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

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

  1. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    I don't know how should I express how important this is.

    The first time and only time I ever lost 0 and 0 was when I partnered with a girl who literally did not know how to play at all during my adolescent years. No weapons, no form, nothing. She actually didn't know the point system or the rules either. I was playing a handicap tennis match against two good players. They eventually won the tournament the next day. I busted my rump, but it's impossible to win a doubles match when your partner has not played tennis in weeks. She actually had a authentic pink BLX, but it was out of her league.

    It was extremely embarrassing and a waste of my and my opponents' time. The guy had a strong topspin serve and aced my female partner every single time. The girl had a weaker flat serve that still aced her. They literally won 100% of their service games against her. I remember when she was swinging into the ball, the racquet flew about 5 feet into another court. I'm glad no one was playing on that court. :oops:

    I didn't vent at her though in person. I couldn't blame her.
     
  2. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    Wouldn't matter whether such a noob partner was a man or a woman. Clueless is clueless.
     
  3. dasob85

    dasob85 New User

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    Once, I actually got hit when the racquet flew out of my partner's hand on the followthrough. There's no rule saying women are more dangerous lol
     
  4. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I think both genders have issues when their partners are weak.

    I also think both genders have issues when their partner does not play the way someone of their own gender would play.

    When I, as a woman, play doubles, I expect my partner to be able to volley. I do not expect her to hit the ball so hard that she knocks the racket out of our opponents' hands. I expect her to lob somebody's BH when she is under pressure against two at net. And I don't expect her to overhit.

    When a guy partner does these things, it gets frustrating.

    Similarly, I imagine my guy partner is frustrated when I don't finish a point that his typical male partner would finish with power. He probably is annoyed that I lob more than a male partner would. And he darn sure doesn't respect my serve or feel he has the hands to volley an aggressive ball aimed at him.

    But mixed doubles is quite lovely when you have a partner who can hold up their end.
     
  5. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    No, the point of my anecdote is because it was mixed doubles... I had a noob male player before.
     
  6. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    As I'm sure most of the males in this thread will attest to, that is MUCH easier said than done. Being rarely paired up with a strong female partner is the reason why I no longer play mixed.
     
  7. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Agreed! The 4.0 women at my club are generally weaker than most 3.5 men and the 4.5 women are generally weaker than most 4.0 men.
     
  8. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    I recently had a mixed match that was a lot of fun. Lots of pace, aggressive poaching, and a variety of tactics in play. We got slaughtered, but it was a blast. Non of that puff-ball lob fest stuff that I so detest in mixed.
     
  9. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Yup, and to continue the trend, the 5.0 women are generally weaker than most 4.5 men.

    Actually, this is more generally true in singles - I know a top 5.0 woman who get's beaten by most middle-of-the-road 4.5 men. But the gap is closer in dubs - the top 5.0 women are probably as good as the mid 4.5 men (but not as good as the top 4.5 men).

    Still, I don't mind playing mixed with 5.0 women. But there's not many of them around.
     
  10. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    Let me back up just a little. I do agree with you to a point I guess. If I get stuck in a situation where I get partnered with someone that can't do maybe what my wife does, I don't try to make them do things they can't and infact will define territory I guess. What I will do in that instance is ask them what they are comfortable with and I will adjust.

    However when that match is over, win or lose we will have a conversation about this territory thing. I guess my thing is I will not continue to cover 3/4 of the court with the same person. I can do it and have done it but I learned pretty quickly it not only does the woman a disservice to continue to play like that, it causes injury. One of our players is hurt and it's mostly because he's covering balls in her court what she should be playing.

    So I do agree with what you are saying in some instances, I just wouldn't do it on a every match basis. She would have to at some point be working to cover her side of the court. Yesterday we smoked up a team where me and the guy was what I would say pretty even, but my woman was heads and shoulders was clearly better...so I intentionally gave up a good portion of the court especially when my wife was serving. She would serve and of course he would hit it right back to her...and then she would hit it right to the woman who was standing on her service line. She would then either pop the ball up or hit it short right back to me and I'd rifle it right between them. We must have done this 15 or 20 times and the only way we lost a point is if I netted the ball. :)

    So I guess that's why I'm a stickler for getting them better over the long run if I'm going to be playing with you for any good length of time. :)


     
  11. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    I love this post...it's so true. I live by all of what you said. I don't coach and sure as hell don't put up with it. I've won tourneys with at least 12 different women and some of them 5 and 6 tourneys apiece and I promise you I can go back and play with any of them now.

