for you......

tennisplayer3275
02-08-2010, 07:14 PM
I play a ton of mixed doubles and agree with the previous posts on social vs. competitive. Social should be fun for everyone...I have played too many matches where one person takes it too seriously and no one has fun. As for competitive...let it rip (without hurting someone)...the other team wants to win just as badly as you do.

sureshs
02-09-2010, 08:22 AM
On Sunday, I hit two hard shots at the opposing woman. They were forehand groundies hit from the baseline, not overhead smashes. Both times, she lost the point, and made a snide Ouch remark with a sarcastic smile. Another time, I hit an overhead towards the legs of my male opponent. It was a winner, but it didn't touch him. She said loudly to him: at least he did that to you, not to me.

I didn't appreciate being stereotyped as some sort of an uncivilized male brute. I now understand how the Geico caveman feels like.

charliefedererer
02-09-2010, 08:30 AM
What we have here is a failure to comminicate.

ASK your partner what the "groundrules" are in hitting out during your mixed doubles match.

ASK your opponents what their expectations are in hitting out during the forthcoming match.

Clearly you've recognized the potential for hard feelings, so do your best to mitigate problems by starting a dialogue that should continue during the match.

Men may be from Mars, and women from Venus. But we play mixed doubles here on earth.

raiden031
02-09-2010, 08:34 AM
On Sunday, I hit two hard shots at the opposing woman. They were forehand groundies hit from the baseline, not overhead smashes. Both times, she lost the point, and made a snide Ouch remark with a sarcastic smile. Another time, I hit an overhead towards the legs of my male opponent. It was a winner, but it didn't touch him. She said loudly to him: at least he did that to you, not to me.

I didn't appreciate being stereotyped as some sort of an uncivilized male brute. I now understand how the Geico caveman feels like.

I've been playing mixed for three years: social, 6.0, 7.0, and 8.0, and I never go easy against the woman, and not once has anyone ever made any comment about me playing too hard.

It just seems asinine that someone would walk onto a tennis court with the expectation that their opponent(s) aren't going to try their best. I don't even believe half of what people post on these mixed threads because of this. Its all in your heads.

Geezer Guy
02-09-2010, 08:46 AM
I used to play mixed in little tournaments in our subdivision. Between the older ladies that play just once a week, and the younger gals that play often (and competitivie), there was just no way to please everyone. Now I avoid mixed doubles like the plague.

sureshs
02-09-2010, 08:47 AM
What we have here is a failure to comminicate.

ASK your partner what the "groundrules" are in hitting out during your mixed doubles match.

ASK your opponents what their expectations are in hitting out during the forthcoming match.

Clearly you've recognized the potential for hard feelings, so do your best to mitigate problems by starting a dialogue that should continue during the match.

Men may be from Mars, and women from Venus. But we play mixed doubles here on earth.

Are you suggesting that before a match (social or competitive), we should ask the opponent team: Hey, the guy amongst us hits very hard. Should he go hard against your gal?

It would be perceived as an arrogant statement and demeaning to the woman. Even the woman on your side may not like the condescending tone.

blakesq
02-09-2010, 08:55 AM
Sureshs is in your face about it, but I think he is correct. Just play tennis.

Are you suggesting that before a match (social or competitive), we should ask the opponent team: Hey, the guy amongst us hits very hard. Should he go hard against your gal?

It would be perceived as an arrogant statement and demeaning to the woman. Even the woman on your side may not like the condescending tone.

sureshs
02-09-2010, 08:57 AM
Sureshs is in your face about it, but I think he is correct. Just play tennis.

I am unfailingly polite. It is only some people who follow me around who are in your face.

Cindysphinx
02-09-2010, 10:00 AM
What we have here is a failure to comminicate.

ASK your partner what the "groundrules" are in hitting out during your mixed doubles match.

ASK your opponents what their expectations are in hitting out during the forthcoming match.

Clearly you've recognized the potential for hard feelings, so do your best to mitigate problems by starting a dialogue that should continue during the match.

Men may be from Mars, and women from Venus. But we play mixed doubles here on earth.

Disagree strongly.

If my male partner asked me before a league match whether he should go easy on the opposing female, I would raise an eyebrow before telling him to Bring It.

If the opposing male asked this of us before a match began, I would know I was dealing with a Mixed Doubles Noob who wouldn't be comfortable hitting at me. I would exploit this as much as possible.

Geezer Guy
02-09-2010, 10:11 AM
If my male partner asked me before a league match whether he should go easy on the opposing female, I would raise an eyebrow before telling him to Bring It.

If the opposing male asked this of us before a match began, I would know I was dealing with a Mixed Doubles Noob who wouldn't be comfortable hitting at me. I would exploit this as much as possible.

Most of us have agreed that, within reason, competitive matches are to be played competitively. A league match would fall into that area in most cases. The difference is in a "social" match, where skill levels are likely to vary, and the main objective is to have fun. In that case, the more highly skilled players can encourage the fun times if they're not blasting away winners on their hapless opponents. That does not apply to only mixed doubles (or only tennis, for that matter).

