I Keep Trying to like Mixed, but just can't

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by JackB1, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Anyone else with this issue?

    I just love playing tennis and all things tennis, but playing Mixed just drives me crazy. The difference between the men and women is usually very pronounced and so EVERY MATCH eventually turns into this:
    1) whenever you need the point...hit at the girl
    2) to end a rally quick...hit at the girl
    3) guy hits at girl.....repeat, repeat, repeat.

    Also, MOST women are just playing mixed tennis for social reasons and are very casual about winning or losing. With myself being very competitive, its not a good combo. It seems like EVERY team has 1 or 2 strong female players and then the rest of them are interchangable and near the bottom of the ratings level you are in. There just aren't enough really good female players to go around in these leagues and that causes lots of disparity between the male female's playing levels.

    I keep trying to like mixed every season, but every year I keep asking myself "why"? I keep thinking this time it will be different...more fun..more competitive, but its not.
     
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  2. tennixpl

    tennixpl Rookie

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    do you have a regular partner? practice too if its competitive for you, if your partner wont practice then they are that social player and find a new one. this would be no different than if it were a man. some ppl play for fun , others for beating the snot out of ppl, others to get outside and gab. if is she isn't of a great skill level find a partner who wants to compete first. I'd ratehr play with a 2.5 who wants to fight than a 3.0/3.5 who just wants to be in the sun for an hour.

    Other than that don't play standard doubles. if your partner is getting hit have her stand back at the baseline, clearly define territory . wit ha weaker partner i say cover the line and don't worry about anything else.
    or if she doesn't want to move back have her move a lot closer, some ppl have good reflexes and its when they have more time they jack it up. have her sit on the dang net, it might work.

    as for opponents don't be afraid to hit it at the girl for real, and if you go for the guy aim low....in most of these situations the guy is a net predator and will poach everything he can, they are usually not ready for low balls, they are waiting for that soft nice ball hit back to the lady.
     
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  3. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    playing mixed means just rewiring your approach. play regular men's league if you want regular tennis.

    you play mixed tennis if you like your tennis wacky and like a good challenge. these challenges include:

    1 - you must hold serve every time.
    2 - you must make just about every return.
    3 - you must help your partner hold serve.
    4 - you must at least break your opposing female's serve and as a bonus the guy's serve too.
    5 - you must put your partner in winning positions.

    funny thing is this is the same strategy for regular dubs. the difference is how aggressively you execute this strategy.
     
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  4. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Interesting post, OP.

    First, I would say that if you don't enjoy playing mixed, then don't. You don't say your level. But if you are a 4.0 guy playing 7.0 mixed, that is a full-on nightmare. Maybe play 8.0 or even 9.0?

    Anyway . . . I disagree strongly that most women are playing mixed for social reasons. If you are talking USTA, the women are playing either because they enjoy the pace/challenge of playing with guys, or they think it will help them improve.

    Although I very much want to win at mixed, I rarely do. So I don't act like it is the end of the world if we aren't winning. This is especially so given that the reason we lose is usually me. Perhaps you are misinterpreting your partner's casual attitude as not caring when it is not?

    Finally, I disagree that teams have 1-2 strong women and the rest are at the bottom of their rating level. In my experience, the weakest 4.0 women want nothing to do with 8.0 mixed. The ones who do play mixed either like it or want to improve, but they are usually middle of level or higher. Because there are far more women wanting to play mixed than available playing slots, the women who get an invitation tend to be solid.

    Now. I am also struggling with whether to continue playing mixed.

    My issue with mixed is that I cannot seem to find male partners who play a style that will help me. If winning depends on me standing in the back corner trying to rally with a 4.0-4.5 guy or trying to hit passing shots against two opponents at net, we are going to lose. So if my partner stands there passively at net waiting for me to set him up, he will be waiting a long time.

    I need a partner who is brave enough to poach and who understands he is going to have to help me hold. I have only come across one such guy.