    Tennis has always been and always will be fun to me. I only discuss where my serves are going and things of that nature. I've never told a partner man or woman..."you're dropping your shoulder on your volley" unless I'm asked. I honestly don't even tell them after a match. I think if a woman really wants coaching...she will get it and if she wants my opinion she can ask.

    My favorite words for especially women when they are cleary playing like chit is "we'll get the next one" or "keep trying you'll get there...great effort". The reason is when I hit an over head off the fence the last thing I want to hear at that point is "can you please aim for the court"(I was told this once).lol I will never forget how bad I went off after the match about that. So I just don't do it to anyone because I don't put up with it. So Cindy..I agree with what you said here. :)


     
  12. JW10S

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    Maybe, I don't see an issue there though. I've never competed with a female partner who was as strong or better than me. The big issue is whether they are stronger than the opposing female, that makes a bigger difference. I'm 6'4" and won an Open MXD prize money tournament 3 years in a row with a partner who was 5'2". She didn't serve big, but I could tell her to serve this one up the T, or this one into the body, or wide and she could, even though it wasn't real fast. That let me move at net and do what I can do. The opposing guys hate when you poach on their returns. She had good groundies and could return most male players serves pretty well and not hang me out at net, which again let me move around at net. She could rip the other female's serves back though. She didn't have a killer overhead or volleys but she was solid enough with them. She didn't poach much, but she didn't miss many either. And as an aside we would often break down the opposing guy a bit by having both of us go at him or down his alley at the start of the match so he didn't feel he could move as freely. I've had success with other partners who had different strengths and weakness as well. You have to figure what you do best and what they do best and work with that--if you expect them to play like your male partners then I can see why you don't get it. I find some of the unique strategic aspects of MXD fascinating.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  13. paul500w

    paul500w Rookie

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    you have to step up your game if you are losing and not blame it on your female partner.
     
  14. paul500w

    paul500w Rookie

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    Which happens to be my wife hahaha
     
  15. 6789

    6789 New User

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    agree with op

    Too much "let's hit the woman at net" attitude in my experience.
     
  16. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    OK, as the op of this thread, let me update with some thoughts.....

    Lots of great advice in this thread and I have learned a lot.
    Here are some tips which really helped me.

    1) Don't expect mixed to be like men's doubles. It's an ENTIRELY different experience. If you expect that going in, you can embrace the differences and not let them frustrate you.

    2) Women want a partner that is "enjoyable" to play with. This means not criticising her technique or anything else which may be lacking. Talk about what you CAN do together...not what you cannot do. That should be obvious to both of you.

    3) Trust your partner and don't try and do too much. This was always my first instinct, but this often times just makes things worse.

    4) Always talk in terms of "we" as in "us as a team". Never point out individual faults.

    Mixed doubles is what it is and there are certain things about it that you cannot change. But there is a LOT you can do to make it more enjoyable.
     
  17. Avles

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    Don't 2,3 and 4 really apply to all doubles? I think most people want a partner that's enjoyable to play with and won't appreciate in-match criticism.
     
  18. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    yes, but these things seem to apply more to women.
     
  19. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think the issue is that women are more insecure or needy.

    The issue is that some guys are more likely to criticize and dominate and engage in the described behaviors when his partner is a woman than a man.

    It's weird. A lot of men go into mixed expecting it to be like men's doubles.

    Yet few women go into mixed expecting it to be like ladies' doubles.

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm . . .
     
  20. floydcouncil

    floydcouncil Semi-Pro

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    Your #1 and #2 applies to YOUR level of mixed.. not in higher levels. More women want to play higher level with guys so they can improve!!!

    Heck... I played mixed the other day where my W partner is a collegiate freshman, plays #1 for the team. She is, no doubt, more powerful and consistent than me from the baseline. I was clearly better than her at the net game. Therefore, we made a great team. We easily beat the crap out of two 4.5 male opponents.

    You're short sighted by saying that women want to simply "enjoy" playing mixed.
     
  21. Adles

    Adles Rookie

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    I think this is true - I'd love to get on a court someone my level and two people a full level up. I would learn a lot, and have fun. It'll never happen though...
     
  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Think about how UN fun it would be for the other 3 guys.
    You probably are the BEST player of some foursome, and you won't have much fun.
    Imagine you and your peers playing with ONE guy who's really low level.
    Water should seek it's level, somehow.
     
  23. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I never said that :)

    But.....guys tend to be more blunt and direct with each other. That doesn't work as well with women. Especially when you aren't "friends".
     