Cindysphinx
02-09-2010, 11:06 AM
Most of us have agreed that, within reason, competitive matches are to be played competitively. A league match would fall into that area in most cases. The difference is in a "social" match, where skill levels are likely to vary, and the main objective is to have fun. In that case, the more highly skilled players can encourage the fun times if they're not blasting away winners on their hapless opponents. That does not apply to only mixed doubles (or only tennis, for that matter).

Exactly. We all know that in a social match, stronger players should not aim to destroy their weaker compatriots. Only in the context of mixed doubles do guys suddenly wring their hands about how they should play.

I'm with Raiden. I play mixed, and I just don't believe all of these stories about how the male is made out to be the bad guy if he goes out to win. I think the guys telling these stories go into the match a bit nervous because they've little experience playing with women, so they interpret any little thing as proof that there is some secret code that they can't just play tennis.

In my last 7.0 match, my highly skilled partner was *crushing* his serves and groundies to the female player. She moonballed most of these balls back in rather impressive fashion. Had my partner not played lights out, we would have lost. I am glad he understands that and didn't tank the match out of some misguided notions of chivalry.

Ripper014
02-09-2010, 11:42 AM
Exactly. We all know that in a social match, stronger players should not aim to destroy their weaker compatriots. Only in the context of mixed doubles do guys suddenly wring their hands about how they should play.

I'm with Raiden. I play mixed, and I just don't believe all of these stories about how the male is made out to be the bad guy if he goes out to win. I think the guys telling these stories go into the match a bit nervous because they've little experience playing with women, so they interpret any little thing as proof that there is some secret code that they can't just play tennis.

In my last 7.0 match, my highly skilled partner was *crushing* his serves and groundies to the female player. She moonballed most of these balls back in rather impressive fashion. Had my partner not played lights out, we would have lost. I am glad he understands that and didn't tank the match out of some misguided notions of chivalry.

Hey Cindy....

You should be old enough to understand this... I was brought up in an age where we respected women and our elders... When your skills are much greater than your female opponent it is hard for some of us to aggressively attack them. Somewhere deep in the recesses of our minds it is wrong... just how some of us have been wired. Nothing to do with our opponents... when I play mixed I will still usually win the point but with guile, usually angle, spin and wrong stepping my opponent. But I will never hit through the woman...

Trust me... I know you said to bring it... but you don't want me to bring it to you. I do the same thing when playing with seniors... and I do that out of courtesy...

And this is why I no longer play competitive mixed... and only casually do I play mixed doubles... with nothing invested... it does not matter if I win or lose... as long as everyone has a good time.

blakesq
02-09-2010, 11:50 AM
"Trust me... I know you said to bring it... but you don't want me to bring it to you. I do the same thing when playing with seniors... and I do that out of courtesy..."

Talk about arrogant. If you are playing with people close to your level, then you seem to have an inflated opinion of yourself. If you are playing with people a lot worse than you in skill, then, duh...you don't "bring it" to the extent that someone is defenseless and likely to get hurt by you. Sheesh.


Hey Cindy....

You should be old enough to understand this... I was brought up in an age where we respected women and our elders... When your skills are much greater than your female opponent it is hard for some of us to aggressively attack them. Somewhere deep in the recesses of our minds it is wrong... just how some of us have been wired. Nothing to do with our opponents... when I play mixed I will still usually win the point but with guile, usually angle, spin and wrong stepping my opponent. But I will never hit through the woman...

Trust me... I know you said to bring it... but you don't want me to bring it to you. I do the same thing when playing with seniors... and I do that out of courtesy...

And this is why I no longer play competitive mixed... and only casually do I play mixed doubles... with nothing invested... it does not matter if I win or lose... as long as everyone has a good time.

raiden031
02-09-2010, 12:05 PM
Hey Cindy....

You should be old enough to understand this... I was brought up in an age where we respected women and our elders... When your skills are much greater than your female opponent it is hard for some of us to aggressively attack them. Somewhere deep in the recesses of our minds it is wrong... just how some of us have been wired. Nothing to do with our opponents... when I play mixed I will still usually win the point but with guile, usually angle, spin and wrong stepping my opponent. But I will never hit through the woman...

Trust me... I know you said to bring it... but you don't want me to bring it to you. I do the same thing when playing with seniors... and I do that out of courtesy...

And this is why I no longer play competitive mixed... and only casually do I play mixed doubles... with nothing invested... it does not matter if I win or lose... as long as everyone has a good time.

How does hitting a hard serve or groundstroke interfere with your morals regarding women? If they are at the baseline, its not like you are hitting them with the ball. Worst case you hit a winner or force an error. If they are at the net and you get a short ball or sitter, you can still crush the ball without directing it at them.