    These guys must exist, though. I know this because my female opponents seem to have found such guys!
     
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  5. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

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    I'm not sure if this applies to you, but the thing I find with people who ask for help holding their serve is that there are a lot of things they can do to help themselves.

    For example, serve down the middle, a lot. If you serve out wide all the time, your partner has to be wary of the DTL return, and poaching becomes a much riskier venture. If you go down the middle, even if it's to your male opponent's forehand, it still gives your partner a chance to move over and join the point. To that end, don't stand way out wide on your serve. Stand so that you can hit a serve down the middle that makes your opponent stretch.

    Also, don't be afraid to hit a groundstroke down the middle. Just like with the serve, if you hit wide groundstrokes all the time, poaching becomes a much riskier move for your partner. Unless you're playing a very aggressive woman, the chances are she isn't going to come flying across the net to poach when you've got enough time to take a full swing at a groundstroke. If you put the ball down the middle, you're partner can move over and help you out a bit.

    You can also lob & volley. Lob down the line, come to the net, have your partner take a step or two back to cover the counter lob, and dare your male opponent to hit passing shots.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
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  6. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Hey Cindy....I do enjoy reading your posts BTW.

    Hope that didn't come off as "anti-female" because I certainly am not. I just realize we are different creatures.

    As far as level, I play ALTA which is an organization similar to USTA but they use different levels. I play A4, which would translate to around 8.0 mixed. It may be the teams I have been on, but I would say "most" or around 3/4's of the women seem to be more interested in catching up with the latest gossip, etc. and playing the matches is kind of secondary. A great example was last week when our opposing line forfieted late and me and my partner were both there waiting to play. Another team said "we'll play you guys just for fun" and I said "sure", since I wanted to play, but my partner was like "I dont really want to".

    Cindy, you come accross as NOT the typical female mixed player and I would love playing mixed with a partner that was so passionate and competitve about her tennis, but you are the exception IMO. Most women dont even want to discuss strategy at all and just want to be left alone. Another example....my partner has a weak serve and was getting destroyed by the opposing male. After the first set, I suggested that we try something different, like me playing the "I" formation, called poaches or even playing Australian, but her response was "I don't want more things to think about while I'm serving". I shrug and walk away and she continues to get pounded and loses every serving game.

    I think part of the problem is that many of the women on these teams just don't belong at this high a level and end up staying on these teams to play with friends or with their neighbors, etc. Then you end up with lines where there is a huge disparity between levels and the games turn into "guy hits at girl". In the rare times where the levels are close to equal, then mixed can be a very enjoyable experience, but unfortunately it happens very rarely.
     
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  7. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    No and thats part of the problem. Our captain plays different people together all the time, so you have a new partner almost every time out.
    That makes things more difficult, since you don't know how they like to play regarding strategy, court positioning, etc.
     
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  8. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Spaceman, these are all very good suggestions, but most of the women I play with have one way of playing and rarely adjust to what's happening on the court. My partner last week kept repeadily getting caught in no mans land while trying to approach the net. The opposition kept hitting at her feet or wide angled past her. Over and over. I told her "you might want to stay back more". She looked at me like she had no idea why I was suggesting this.
     
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  9. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

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    I've played with a lot of men who also just do the same thing over and over without thinking. My advice was aimed more at people like Cindy, who is quite open-minded about new strategies and such.

    Also, if you haven't learned yet, it's generally just not a good idea to coach your partner. The best you can hope for is to use a more successful strategy when you are serving/returning and hope that your partner notices how effective the strategy is.
     
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  10. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Thank you, and right back atcha!

    Yes, I feel your pain. There are a lot of women out there who want to play exactly one way and will not change no matter how badly they are getting smoked. And it is the same excuse every time: "I'll miss my serves if I have to [fill in blank]."