  24. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I never said that either :confused:
    I said they want a partner that is "enjoyable" to play with. That doesn't mean they aren't competitve or don't want other things out of their tennis.
     
  25. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Jack, if you really don't have a female partner that you can have fun with or can depend on her shots, save your time, her and your feelings, and money and don't play mixed.

    Simple. Why invest your energy on something that you don't enjoy?
     
  26. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Because I WANT to enjoy it. That's why I keep trying.

    Also....there are 2 Men's doubles seasons and in between are 2 mixed seasons. I prefer to play year round, so I would rather play mixed than not play at all.

    A lot of the enjoyment level of team play in general comes down to your particuar team and the people you play with. If you have a different unfamiliar partner every week, you won't enjoy it that much.
     
  27. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    SAY...... you are the alpha tennis player of all your acquaintances.
    Would you deliberately choose MIXED doubles for your enjoyment?
    How can you? Mixed involves different levels of players.
    I've played mixed where the girls were 2 full points better than my partner and I. We lost, they were goofing around.
    There's always going to be one strongest, one holding his own, one barely holding his own, and one weak player in ANY doubles, mixed or whatever.
    Treat it like that.
     
  28. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I don't agree with you there, Lee.

    In regular men's dubs, e.g. a 4.5 league match, most of the time the 4 players are going to be close to one another in ability. Sure, one might be strongest by a bit, one might be weakest by a bit, but the differences will be small. Of course there will be exceptions, like 4.0s playing up, but the majority of the time there will not be a huge difference in skill level amongst the four.

    Whereas in mixed, the most common partnerships at e.g. 9.0 mixed are 4.5 M and 4.5 W (in which case there is a noticeable difference), and 5.0 M and 4.0W (pretty huge difference). Of course you could also have 4.0 M plus 5.0 W which is pretty close (woman is stronger but not hugely so), but that is rare. So the majority of the time there will be a large difference in skill level amongst the four.

    And that is the main difference between mixed and for example men's league - how close in skill level the players generally are to each other.
     
  29. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Well, if you really want to enjoy it, find a female partner that can suit you.
    How many partners have you went through? Are there any decent players left that aren't on a team?

    If there aren't any 'decent' players left, find the best of the worst and try to work with her. Spend some extra time and hit in singles and find another team for a sparring session.
     
  30. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    With all the 4.0M with the 120mph serves I am not sure that the 5.0W would actually be stronger but maybe as you mentioned just a little bit.

    I've never really liked mixed but I am considering doing 9.0 mixed this year since I am a 4.0M and can have a strong partner. I tried 8.0 this year for practice and am definitely not going to play that but 9.0 might be somewhat competitive and potentially fun.
     
  31. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    If I were in your position I would also consider playing 9.0 mixed... you could play with a 5.0 woman and make a very strong pair. Although you'd have to play against some weaker women most likely which isn't great tennis. But you would do well and win a lot so there's that.

    My problem is that for decent tennis I'd have to play 10.0 with a 5.5 or 5.0 woman, and there aren't that many of them around. Not many 10.0 teams around either.
     
  32. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I'm really 50-50 on it, because I am not a finesse player and I am not sure my game is going to translate well into mixed (even at 9.0). I think I will try a practice match to see how I like it. In truth, I think much of my interest in doing it is to annoy some of the guys I am playing with since I will have a much stronger partner. There are a few guys around my area that take mixed seriously.
     
  33. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Exactly! You can say directly to a man's face that his backhand sucks today and he wouldn't even bat an eye nor take it personally. You can NEVER say that to a woman without her smacking you with her racquet. :shock:
     
  34. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Reek with sexism. I have played with a few guys who wouldn't take a single friendly comment without retorting with profanity. On other hand I haven't received any negative responses from women when we "reviewed" post match how the lost team lost due to the women's weakness. It's all about respect and guys often don't have it for their peers.
     
  35. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    That is absolute, complete, total, BS! I know plenty of guys who are as thin skinned as rice paper. I can see why you can't find good MXD parnters, why would they bother with you?
     
  36. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    Maybe I've just been lucky, but most of the women I've met through mixed have been good competitors who like a challenge and are relatively thick skinned.

    On the flip side by far the most high maintenance player I've ever played with or against is a guy.
     
  37. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Well then you must play with a bunch of effeminate guys. Guys say things like - "What's wrong with your forehand (or serve, etc.) today?" to each other, including to me, all the time. No real men I know take those kinds of comments personally. They just shrug it off. With women, even if you say something nice to them but with the "wrong tone of voice" or "wrong attitude", they jump all over you.