OrangePower
02-09-2010, 01:14 PM
Maybe the reason we have so many differing opinions is because it's somewhat situational. Not just on competitive match versus social match, but probably more importantly depending on the relative levels of the players.

In many social matches you might have husband/wife teams or similar; and is the men are say 4.5 and the women 3.0 or 3.5, then it's a completely different dynamic.

On the other hand whenever I play social mixed it tends to be with all same level players, and hitting hard to the woman is not an issue.

Ripper014
02-09-2010, 02:23 PM
"Trust me... I know you said to bring it... but you don't want me to bring it to you. I do the same thing when playing with seniors... and I do that out of courtesy..."

Talk about arrogant. If you are playing with people close to your level, then you seem to have an inflated opinion of yourself. If you are playing with people a lot worse than you in skill, then, duh...c. Sheesh.

It is not about being arrogant... it is what it is. I play people across the board, those close to my level and those that are definitely well below my level, I do this because they ask me to play and I am more than willing to play with them.

And you saying If you are playing with people a lot worse than you in skill, then, duh...c. Sheesh, is why playing mixed is an issue. I played more mixed tournies than I want to remember where my female opponent would not be able to protect herself. In a heated exchange at the net with someone close to my level I do not always hit it exactly where I want.

In my experience with tourament play... the skill levels between men and women are substantial... lets not kid ourselves. Someone said something about mixed being a game of keep away... it is a pretty accurate statement. Only at the highest levels do things start to even out... and even then if the man loses his serve the match is usually over.

Cindysphinx
02-09-2010, 02:49 PM
Trust me... I know you said to bring it... but you don't want me to bring it to you. I do the same thing when playing with seniors... and I do that out of courtesy...

Ripper, I somehow get the idea that your USTA level is a tad higher than 3.5. Which means you cannot be my opponent in 7.0 mixed.

The 3.5 guys I am playing can Bring It, and I am OK with it. I can handle their serves (in that I might or might not make a good return) and I can handle their groundstrokes if I am at net (meaning I might or might not hit a winner).

I would venture a guess that if you were playing mixed with women of your level, they wouldn't have a problem if you decided to Bring It.

Ripper014
02-09-2010, 02:57 PM
Ripper, I somehow get the idea that your USTA level is a tad higher than 3.5. Which means you cannot be my opponent in 7.0 mixed.

The 3.5 guys I am playing can Bring It, and I am OK with it. I can handle their serves (in that I might or might not make a good return) and I can handle their groundstrokes if I am at net (meaning I might or might not hit a winner).

I would venture a guess that if you were playing mixed with women of your level, they wouldn't have a problem if you decided to Bring It.

Yes a tad... but like I have said numerous times... I have problems engaging in mixed doubles unless it is purely social. In competitive situations I have been known to hit my opponents on a regular basis, just because they were not ready for a quick volley. Occassionally I will be the one receiving the hit... but I just cannot get used to the idea of hitting a female opponent, hence this is why I say there may be a lot of men with this issue. And I re-iterate again... it has nothing to do with the women... just something some of us men have trouble dealing with. We still wish to treat you like ladies opposed to targets.

And I appreciate that we can discuss it without it becoming personal. If I appear arrogant it is an accident I assure you, like many here I am just trying to state what I think I know.

blakesq
02-09-2010, 03:04 PM
All I can say Ripper, is that if you and I ever played, you definately wouldn't want me to "bring it to you".

It is not about being arrogant... it is what it is. I play people across the board, those close to my level and those that are definitely well below my level, I do this because they ask me to play and I am more than willing to play with them.

And you saying If you are playing with people a lot worse than you in skill, then, duh...c. Sheesh, is why playing mixed is an issue. I played more mixed tournies than I want to remember where my female opponent would not be able to protect herself. In a heated exchange at the net with someone close to my level I do not always hit it exactly where I want.

In my experience with tourament play... the skill levels between men and women are substantial... lets not kid ourselves. Someone said something about mixed being a game of keep away... it is a pretty accurate statement. Only at the highest levels do things start to even out... and even then if the man loses his serve the match is usually over.

Geezer Guy
02-09-2010, 03:17 PM
...Trust me... I know you said to bring it... but you don't want me to bring it to you. I do the same thing when playing with seniors... and I do that out of courtesy... .

Personally, I always back it off a bit when I play juniors.

(Just joking - I think you and I are pretty much on the same page on this. It's not so much about playing someone of a different sex or age - it's about playing someone of a different skill level.)

If you're playing an NTRP event then you know everyone is pretty much the same level - then you can play all out. Social doubles is a different animal.

Ripper014
02-09-2010, 03:20 PM
All I can say Ripper, is that if you and I ever played, you definately wouldn't want me to "bring it to you".

I would honestly like to see that, I have lost a lot to better players... but I have yet to see someone consistantly put the ball through me. And I am always up for a challenge, besides someone has to lose. Tennis is a game where you can only have one winner and if that were to be me... I'm ok with that.