    It's *crazy* stuff. Like, one partner of mine was getting killed on her serves, so we decided to do signaled poaches. I would give the signal to her, and I would hear no acknowledgement. After this happened a couple of times, and told her to be sure to say yes or OK so I would know we were in sync. She refused to acknowledge the signal, saying it would confuse her to say "OK" before she served.

    I had another partner who told me to stop faking/moving so much when she was serving because it was distracting to her and making her miss her serves. Oy.

    Anyway . . . I would say this is not a gender thing, but an inexperienced player thing. I have played with male partners who refuse to use signals, refuse to consider I or Aussie, refuse to play two back, refuse to lob.

    Honestly, it sounds like are just on the wrong team (no steady partners, folks not committed to practice or improvement). Maybe switch teams and see if things are better elsewhere?
     
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  11. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Yeah I agree. I find mixed can be fun when it's just social. But when it's competitive, the difference in skill levels between the 4 players on the court is usually noticeably large and that just makes for bad tennis, in the sense that your shot selection gets very biased towards targeting the weaker player (typically the woman).
     
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  12. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    And exactly how do you do that without suggesting something different?
    How do you tell you partner that keeps getting caught in NML or leaving wide open angles to stop doing it? I was hoping she would catch on, but she didn't and the match was almost over.
     
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  13. LeftyRighty

    LeftyRighty Rookie

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    The three issues you posted is exactly what happens to me in mixed doubles. The guy just attacks my female partner over and over, and when he hits towards me it's a slice to keep me from hitting with pace.

    It's only social though, so it is very annoying that he is the only one on the court trying to be competitive towards the women, and then back off towards me. I'd much rather the guy hit normally towards me, and take it easy on her.

    The women I play with just enjoy being out there and aren't trying to compete or anything like that. But it ruins the fun when he jumps in front of his partners shots and yells at her.
     
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  14. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    It's the same strategy, but the tactics are very different.
    Your shot selection in mixed gets to be different to when you are playing dubs with 4 equally skilled players. There are many examples but the lob return is one... let's say you have a strong guy with a weaker woman, when the guy is serving, you will often see a (mediocre) lob return over the woman. This is a good shot for this situation, but a terrible shot choice generally speaking if you are playing men's dubs with 4 decent men.
     
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  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'll tell you why she is giving you that look.

    She is coming to net because she is terrified of getting pinned in the back corner. From there, she must either pass or lob. Whichever she chooses will result in the ball getting crushed into your abdomen. Then you will be angry and might even suggest that she not lob, which won't help. 'Cause she can't set up well on the ball and drive a passing shot, or she would be doing that!

    She had decided she would rather launch Pickett's charge than deal with that.

    I don't like it when male partners tell me to stay back. They aren't doing anything up there, yet they are trying to get me parked on the baseline.

    Let me decide how to die, will ya? :)
     
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  16. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I can help with this! :)

    The way to suggest is to just make neutral observations or talk about what you're going to do. Examples:

    Partner is coming to net but botching the approach volley: "Oh, wow. That's some return he has. I wonder what we should do?"

    Returner is smoking huge angles she cannot reach: "Oh, wow. That's some angle he's got there. I think when I serve to him I'm going to go up the middle more."

    Female partner can't get a serve in play: "Oh, wow. That's some serve he's got there. Don't worry. He can't serve like that all night, and when he misses a few we'll be all over him. In the meantime, I'll just keep trying to block my returns over his partner's head."
     
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  17. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

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    Some things you can coach without coaching.

    For example, when your opponent can't hit a backhand to save her life but you're partner keeps serving to the forehand, then between points on your serve you can say things like "I'm going to go at the backhand and see if she coughs up a weak return." If you say that enough and get good results, your partner might decide to give it a go herself. In that case, you haven't told her what to do. You're just telling her what works for you.

    That said, I once had to tell a guy that, if he tapped in another second serve, I'd just touch the net and concede the point. The guy had a good spin serve that he hit with a high percentage, so there was absolutely no reason to roll the ball in like he was, especially considering that our opponents were just blasting their returns right at me. I think it was his comment about me struggling to volley with my new racket that was the last straw.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
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  18. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, there are things the overpowered woman can try to do, and you listed some of them.

