I'm about to play mixed doubles for the first time

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by lethalphorce, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. lethalphorce

    lethalphorce New User

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    What should I expect?
    Is there a major difference in strategy from men's dubs? Are there certain etiquette things (besides the obvious stuff) I should be aware of?
     
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  2. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    What level are you playing?

    Really, the strategy is the same as any doubles play, isolate the weaker player and don't allow them to isolate your teams weaker player. Match your strengths to their weaknesses and control the net. Celebrate your victory with a beer.

    Etiquette comes down to common sense. If you're a blaster and the weaker player can't get their stick on the ball...don't keep posting welts on the poor soul.

    Oh, and don't stare at an attractive opponent...unless it's being returned ;-)
     
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  3. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Expect practically every shot to be hit towards your partner.
     
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  4. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Mixed dubs usually comes down to this:

    -Play keep-away from the stronger player.
    -Make the weaker player hit their weakest shot as often as possible.
    -If they are both at the net, try lobbing the weaker player.
     
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  5. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    Saying mixed is like saying women's is like men's... it is a hybrid of the two games... Depending on the level and how serious the opponents are it can become a game of keep away, and lobbing to the extreme isolating the stronger player from touching the ball.

    Staring at the attractive opponent is like staring at the sun... you do not ogle, you have to discretely admire her excellent (tennis) form, but regardless she will probably know anyway.

    Best of luck... for some it is a nice social distraction... for others it will be hours of their lives they will never get back.
     
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  6. escii_35

    escii_35 Rookie

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    Females who play social don't expect to be plowed. If they are playing league it's part of the game.

    My secret for winning (7.0s) is finding a granny who just stands at the net and puts the ball away. I stand around as the points flow in. 8.0s is usually about negating that darned 4.5.
     
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  7. HitItHarder

    HitItHarder Semi-Pro

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    I played in a mixed league for the first time this summer with my wife as my partner. (Yes -- I realize some people consider this to be a sign of insanity) A few quick observations.

    As hard as it seems, try not to treat the female opponent any differently than a male opponent. Use your regular serve and ground strokes. Don't "take it easy" on anyone. Often the women consider this more than a little insulting. But also use common sense -- don't go headhunting or anything.

    Expect the male player to be extra agressive at the net and with poaching. It is either because they feel like they need to end points quickly because their partner may be weaker, or they are trying to be macho and show a superior female teammate they can contribute too.

    Don't overlook the female player -- I played many matches where the female opponent was the stronger player and it was more effective to isolate the male. Probe both players before you make up your mind about which of the pair to attack.

    Expect lobs - lots and lots of lobs. It seemed like the lob was used more than any other shot to try and recover from an attacking shot. Make sure you have discussed with your partner how you intend to handle lobs to particular parts of the court when one or both of you is at the net. I saw too many times when the guy considered himself to be the faster player and would go after lobs that would have been better handled by their teammate.

    Along the same lines -- trust your partner to do their job. If you try and play both sides of the net, you will give away tons of points where a ball is hit to the open court you just vacated because you are trying to play every ball.

    Mixed can be a lot of fun if you have the right attitude. Oh, and don't berate your spouse/partner in front of your opponents, save it for the car ride home. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
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  8. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Good stuff!!

    Trusting your partner is a big one. In fact I often encourage my partners to be more agressive. If you are the stronger player, nothing sucks more than watching your partner pass up a ball they could have killed because they feel they should leave it for you, but lose the point becasue you didn't expect to have to play the ball.
     
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  9. lethalphorce

    lethalphorce New User

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    This is a rec league - we'll probably be playing 7.0 - 7.5.

    lol, mixed dubs has never really appealed to me, but I have an opportunity to fill in for someone this week. Hopefully it's not that bad :)

    Thanks, this is one of the things I was unsure about.
     
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  10. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    Just go out and play your normal game and you'll be fine. No reason to change unless you get one of the odd matches where one player is seriously over matched by the pace of the ball and then you might back off a bit. Otherwise, it can be a fun time.
     
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  11. stoo

    stoo Semi-Pro

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    Help, I'm steppin' into the twilight zone....
    Very well said.
     
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  12. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    And even then, only when within walking distance of home and that nice comfortable couch that you will have to get used to.
     
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  13. jazzyfunkybluesy

    jazzyfunkybluesy Banned

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  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    1. There is no excuse for you to ever miss the return on the woman's serve. Do not attempt to blast it for a 90 mph winner unless you are really good at creating your own pace. If the opposing guy has cement overshoes and doesn't move at net, hit drop shots off of the woman's serve if it is weak.

    2. If you do not break the opposing woman, you will probably lose. You must break her every single time. This gives you some wiggle room in case your partner doesn't hold and if the opposing man has an unbreakable serve. You? You are expected to hold using your Big Bad Forehand and your Big Bad Serve.