And why is it that the only people that have issues with me have blake in their name, well and of course LeeD.

Ripper014
02-09-2010, 03:21 PM
Personally, I always back it off a bit when I play juniors.

(Just joking - I think you and I are pretty much on the same page on this. It's not so much about playing someone of a different sex or age - it's about playing someone of a different skill level.)

If you're playing an NTRP event then you know everyone is pretty much the same level - then you can play all out. Social doubles is a different animal.

I am in total agreement with you except when it comes to mixed.

ALten1
02-09-2010, 06:06 PM
I agree with ripper about being raised to respect women and elders. I tend to back off on purpose...I can't help it. Had a 4.0 lady last saturday ask me not to kill her at the net. I didn't, we lost! She was better (in doubles)than the 3.5 guy, which goes against my belief that a 4.0 woman isn't even close to a 3.5 guy.

Geezer Guy
02-09-2010, 07:01 PM
I am in total agreement with you except when it comes to mixed.

Actually, I think our views on Mixed are about the same also. But whatever.

raiden031
02-10-2010, 05:45 AM
If you are below 4.5 and have to dial down your shots when playing mixed as to not hurt the female opponent, then you are full of crap. If you are 4.5 or above, I would say if you are playing a female of the same NTRP level, then they will have enough skills to not get hurt by your shots, even though you will still beat them easily.

Can you win free points off them, yes. Can you out-rally them, yes. But in order to hurt them, you have to go out of your way to do so.

blakesq
02-10-2010, 07:01 AM
No, honestly you wouldn't want me to "bring it to you". I know better than you.

I would honestly like to see that, I have lost a lot to better players... but I have yet to see someone consistantly put the ball through me. And I am always up for a challenge, besides someone has to lose. Tennis is a game where you can only have one winner and if that were to be me... I'm ok with that.

And why is it that the only people that have issues with me have blake in their name, well and of course LeeD.

sureshs
02-10-2010, 07:23 AM
Usually guys who worry about such things are concerned only about their ego - their actual game tells a different story about their ability to hit with any pace. It also gives them a good excuse when they lose (I just couldn't bear to hit the lady).

KSJ1979
02-10-2010, 07:30 AM
I once saw during a 9.0 mixed match, the 4.5 guy hit a few hard balls at the 4.0 lady at the net. The 4.5 guy kept apologizing for hitting at her and then after a while, she yelled "stop apologizing to me!!!"...

Cindysphinx
02-10-2010, 07:34 AM
All right. I am going to start exploiting this fear guys of have of hurting me coupled with their own inflated view of their strokes. I need help from you guys on how best to do this.

I'm thinking what I should do is plant the seed when I introduce myself. "Hi, I'm Cindy. Do me a favor, man. I have a family, so don't *kill* me, OK? HA-ha-ha!"

Then I will proceed to poach and fake and charge the net when he is winding up for an overhead, secure in the knowledge that the guy won't hit at me.

sureshs
02-10-2010, 07:37 AM
All right. I am going to start exploiting this fear guys of have of hurting me coupled with their own inflated view of their strokes.

LOL that is exactly right. Quite a few old farts going around claiming levels which are at least a full point above their real level, while they hit their dinky backhands and lollipop second serves.

Cindysphinx
02-10-2010, 07:38 AM
And when he passes me down the line, I need to put my hands on my hips and say, "Hey now" in my best schoolmarm voice.

sureshs
02-10-2010, 07:42 AM
And when he passes me down the line, I need to put my hands on my hips and say, "Hey now" in my best schoolmarm voice.

I actually did pass the woman (whom I mentioned before) twice down the line with a service return hehe and once I drop-shotted her. But it was her male partner who lost the match for her with his inability to get most serves in, a fact that he will probably conveniently overlook based on one fast serve he may have gotten in by chance.

ttbrowne
02-10-2010, 08:38 AM
I play mixed with my wife (3.0) occasionally in a social setting. I ease up on the serves, using spin mostly, and the forehands to the women (3.0). I find it's great practice for me to place my shots more and for my wife and the other women to compete at a higher level too.
When playing USTA mixed, forget all the nice stuff. That's why I don't play anymore.

ALten1
02-10-2010, 08:52 AM
All right. I am going to start exploiting this fear guys of have of hurting me coupled with their own inflated view of their strokes. I need help from you guys on how best to do this.

I'm thinking what I should do is plant the seed when I introduce myself. "Hi, I'm Cindy. Do me a favor, man. I have a family, so don't *kill* me, OK? HA-ha-ha!"

Then I will proceed to poach and fake and charge the net when he is winding up for an overhead, secure in the knowledge that the guy won't hit at me.

Are you intimidated if a man is a foot taller, very aggressive, good vertical and hits hard, and is across from you at the net? I think I would find that intimidating

ALten1
02-10-2010, 08:54 AM
need to add: can't aim overheads with precision to above question

Cindysphinx
02-10-2010, 09:37 AM
Are you intimidated if a man is a foot taller, very aggressive, good vertical and hits hard, and is across from you at the net? I think I would find that intimidating

Honestly, no. I'm not intimidated. I know that I might not win, but I don't think I will be hurt. I mean, I can and do duck, if circumstances require it.