    The real problem, however, is something else.

    To be good at 8.0 mixed, a 4.0 guy needs to have different tools in the toolbox than many 4.0 guys have. It seems that many 4.0 guys make a living hitting big serves and big forehands.

    It seems that many 4.0 guys have underdeveloped volleying and poaching skills. This is especially so with younger 4.0 guys because they are singles players at heart. They never develop good net skills because they don't have to. Then they find themselves at net with a 4.0 woman behind them and a 4.0 male opponent smoking the ball in a way that exceeds their ability to poach/volley. They can't help me hold, so we lose.

    I had the pleasure of playing with a 4.0 male partner this season -- a guy I recruited to the team specifically to play with me and help me hold my friggin' serve. I had better results with him than I have ever had in mixed because he was a fearless beast at the net. He didn't care how hard the return was -- he was right up on that net daring the opponents to get the ball past him. If they did, I simply had to drive another ball and he would try again to poach.

    4.0 guys like that are an endangered species.
     
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  19. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    **YES!!**

    This is exactly how coaching is done properly.

    I once had a partner who didn't do it that way. She would see a weakness in the opponents and then start acting like I was a short-order cook:

    "She has no BH -- Hit to her BH!"

    "She's short -- Lob your return DTL!"

    "She's tall -- Slice it low!"

    Dang. If I could execute all those things on command, I would be playing at a higher level.
     
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  20. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

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    Good points. There are a lot of things you can do to give your partner a chance to join the party, but a lot of singles-minded players just want to stay at home so to speak.
     
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  21. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I hear ya, but this wasn't the case. My partner was doing pretty well when she stayed back and has decent groundstrokes. She just was slow or ill timed in coming to the net and our opponents picked up on it and punished her over and over.
     
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  22. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    There is an art to how to speak with your partner like this and I will admit I need help here :) These are very good ways of saying these things, but sometimes if your "hints" are not picked up on, you have to be more direct.
    Sometimes I am too "accusitory" in the way I point out things, but I am working on it. Again, this is a needed skil with mixed as opposed to regular dubs. Guys will just tell each other stuff like "Quit leaving those soft lobs over the middle!!!" :)
     
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  23. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    You want to compete and win all the time. OK, that is certainly your prerogative. But with that mentality what is wrong hitting to the women in the opposing team? Remember you want to win at all cost as long as it is within the rules. From this perspective I do not see what your issue is.

    But not everybody is like that all the time, sure it is nice to go for the win but isn't there anything more to tennis for you? What about having some fun and harmony playing a game together? For instance if you are much stronger than the women of the opposing team, then what is wrong by trying to gauge a shot that is just about right or somewhat challenging to her? You keep the ball more in play and it is more fun for everybody.
     
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  24. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Yep, yep yep. I swore off mixed for some of the reasons you describe. Then I played on a 7.5 mixed (18+) and had a blast. Now I'm playing 8.0 mixed (40+) and it is horrible. I've been facing 4.5 women who can only lob--I kid you not. I can't believe they're rated 4.5 but they are. What I'm seeing in this league (not just my courts) is women who's only strategy is to lob. To their credit, they lob pretty well--deep enough that it is tough to put away the overheads. So it is tedious, tiring, completely unfun tennis.
     
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  25. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    You've got to learn to handle lobs in doubles, otherwise, you might as well switch to singles. Make it harder for them to hit lobs, and make them regret it when they do.

    Personally, I like mixed, because I like being a hero :) Women partners show more appreciation than guys when you set them up for an easy put-away, or hit a scorching winner, or save a point after they goof up. It's especially gratifying to pull off a win with a weaker partner, then you really feel like a boss.