    3. Never, ever DF to the opposing woman. This is a sin punishable by hanging.

    4. If you can volley, follow all of your returns of the woman's serve to net. Many women get very intimidated by two at net and will cough up an error or weak shot.

    5. Help your partner hold. Move around up there. Fake. Poach. Do *something.*

    6. If your female partner is struggling to return the guy's serve, simply play two back on his first serve. Then if her ball strays toward the net player, you have a decent shot at getting it back somehow.
     
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  15. apor

    apor Rookie

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    What to expect depends on your partner. This is the first year I played mixed, and I've had two different partners. One was very solid but didn't move well, and the other only had a slice and didn't move at all. Needless to say, I did a lot of running. I still enjoyed every minute of it. I met both partners right before the match, but we discussed (honestly) our strengths and weaknesses, and since there's two of you, you have to work as a team. The stronger of you will have to do their best to help the weaker, in order to get the win, or have fun or whatever it is you're playing for.
     
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  16. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    This post should be stickied! Well said!
     
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  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Avoid communicating with your partner. She will try to whip up a little team spirit at the start. Then she will try to tell you some secrets about the opponents, like he has a big serve and she has a great lob. Just look away and don't respond.

    If she tries to tell you she has some injuries and might not be at her top level, give her a disbelieving look.

    Whenever the opposing female wins a point, cheer loudly. Don't do that when your partner wins a point.

    During the changeovers, try to chat up the opposing female.

    If your partner calls a ball out, contradict it at once and side with the opponents.

    After the match, just walk away without saying a word.
     
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  18. TheSubdude

    TheSubdude Rookie

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    Is it wrong of me to consider this thread the exact reason I don't ever want to play mixed?

    There seems to be too much PC awareness needed to have a fun, competitive match.
     
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  19. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Why do you say that?
     
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  20. TheSubdude

    TheSubdude Rookie

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    It's just that I've seen several threads like this. They almost always ask questions like "Am I serving too hard? Kicking it too high? Do I hit my forehand the way I usually do? Drop volley or overhead at the feet?"

    Tennis requires enough concentration without worrying about who you're insulting because you're either playing too hard or not playing hard enough.

    That and I'm scared to lose to a girl.
     
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  21. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Well I personally haven't played mixed with any women who object to me hitting hard against them. These questions are unecessary. The only time I would refrain from hitting hard is if its a completely social match and they are a beginner.
     
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  22. lethalphorce

    lethalphorce New User

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    After playing my 1st match of mixed the other night, I realize that most of these concerns I had were unwarranted. The women I played with were good players & had no problems handling pace. They were also 4.0's. I did look around & see some other women playing that weren't as solid, but as long as your playing with others at your own level there shouldn't be any issues.
    With that being said. . . the tennis was good. . . but the fact that my partner would hold up play so she could chat with the girl we were playing against. . . the guy on the court next to us. . . her husband on the court on our other side . . . was a bit annoying :mad:
     
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  23. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    Other than the stuff that has been said, make sure to figure out what your role is. I play 3.0 men's in the spring, and 7.0 mixed in the fall, matching up with a 4.0 woman who has some knee/mobility issues, but who has a monster flat forehand. The things that are good for me to do in the spring (being aggressive at net, lots of poaching) do not serve me well in the fall, because I often end up making my partner cross and give up the forehand she has already lined up.

    I have found quick little topspin return lobs over the woman are a great tactic. Most women at 3.5 and 4.0 don't have a huge overhead, and since they tend to be under 6', it doesn't have to be a great lob. This works especially if her partner is a dominant net charger, because it takes him out of his game to cross and cover after serving. It also works great during a rally.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
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  24. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    So, husband and wife were playing together against you and the guy on the court next to yours was chatting up the wife? That's pretty funny. Was there a fishbowl next to the courts? :twisted:
     
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  25. ronray43

    ronray43 New User

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    Have fun. Enjoy the scenery. Buy the ladies a glass of wine after the match.
     
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  26. roddick_rulz

    roddick_rulz Semi-Pro

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    Don't pop wood!!!
     
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  27. ajmack

    ajmack New User

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    Mixed isn't for me

    Several of my regular doubles partners enjoy mixed more than regular doubles or singles. I just can't get into it.
    If anyone here has taken karate, it's similar to sparring with a woman. If you take it easy on her, pull some punches, she hits you a few times and begins talking trash (highly annoying). On the tennis court, you hit a few dinks to a woman, end up losing the point and you feel with a p/ssy. Especially if she high-fives her partner or celebrates in any manner.
    If you play aggressive, pound the ball at the female, well, you're winning points against a female.
    Similarly, if you begin popping a female in the face in sparring, well, you're an a//hole for kicking a woman's a//.
    It's too frustrating and mentally exhausting for me to continually struggle with whether to hit to the female and what type of shot to hit.
    There's never any guilt beating a guy. I've tanked a game before to avoid a double bagel, but that's about it.
    Anyone else have similar thoughts?
     