Regarding the huge, hard-hitting guy's serve, I am perfectly happy to try my best to return it. If I can reach it and it is hard with pace, I will just try to block it back and start the point.

If he aims a groundstroke at me at net, I try to simply touch the ball some kind of way.

Remember, if he is tall, aggressive and hits hard, there must be some serious holes in his game if he is on the court with me in 7.0 mixed. It is up to me to find them.

kelawai
02-10-2010, 09:40 AM
My female partners during practice or match tell me to hit like a man. They encourage to blast at the weaker opponent at the net.
I am trying to be nice sometimes but my female partner's won't let me.

ALten1
02-10-2010, 09:51 AM
Honestly, no. I'm not intimidated. I know that I might not win, but I don't think I will be hurt. I mean, I can and do duck, if circumstances require it.

Regarding the huge, hard-hitting guy's serve, I am perfectly happy to try my best to return it. If I can reach it and it is hard with pace, I will just try to block it back and start the point.

If he aims a groundstroke at me at net, I try to simply touch the ball some kind of way.

Remember, if he is tall, aggressive and hits hard, there must be some serious holes in his game if he is on the court with me in 7.0 mixed. It is up to me to find them.

ok, I can respect your answer

goran_ace
02-10-2010, 09:57 AM
Remember, if he is tall, aggressive and hits hard, there must be some serious holes in his game if he is on the court with me in 7.0 mixed. It is up to me to find them.

Good answer!

Cindysphinx
02-10-2010, 10:04 AM
ok, I can respect your answer

Thanks!!

One more thing that makes me feel less intimidated is that I have a guy by my side also. If the opposing guy is going to hit at me at the net and smash overheads at me, he has to do it off of my partner's ball. There are lots of times that the opposing guy tries to win a cheap point off of me at net, but he doesn't strike the ball as well as he wants and I volley it easily.

Nellie
02-10-2010, 10:25 AM
I think that the idea of taking it easy on a woman opponent is entirely pejorative. If your opponent asks you to take it easy (let's say someone has an slight injury that limits motion but still wants to play for fun) that is one thing, but it is BS to take it easy on an opponent because that is not what they want. The women I know who play mixed want to return the big serves and hard shots and beat those guys - the women who don't want to play guys don't play mixed. Per Cindy's comment's above, a woman is looking for wholes in the guys games and is trying beat him in any way.

I ask you guys - if you were playing a guy of perceived lesser skills, would you take it easy because you felt sorry for them. I don't think so, except in a social setting.

Ripper014
02-10-2010, 01:10 PM
If you are below 4.5 and have to dial down your shots when playing mixed as to not hurt the female opponent, then you are full of crap. If you are 4.5 or above, I would say if you are playing a female of the same NTRP level, then they will have enough skills to not get hurt by your shots, even though you will still beat them easily.

Can you win free points off them, yes. Can you out-rally them, yes. But in order to hurt them, you have to go out of your way to do so.

I think we can just choose to agree to disagree on this one. I think that there is a serious gap between a male and a female at the same NTRP level.

Ripper014
02-10-2010, 01:13 PM
I think you are all getting me wrong... I am not saying this is the way it should be... or is... in other peoples matches... it is just a demon I deal with personally... and I would guess I am not the only one. Hence I no longer play mixed unless it is in a social setting, like this morning.

Cindysphinx
02-10-2010, 01:31 PM
I think we can just choose to agree to disagree on this one. I think that there is a serious gap between a male and a female at the same NTRP level.

I guess this is why I see an ambulance on stand-by at all 7.0 mixed matches. Those 3.5 guys wind up and the next thing you know the woman needs a paramedic.

It's a wonder that the tennis facilities' insurer even allows such an ultra-hazardous activity like mixed doubles.

Sailing-fool
02-10-2010, 01:33 PM
<<Hey Cindy....

... when I play mixed I will still usually win the point but with guile, usually angle, spin and wrong stepping my opponent. But I will never hit through the woman...>>


Wow! I never thought I'd create such a thread! Thanks everyone for an informative discussion. I think I will take from Cindy and Ripper...their comments made make the most sense to me. I am mostly playing socially, but have also played Mixed in 2 tourneys at the 7.0-8.0 levels (got creamed in 8.0 playing our hearts out).

Anyway, in tourneys, I'll respectfully "bring it". In social matches, I'll practice finding big angles and spin hitting 2 second serves. The last social match, the woman pretty much watched my first serves. Unless of course we are down a break!

Thanks again!

Ripper014
02-10-2010, 02:06 PM
I guess this is why I see an ambulance on stand-by at all 7.0 mixed matches. Those 3.5 guys wind up and the next thing you know the woman needs a paramedic.