    Remember, in mixed doubles, losing is always the guys fault :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
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  26. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Well, your strategy for handling lobs is kinda different when your opponents are lobbing your male 4.5 partner, who can take care of things himself and make opponent pay, vs your opponents lobbing your 3.5 female partner, who can't/won't get anything that would land deeper than the service line.
     
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  27. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    Yes, just assume you're getting all the lobs in that case :) Unless they are hitting perfect offensive lobs, in which case even a 4.5 player would have trouble, it shouldn't be a big deal.
     
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  28. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    It's tough when, as the woman, you are the stronger player, and your male partner, through overweening ego, misguided chivalry, or both, not only fails to recognize this but tries to be Superman.

    Peeve: Guy has no concept of how to divide the work on court properly, and at the last second keeps running over to take my balls, which I am winding up to hit. He either misses the shot completely, or gets it over weakly, leaving a big hole in the court for the opponents to drive a truck through. Meanwhile, if he'd just done what he was supposed to, I would have hit a strong shot or maybe even a winner. Point over.

    Peeve: Guy decides he's gonna stand right on the T while I am receiving serve in the deuce court to "protect my backhand." Except my backhand return doesn't need protecting, and he gets pegged three times by my inside-out BH return before deciding to move over. Points over.

    Peeve: Guy insists on playing the ad court "because the stronger player should be in the ad court." He plays ad and we get breadsticked in the first set. Set over. I suggest we change sides, and with me in the ad court, we win the second set.

    Moral of story: Don't assume you are going to be the stronger player just because you possess dangly bits.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
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  29. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Agreed.

    But still, rare that the woman is stronger in USTA play, because of the way it is set up. E.g. at the 8.0 level:

    4.5 M + 3.5 F, pretty common combo, M is much stronger
    4.0 M + 4.0 F, pretty common combo, M is significantly stronger
    3.5 M + 4.5 F, not that common combo, F is somewhat stronger

    In social mixed you're completely right; woman could well be stronger.
     
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  30. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    In my experience, it is common knowledge to hit the ball to the girl because usually, she is the weaker player.

    However, the mixed doubles teams that win tournaments and so on contain female partners that are just as good or better than the male partner. Because of this, it psychologically affects the logic of the opposing players.

    I would say more, but some happened here that has affected my concentration on this post.
     
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  31. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    I play 8.0 mixed, I haven't yet seen a 4.0 woman stronger than 4.0 man, unless the man just got bumped, but we only play guys like that when we have no choice. Even then, very few 4.0 gals are stronger than a good 3.5 guy. The same goes for our opponents, I don't remember ever thinking go the guy, unless the guy was 3.5 and gal 4.5. Actually, as a strong 4.0, I am better than all 4.5 women I've played with as well. That's just how it is, there is a 0.5 difference in general.

    There may be exceptions, but they are rare. If the guy is weaker, and plays like he's the better player, then you just talk to the captain or set him straight yourself. In doubles, you have to know your place, if the weaker player doesn't know it, the results will always be bad, even in non-mixed doubles. Usually, it's obvious, so it doesn't need to be explained.
     
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  32. goober

    goober Legend

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    What you are describing is fine for social tennis. Doesn't really work in competitive tennis especially inteam tennis where your team is counting on you to win that line. In 8.0 mixed, most of the top teams have lot of 4.5M/3.5F combos in the lineup. Although they are 2 levels apart on paper, they are closer to 3 levels apart in reality and your really only hope is going to the F. Not really fun tennis, and pretty much only play social mixed these days.
     
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  33. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I have mixed feelings about mixed. I basically like it but sometimes feel like that every single ball is going to my partner. I prefer men's doubles but like mixed - just not quite as much.

