Discovered Why I Can't Enjoy Mixed.

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by ttbrowne, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. ttbrowne

    ttbrowne Hall of Fame

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

    blakesq Professional

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    So, winning points is just too silly for you to do? Maybe tennis isn't the sport for you.


     
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  3. Chris De Tone

    Chris De Tone Rookie

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

    ttbrowne Hall of Fame

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    Beg pardon, Blackie, but we're talking mixed here. Ya know what that is?
    It's different from actual tennis.
    BTW, You get off on slammin' the 2.5 chicks shots?
     
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  5. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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

    J
     
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  6. goober

    goober Legend

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    I only play social mixed dubs and I usually have a fun time:) Competitive would pretty much ruin it for me.
     
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  7. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    if its a tourny im gonna go at the female player as hard as i can. she has to expect it entering in a tournament. if where just hitting then i wont go at her.
     
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  8. pow

    pow Hall of Fame

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    Hit it to the guy then.
     
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  9. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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

    I'm pretty sure whoever invented mixed doubles was a female. They have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Whereas, for the men, we have nothing to gain and everything to lose. Just like if John McEnroe played doubles with me. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
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  10. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I totally agree.

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

    blakesq Professional

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


     
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  12. goober

    goober Legend

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    I say it depends. If you are playing with 4.5+ women, I find the matches pretty even and they can definitely hold their own. The main problem is that there are so few of them out there and they are pretty picky with whom they will play.
     
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  13. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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

    KFwinds Professional

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

    Topaz Legend

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    Wow, you guys are all so very full of yourselves.

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

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

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

    ********

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

    lilycolefan Rookie

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    Mixed doubles can be fun if the girl is about your level. I played mixed with a girl better than me and she was awesome at returning. We broke almost every time.
     
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  18. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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

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

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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

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

    Phunky_Phorehand New User

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    Looking "silly" to win points?

    Well spoken Topaz.

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

    Topaz Legend

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    Suresh, you forgot to mention the man2man testosterone games that also go on.

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

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

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

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

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

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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

    ttbrowne Hall of Fame

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

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

    blakesq Professional

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


     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
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  25. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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

    Topaz Legend

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

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

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

    Patrick_St Rookie

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

    tenniko Semi-Pro

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    I thought if you are playing a set or a match in tennis, the end goal is to win that set or match, given you follow the rules.

    If you win within the rules, you won 'honorably'. End of the story.
     
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  29. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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

    J
     
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  30. Kostas

    Kostas Semi-Pro

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    Who says you have to smash a 2.5 women's crosscourt return?

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

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

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

    Topaz Legend

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

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

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

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

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

    drake Semi-Pro

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    Mixed doubles with a toned college female is my favorite sport on earth!
     
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  33. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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

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

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

    J
     
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  34. tenniko

    tenniko Semi-Pro

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

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

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    We are talking about tennis here.
     
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  36. region2champion

    region2champion Rookie

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    I enjoy mixed doubles more then any part of tennis (only is she's hot)
     
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  37. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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

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

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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

    J
     
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  40. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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

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

    I love playing with good females. It much better than playing with 3.0 or 3.5 guys that spray every other forehand 2 feet long & trying too hard to be James Blake.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
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  41. Nellie

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

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

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

    3) better women cannot stand a guy hitting dumb shots. - when a 3.0 guy misses, it is often a bad idea, whereas many 3.0 ladies misses are based on bad skills. (just my observation - since women are more adverse to making unforced errors. I think guys believe that if the ball is hit hard and misses, it is better than hitting soft and losing the point point.)
     
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  42. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    I don't get this. The people that play social tennis are extremely competitive. They just talk & eat with their opponents after the match.

    It's okay to play to win as long as you don't go head hunting the women.
     
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  43. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Well said. I'm seen guys play like raving maniacs (myself included) in mixed doubles when they normally don't in men's doubles for the reasons you've cited above, e.g., they feel they have to do more to compensate for their weaker partners - whether it's going for more winners, trying to make more impossible poaches or shots, or covering more of the court, etc.
     
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  45. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    I was asked to play in a Mixed doubles league about a month ago every Sunday but I said thanks but no thanks. At the time I wasn't interested in playing any doubles, I was only focused on playing singles. Probably the only way I'd play in a mixed doubles league is if my partner was smoking.
     
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  46. KFwinds

    KFwinds Professional

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

    KFwinds Professional

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    Yep, this has been my experience as well. And trying to play that way is a losing proposition.
     
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  48. cjohns28

    cjohns28 New User

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    I like your response overall. I'll add that it's interesting to see if I can beat my male counterpart across the net in all phases of the game/match, and if I can do that, then the play of the women don't really matter. Our team will usually win then. If he outplays me, then we should lose.
     
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  49. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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

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

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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