It's a wonder that the tennis facilities' insurer even allows such an ultra-hazardous activity like mixed doubles.


So is Cindy saying that a 3.5 man is equivalent to a 3.5 woman player? Or that Serena Williams is at the same skill level of Roger Federer?

This is the only point I am trying to make with the statement that "I think that there is a serious gap between a male and a female at the same NTRP level." I may be wrong but it is what I have experienced and believe.

raiden031
02-10-2010, 02:29 PM
This is the only point I am trying to make with the statement that "I think that there is a serious gap between a male and a female at the same NTRP level." I may be wrong but it is what I have experienced and believe.

It doesn't matter that there is a serious gap. The point is a 3.5 male does not need to go easy on a 3.5 woman to avoid hitting her with the ball. A 3.5 woman is capable of hitting a gawd damn tennis ball. I am a freakin hard-hittin 4.0 and I hit as hard as I can when a 3.0 woman is on the other side and they don't get hit with the ball. If they can't return my serve that's their problem. If I can hit some winners, all the better. But because I'm not an ***, I don't feel like I have to intentionally hit people with the ball, otherwise I can't play with them because its no fun.

Ripper014
02-10-2010, 02:49 PM
It doesn't matter that there is a serious gap. The point is a 3.5 male does not need to go easy on a 3.5 woman to avoid hitting her with the ball. A 3.5 woman is capable of hitting a gawd damn tennis ball. I am a freakin hard-hittin 4.0 and I hit as hard as I can when a 3.0 woman is on the other side and they don't get hit with the ball. If they can't return my serve that's their problem. If I can hit some winners, all the better. But because I'm not an ***, I don't feel like I have to intentionally hit people with the ball, otherwise I can't play with them because its no fun.

I think this is my point... I am not so worried about hitting anyone on the baseline... it is more about a net exchange or an overhead. And I usually find a doe-eyed woman standing right where I am about to hit my overhead to end a point. Usually even men will turn or get off the court when a short lob is presented, but for some reason most women feel bulletproof, or they do not realize that there is pending danger.

It is not uncommon for someone to be hit when I play mens tennis, during a net exchange and someone gives up a high volley. The ball is usually hit with pace, and if there no obvious opening available... I am going for right hip or right shoulder if you are right-handed, and like I said in an earlier post in a quick exchange I don't always hit my target and it can end up hitting someone in the chest. Of course it goes the other way too... sometimes it is me digging a ball out of my chest.

A few months ago on a court beside me I saw someone take it in the groin... that was not a pretty picture... and that volley was hit VERY HARD. And just for clarity, it was a 4.5 player who hit the 4.0 player who was not able to protect himself. Just a normal doubles point... a solid serve followed into the net and a high return that his partner had to pay for.

Cindysphinx
02-10-2010, 03:31 PM
So is Cindy saying that a 3.5 man is equivalent to a 3.5 woman player? Or that Serena Williams is at the same skill level of Roger Federer?

Come on.

Two players do not have to be equal in strength to avoid having one hurt the other one.

Roger Federer can whip Serena Williams in singles, obviously. He need not take anything off of his groundies or serve if they were opponents in mixed doubles to avoid hurting her.

If a 3.5 guy is stronger than a 3.5 woman, this does not mean he is able to hurt her in mixed doubles because his skills are not so far superior to hers that the disparity could lead to injury.

And as I said earlier, any disparity becomes somewhat irrelevant given that the 3.5 guy has to hit these kill shots at the 3.5 woman *off of the shots coming to him from another 3.5 guy.*

I don't take issue with your statements that hitting at or playing with women makes you uncomfortable. That is your choice, and there are plenty of women who feel the same way about playing with guys. It is when you take the next step to suggest that the women who play 7.0 mixed avoid injury only because the 3.5 guys take pity on them that I disagree with you.

Ripper014
02-10-2010, 03:54 PM
Come on.

Two players do not have to be equal in strength to avoid having one hurt the other one.

Roger Federer can whip Serena Williams in singles, obviously. He need not take anything off of his groundies or serve if they were opponents in mixed doubles to avoid hurting her.

If a 3.5 guy is stronger than a 3.5 woman, this does not mean he is able to hurt her in mixed doubles because his skills are not so far superior to hers that the disparity could lead to injury.

And as I said earlier, any disparity becomes somewhat irrelevant given that the 3.5 guy has to hit these kill shots at the 3.5 woman *off of the shots coming to him from another 3.5 guy.*

I don't take issue with your statements that hitting at or playing with women makes you uncomfortable. That is your choice, and there are plenty of women who feel the same way about playing with guys. It is when you take the next step to suggest that the women who play 7.0 mixed avoid injury only because the 3.5 guys take pity on them that I disagree with you.



I don't think I ever said anyone takes pity on the woman. Those are assumptions you are making.