    Atlanta ALTA teams usually have a big drop after lines 1 and 2. ALTA rates teams and does not use individual player ratings. So a Hi-A ALTA club team could have 4.5, 4.0 and 3.5 players all on the same team. Lines 1, 2 are usually the 4.5/4.0 players, line 3, 4 the 4.0/3.5 players and line 5 is however is left. On rare occasions, you'll even have 5.0 USTA players and 3.0 players on the same team. My men's team has a 5.0 player and some of the guys could play 3.0 without any complaints. It sounds crazy but ALTA does have a sandbag rule that says you have to play in order of strength - so the 4.5 players have to play above the 4.0 and so forth. Kind of hard to enforce but they do a reasonable job and it keeps things relatively in balance.

    If you are lucky enough to have a good mixed partner and fortunately I do, then it is quite fun. I usually play line 2 and sometimes line 1 so I usually get one of the top 2 or 3 girls on the team and they are all 4.5 females who practice hard and play lots of tennis - they probably play more than me. I have had some really fun mixed matches over the last few years.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
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  34. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    It's not that I have trouble handling it--we've won our matches easily--it is just so freakin tedious, and it sucks the fun out of the game.

    I play mixed with some 4.5-50 women from time to time--now that's good tennis. 8.0 mixed--not so much.
     
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  35. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    I am gentleman so I refuse to hit the ball at a woman. My grandmother would simply not allow it.

    The problem is that my game is based on power, so sans the power, I have limited ability in tennis. Thus I look like a complete chump when playing social tennis because my game is not developed enough to spin balls casually in and utilize angles to win points.
     
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  36. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    It depends on what you mean by "stronger."

    We have a 4.0 woman on our team who is a stronger doubles player than the guys. She can S&V behind her average serve and block back the return how hard the guy hits it. By the time they stop trying to knock the racket out of her hand and attack her weaknesses, the match is over.

    Guys can be so error prone and testosterone-soaked in mixed that they are in fact the weak link.

    The idea that he would stand by the T when she is receiving and not move when the ball comes up the T shows serious inexperience in doubles.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
    #36
  37. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, you might be right. However, I don't think he's probably seen too many short inside-out BH returns and expected either a straight drive or a chip lob. He finally clued in that I have a short-angled dipper with some pace on it and also an inside-out drop-shot return off the BH wing. His court positioning led him to be smack in the path of both those shots. Come to think of it, I doubt I could have chip-lobbed or hit a hard drive around him either. He was right in the freaking way.
     
    #37
  38. dflores

    dflores Guest

    USTA Mixed needs to change

    I'm not in agreement with the general attitude that women can't hold their own; here in So Cal there are many very good 4.0 and 4.5 players with smart court positioning and solid volleying skills.

    My HUGE complaint with Mixed is the combination of ratings to make a team. It's the only season that pits players against each other with a 1.0 rating difference. This can't be done in regular seasons so why Mixed?

    There are several teams in our area that have 4.5 men and 3.5 women playing together. Aside from creating a tremendous mismatch, there could be safety issues. Seriously guys, you are a 4.5 and you get satisfaction of playing a competitive match against a 3.5 lady?

    USTA needs to change Mixed to a straight rating, 3.5, 4.0, 4,5 etc. If someone wants to play up a .5, good for them, at least they know what to expect. No one should be allowed to play down a level.
     
    #38
  39. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    Of course, higher level tennis is more exciting, but there are very few clubs that have 9.0+ teams. I wish our club had one, I'd love to play, although they probably wouldn't have me, since they'd want strong 4.5 and 5.0 men :)
     
    #39
  40. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    Exceptions. We're generalizing here, most of the time the men are stronger, on good teams anyway.
     
    #40
  41. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    generally speaking -- an experienced 4.0 female dubs player can often be more effective than an inexperienced 3.5 male dubs player.

    actually let me amend that. an experienced player can often be more effective than an inexperienced player.

    ------

    since we are on the topic of mixed dubs. the biggest single difference between the sexes is spin. the amount of spin - topspin and slice and kick - is the difference. given a few shots - women get used to faster pace than they normally see. but it takes a very very long time for them to get used to the additional spin.
     