    Oh, and I can't find good mixed partners because they don't exist. There are no 5.0 women at my club.
     
  38. texacali

    texacali Rookie

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    I grew up and played tennis in Nor Cal during that era and know those names well. Highlights of that era for me....WTT at the Coliseum, Transamerica at Cow Palace, Virginia Slims at the Coliseum. Good times.

     
  39. RetroSpin

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    I so agree with this.
     
  40. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't take it personally, but I would think you were a jerk. Who the f are you to be criticizing my strokes? I don't want to listen to that kind of talk during a match.
     
  41. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    LOL. Dangly bits. Very nice. Gotta remember that one.
     
  42. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    Well, have you considered the possibility that this particular partner may just be too weak for you to win with regardless of what you do? I mean, even with men's doubles (which I play a lot of), sometimes you just know that a certain guy is always the weak link and when you are paired with him, you are probably going to lose. There IS a food chain in tennis, you know. No problem with trying to help her get better, but the fact is that there will always be those players who are weak enough that you probably aren't going to win often with them as a partner---not against solid competition.
     
  43. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    I wonder if your partner is not trying to politely tell you you have no business trying to poach. Poaching is not as easy as it looks, and if you don't get to a shot, you're toast. Or maybe she's just not comfortable trying to serve and them hustle over to cover your side.

    For all you know, she is complaining to her friends that she has to play with a 3.5 who thinks he is Bob Bryan.
     
  44. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Don't get me wrong as I'm not defending him - don't know him and never seen him play - but why does it bother you?

    Sure it would be nice if he could poach and kill balls at the net but are you uncomfortable holding your own or dominating cross court rallies? The better female players I play with can do that. If anything they're stronger off the ground.

    I've lost count of the times that my female partner does nothing at the net, but I'm still confident that I can win any exchange off the ground and dominate rallies. If I can't do that then as far as I'm conserved the other team deserve to win.
     
  45. RetroSpin

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    She's just making the point that a lot of guys way overestimate their ability.

    I do agree with you. If the guy can't dominate the other team and impose his will on them, you deserve to lose. I can't believe the amount of sissy whining on this thread.
     
  46. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    It bothers me because we are supposed to be working in tandem to win. I work hard from the baseline to get my partner easy balls to put away. When he does nothing with them, not only do we fail to win an easy point, but I am sometimes so surprised by his complete inaction that I am half a step late to cover for him and thus am not able to play as strong a shot, and/or end up out of position for the next shot because I did cover for him.

    Doubles play is a complicated dance, and each partner needs to know his role and responsibilities at any given time in the point. When your partner is clueless, I don't care how much bigger his serve is or how much harder his groundies are--give me a savvy player with merely competent strokes any day as a partner.
     
  47. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    +1.

    I am not interested in any male partner who checks out when I am serving or rallying from the baseline.

    If the net player isn't going to try to help the server hold, what the heck is he doing out there?

    The guy should be active at net. He should be a total men@ace, especially against the opposing female if she doesn't hit with pace or is lobby.

    Yet I have guys alley camp or behave like potted plants or fail to put away sitters.

    I will try to help my male partners hold, and I expect them to do the same for me.

    Remember, in mixed the male is expected to hold (with his partner's help, of course). The goal is then to get the female to hold while also breaking the opposing female. If you force your female partner to play 1-vs-2 when she is serving, you won't win much.

    Some of you dudes need to take a few lessons on volleys and poaching. . . .
     
  48. AtomicForehand

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    I want Cindy as my dubs partner! But then it wouldn't be mixed.
     
  49. dizzlmcwizzl

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    I sense you have been hurt in the past Sphinx .... come on baby, dizz will make it all better. Find us a tourney. 2 hours to DC from here.
     
  50. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Who am I? I'm your partner who's trying to win a match with you, that's who! Just trying to shake you out of it so you can get your act together. I've made those kinds of comments to my partner after losing the 1st set 0-6, and then we've gone on to win the 2nd set 6-0. I know my partner has a better forehand, serve, backhand, volley, whatever, so he just needed to break out of the rut.

    If my serve is sucking, I want my partner to let me know so I can focus on fixing it so that we can still win the match.

    It's a battle out there and it's about winning. So leave the thin skin at home. If you were on a battlefield and you depended on your wingman to survive and he was not doing what you know he's capable of, wouldn't you tell him to get his act together? Worry about hurting his feelings and you're dead.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013

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