I do however believe that a 3.5 player has the capacity to hit the ball as hard or harder than a 5.5 player. Being a lower skilled player does not necessarily mean you hit the ball slower. I play on a regular basis with someone who I would rate no higher than a 3.5 and he hits a very big serve, but the rest of his game is rather inconsistant. Can he be a threat to hurt someone? Absolutely... if he were to hit an overhead at point blank range, he could definitely hurt someone and I am the first to move off the court because I don't believe he knows where he is going to hit.

I am not sure what my point is... but I know at point blank range I am more afraid of a 3.5 player winding up than a 5.0, I know the 5.0 will probably just hit a winner past me... the 3.5 I have no clue.

This is just to acknowledge to you that even I will bail out of a point... in some circumstances.

Geezer Guy
02-10-2010, 04:19 PM
I ask you guys - if you were playing a guy of perceived lesser skills, would you take it easy because you felt sorry for them. I don't think so, except in a social setting.

I can't speak for everyone, obviously, but in a competitive situation the lesser-skilled opponent is going to get picked on when we need a point. We might ease up a bit so as not to hurt him, but we'll play well enough to win the point. But it's not because we feel sorry for him. It's just because, after all, we're just recreational players no matter how serious we may be.

And in a social setting, absolutely I'd play "down" to someone's level to have a good time.

raiden031
02-10-2010, 04:25 PM
the women who don't want to play guys don't play mixed.

I think this really sums it up best.

Geezer Guy
02-10-2010, 04:30 PM
... I am a freakin hard-hittin 4.0 and I hit as hard as I can when a 3.0 woman is on the other side and they don't get hit with the ball. If they can't return my serve that's their problem. If I can hit some winners, all the better. But because I'm not an ***, I don't feel like I have to intentionally hit people with the ball, otherwise I can't play with them because its no fun.

Well, I'm glad you don't intentionally hit them with the ball. Other than that, you and I are about as opposite as it comes on this topic. There's a pretty big skill differential (at least around here) between a 4.0 guy and a 3.0 gal. I just don't see how either of you can have any fun in that contest.

It would be like if somehow one of my buddies and I got to play against the Williams sisters. It would be a lot of fun to hit with them, rally with them, even play a set. But if they came out all fired up and hitting their best shots - my buddy and I probably wouldn't win more than a handfull of points. How much fun is that?

raiden031
02-10-2010, 04:33 PM
Well, I'm glad you don't intentionally hit them with the ball. Other than that, you and I are about as opposite as it comes on this topic. There's a pretty big skill differential (at least around here) between a 4.0 guy and a 3.0 gal. I just don't see how either of you can have any fun in that contest.

It would be like if somehow one of my buddies and I got to play against the Williams sisters. It would be a lot of fun to hit with them, rally with them, even play a set. But if they came out all fired up and hitting their best shots - my buddy and I probably wouldn't win more than a handfull of points. How much fun is that?

Yeah I never said its fun, but thats not the point. I could double bagel a 3.0W easily, and they probably wouldn't return my 2nd serve very well, but the point is I don't have to dial down my shots against them because I prefer hitting the ball away from them rather than body shots. I stopped playing mixed because its the least fun flavor of tennis for me, but its mainly because of frustrations with the 'keep away' strategy used by opponents and frustrations trying to poach on my partners' weak serves.

Ripper014
02-10-2010, 04:42 PM
Yeah I never said its fun, but thats not the point. I could double bagel a 3.0W easily, and they probably wouldn't return my 2nd serve very well, but the point is I don't have to dial down my shots against them because I prefer hitting the ball away from them rather than body shots. I stopped playing mixed because its the least fun flavor of tennis for me, but its mainly because of frustrations with the 'keep away' strategy used by opponents and trying to poach on my partners' weak serves.

Agreed... my point is you are playing balls off your male opponent... and I know I do not always hit where I am aiming... but in general if I am going for a winner it is at the weaker opponent. And if we are in competition against a man I would be nailing that ball with pace giving my opponent less opportunity to reflex something back, with a woman I am trying to finesse something past them.

And again I will say... it is my demon that I cannot hit hard at the woman.

It is obvious that I am not eloquent enough to get my point across so I am going to stop while I am well behind.

Cindysphinx
02-10-2010, 04:50 PM
I don't think I ever said anyone takes pity on the woman. Those are assumptions you are making.

Ripper, you do seem to be saying that. Otherwise your decision to discuss the skill level discrepancy between men and women in competitive mixed matches would have no context.

I do however believe that a 3.5 player has the capacity to hit the ball as hard or harder than a 5.5 player. Being a lower skilled player does not necessarily mean you hit the ball slower.

Yeah, it does.

I had several volley exchanges with a 3.5 male opponent in my last mixed match. I lost them all. It was not because of his tremendous power and pace on his volleys. He just had better hands and technique and angled the thing away from me before I could angle it away from him. Power had nothing to do with it.