    #41
  42. texacali

    texacali Rookie

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    I played 7.0 mixed last summer. I actually had never played mixed until then. I was partnered with a very tournament and league tested female in my first ever MX match. I thought mixed league was more casual but she was very competitive and I perceive didn't really like playing with me. So I was a little nervous. We got slammed in our match. I didn't play that great, but we played an experienced 3.5 female and soon to be 4.0 male. I don't think my partner said two words to me after. We never partnered again. After that, I partnered with someone else, who was also sort of intense but we worked together well and won matches. Taking my second swipe at 7.0 MX this summer. Sort of looking forward to it.
     
    #42
  43. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    OK gang I need some advice......

    I am playing with the same female partner again this week and last week we got beaten badly due to these issues:
    1) partner has weak serve and got broken every time
    2) partner got caught in no mans land repeatidly while trying to approach, leading to many shots at her feet or passing her easily with a wide angle.

    I am not saying I was perfect, as I am far from it, but these were glaring problems we faced. I don't know how to correct these deficiencies and I also don't know how to tell her what do do delicately. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. As far as playing the net during her serve, I tried playing more towards the middle and after ONE ball got past me down the line, she told me to "stay home", which IMO was a much worse option, since our opponents were teeing off on her serve.
     
    #43
  44. goober

    goober Legend

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    1) If she really has that weak of a serve, stay back and play 2 back. I do this sometimes on second serves, but I would do it on first serves if they are just as weak. Have her serve from a far wide position and you cover 2/3 of the court on the return.

    2) Uh talk to her about it? Tell her she should not approach the net unless she made a good approach shot or has a clear opening.
     
    #44
  45. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    if I play back when she serves, doesn't that give the returner more room to swing away at her serves since there's no pressure to keep it angled away from me? Also, if she serves from a wide position, odds are greater they will crosscourt it back at her. Isn't it better she try and serve up the T so the ball will stay more in the middle of the court?

    I tried talking to her about staying back more and she didn't "get it". She finally said "I need to either get to the net or stay back....not in between", but didn't seem to do it.
     
    #45
  46. floydcouncil

    floydcouncil Semi-Pro

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    Perhaps it's not the W partner, perhaps you're too weak to carry the team.

    In MOST cases, the W is the weaker partner. I have played 10.0 and 9.0 mixed where the W is clearly the more consistent player who easily held her own.

    To me, playing mixed is more complex than men dbls. You have to figure out what works (with your particular partner) and what doesn't and set aside some typical "doubles convention" like S/V.

    You need to figure out what your W partner strength is (net or baseliner)... and go from there. At 7.0 and 8.0, YOU need to take over and cover what she's not comfortable with. You need to call her off on overheads if you have a play at it. You need to chase down more balls than her. You need to poach more. You need to keep more balls in play and need to put away more short balls.

    You need to figure out how to hold HER serve.

    YOU, YOU, YOU, YOU, YOU....

    Notice I didn't even bring up the role of the W in the partnership?
     
    #46
  47. goober

    goober Legend

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    If it is a weak serve, you are a sitting duck at the net. I assume that the returner is already swinging away. Since she is continuously being broken your presence at the net is not doing much.

    If she stands out wide she doesn't have to serve wide. She can serve up the T or into the body. Besides you never said how bad her groundstrokes were. I assumed they were ok. If your partner has a weak serve and bad groundstrokes you are NOT going to win very many matches unless you can dominate on your own.
     
    #47
  48. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    her groundstrokes are better than her net play. She hits a low flat groundstroke thats pretty good. I just need a way to convince her to stay back.

    I agree that I may be better off staying back on her serve.
     
    #48
  49. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Mixed is seldom fun unless the females are rated higher than the males by at least .5 and all can handle the pace without getting intimidated.
     
    #49
  50. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    that just never happens......

    but I agree that mixed CAN be fun with the right participants, but it's definitely an acquired taste.
     
    #50

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