The serves and groundies of a 5.5 guy are magnitudes harder than that of a 3.5 guy. I am shocked to hear you say otherwise. The 3.5 guy lacks the technique to hit as hard as a 5.5 guy.


I play on a regular basis with someone who I would rate no higher than a 3.5 and he hits a very big serve, but the rest of his game is rather inconsistant. Can he be a threat to hurt someone? Absolutely... if he were to hit an overhead at point blank range, he could definitely hurt someone and I am the first to move off the court because I don't believe he knows where he is going to hit.

Ripper, no one is talking about hurting people by hitting overheads at them at point blank range. You shouldn't do that to men, women, high-level players or low-level players. If you are doing that, I think you should stop.

I am not sure what my point is...

I don't either. :)

In league matches, USTA ratings are supposed to assure that you don't have people of widely divergent levels playing each other in mixed. The 3.5 women who choose to play mixed have *chosen to play mixed.* This is because they are comfortable (or at least willing) returning guys' serves, groundies, volleys and overheads.

That you can dream up a circumstance where a low-level woman could get hurt by a guy aiming an overhead at her at point blank range is rather beside the point. I sure don't aim my point blank overheads at anyone. The eyes of a 3.5 guy are just as vulnerable to an overhead smash as mine are, and I would feel awful if I hurt someone trying to win a point.

So. Skip mixed if you don't want to play mixed. Please understand that folks like Raiden and I have some experienced in league mixed at the 7.0-ish level, and the guys have no reason to be concerned that they are going to hurt the woman if they just play their regular game with the same consideration they use when playing guys.

raiden031
02-10-2010, 04:50 PM
Agreed... my point is you are playing balls off your male opponent... and I know I do not always hit where I am aiming... but in general if I am going for a winner it is at the weaker opponent. And if we are in competition against a man I would be nailing that ball with pace giving my opponent less opportunity to reflex something back, with a woman I am trying to finesse something past them.

And again I will say... it is my demon that I cannot hit hard at the woman.

It is obvious that I am not eloquent enough to get my point across so I am going to stop while I am well behind.

I will often hit the ball to the weaker player, but its in a way that they might be slightly out of reach or force an error. If they are at the net, then I won't blast it at them, but go for a dipping or passing shot. I might miss, but I rarely blast them with the ball on accident even though I don't have the greatest control myself.

I think everyone gets your point, I just don't agree with it because tennis is not a contact sport, and so getting hit with the ball is more the exception than the rule. I get hit with the ball maybe once every 5 matches I play, and even then its usually not a big deal. I just think its lame to rule out mixed altogether because of the possibility you hit a woman with the ball.

Ripper014
02-10-2010, 05:18 PM
I have played mixed from what you would consider 6.5 right up to 10.0... either through league play or tournament play... I have a pretty good idea what tennis through these levels are like.

And as much as you might want to disagree with it... there is a skill level discrepancy between men and women in competitive mixed matches, it is rare you will see a woman as the better player in a mixed team.

I am still not buying your assertion that a 3.5 man is equivlent to a 3.5 woman. If there is no difference why even have a mixed category... lets just play 7.0 doubles. You can play with your choice of 2 men, 2 women or 1 man 1 woman. And we could do the same for the singles draw too...

And I know plenty of men that hit hard with little to no technique (I am not saying they are consistant), being big a strong can overcome a lot. Me on the other hand relies on technique being that I am neither big or strong.

I rule out mixed because I am not comfortable playing it... I am not comfortable playing my natural game which is based more on power than finesse.

This disagreement in philosophy could go on forever... why don't we just accept you know and believe what you know... that I believe what I know and leave it there.

Cindysphinx
02-10-2010, 05:51 PM
Fine. We can agree to disagree.

So long as we are clear that I am making no assertion that a 3.5 man is equivalent to a 3.5 woman.

I am saying a 3.5 man is no threat to hurt a 3.5 woman in mixed unless he intentionally sets out to hurt people for kicks, in which case he is also quite likely to hurt his 3.5 male opponent.

Ripper014
02-10-2010, 05:56 PM
Fine. We can agree to disagree.

So long as we are clear that I am making no assertion that a 3.5 man is equivalent to a 3.5 woman.

I am saying a 3.5 man is no threat to hurt a 3.5 woman in mixed unless he intentionally sets out to hurt people for kicks, in which case he is also quite likely to hurt his 3.5 male opponent.


ok... not another word... can we hug and be friends again?

Cindysphinx
02-10-2010, 06:00 PM
ok... not another word... can we hug and be friends again?

Friends always. Never a problem there, man!!

ALten1
02-10-2010, 08:43 PM
I tend to agree with ripper on a couple of topics. Lesser skilled guys can hit the ball very hard and miss everything they are aiming at which makes them, in my opinion, more dangerous. I also agree there are some women at the net that don't move when a ball is about to get smashed...it's like they don't know when its time to move, maybe because most of the year they are not playing people that hit very hard overheads. So I agree with Cindy. I think I covered all the bases.