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  28. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    What a cop-out. You're just afraid of being out-played by a woman. What you are saying is pure delusion. If a woman is willing to step on the court with you (or spar against you in karate), then they want to compete against you, not face a chicken.

    Unless its a social match AND they say to you, "go easy on me because I know you're alot better than me", then you should go as hard as you need to go to get the job done.
     
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  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, I don't get it.

    You're afraid to hit your biggest serve and biggest groundstroke to the woman? Why? I assure you that you cannot possibly serve the ball fast enough to hurt me. I won't return it, but I am capable of ducking.

    Besides, if you're so far superior to your female opponent, you should be able to work her over without blasting the ball. You want to make me look like a fool? Hit a twist serve or a ridiculous topspin moonball. I'll freeze, I promise you.

    No one has to play mixed or enjoy mixed. But let's not pretend the reason is that the guy's play is so far superior to that of the woman that she might get hurt if he plays his "A" game in a league match.
     
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  30. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Taking it easy on the woman, is disrespecting her as a player.
     
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  31. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    my doubles partner is female and we are pretty successful against most of the all male doubles teams that we have played :)

    she deserves the most of the credit because the other teams would hit most of the balls to her.

    in our team, I play the supporting role. she plays the starring role.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
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  32. jserve

    jserve Rookie

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    Its not that the men's game is so far superior to a woman's game. I think my overhead could do serious damage against a man or a woman, but I would feel a ton more guilt hitting a woman than I would a man, so I tend to avoid the situations where that would happen. It has nothing to do with the strength of a female player. In fact it doesn't even have anything to do with tennis. Its simply a matter of protecting my own conscience. If someone is disturbed by me holding back, then they can certainly make me pay by winning the points.

    I have also seen plenty of male players that don't have a sense of guilt hitting the female opponents. I know that a lot of woman don't like playing them for these reasons, and call them a-holes behind their backs.

    I guess there is no way to make everyone happy.
     
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  33. xcourt4hand

    xcourt4hand New User

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    ...don't suggest swapping shirts after the game...

    "don't stare at your attractive opponent..."

    WHAAAAT!!!!

    Surely that should read "Don't get CAUGHT staring at your attractive opponent"...

    ...and resist the temptation to pat your partners bottom after a good shot...

    (more importantly resist the temptation to pat your opponents bottom(s) after a good shot...)
     
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  34. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I think people should be apologetic when they hit anyone with the ball. This is not a contact sport, so the goal of winning the point should not revolve around hitting your opponents with the ball. If they call the men a-holes, its not because they should go easy on a female player, but because only a-holes seek to hit others with the tennis ball.
     
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  35. xcourt4hand

    xcourt4hand New User

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    True - I don't think anyone should aim to hit their opponent - male or female with the ball although there's nothing inn the rules against it - it's better to aim somewhere near their feet and one should definitely apologize if the ball accidentally hits one's opponent as can happen.

    Having said that, I don't think it's wrong to aim at one's opponent if they're at the net and you're on the baseline and I've also had great fun playing against friends when we've purposely aimed at each other every opportunity we got - but that was on a mutually agreed understanding between friends...
     
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  36. nickynu

    nickynu Semi-Pro

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    "what should you expect?"

    A= DRAMA !
     
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  37. GeoffB

    GeoffB Rookie

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    There's also the situation the best play is to go straight at one of the net players, hard. I'm pretty sure everyone has been in this situation before, especially in doubles. What happens is the opposing team floats the ball short for an easy sitter, then move toward the net and cut off the angle. You can't really pass or lob easily, because you're in the middle of the court, but you do have plenty of time to set up for the shot. In this case, you're probably best off trying to jam one of the net players inside.

    This is that grey area that tends to generate some dirty looks. Hitting the other player isn't the explicit intention when you try to jam someone, but it's a very likely outcome.

    Personally, I think that if you cut off the angle on a sitter, you pretty much give up on the right to complain, and most people seem to agree (if you're casually playing a pick up game with a wide skill gap, it's probably best not to do this, but if it's a competitive league, then I suspect almost everyone involved, male or female, will accept the consequences of cutting off the angle on a sitter...)
     
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  38. dragon2o00

    dragon2o00 New User

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    i know exactly what you're talking about. it's not a matter of not respecting the woman, it's just a lose lose situation. if you go after the woman, you're supposed to win the pt, as a guy. so if you lose it, it's not good but even if you get it, it's not that great either. i don't play much mixed but when i do, i just go after the guy hard.

    an example, we played a friendly (but still very competitive) mixed and the opposing girl was a former D1 college, great junior type. she was somewhat rusty but still very good and gave our 4.0 guys some difficulty in singles. on one specific point, i finally told myself to pretend she was a guy, so on a 2nd serve, i took a very aggressive down the line return. she tried to volley but my return knocked her racquet back and she was grabbing her wrist in pain. this has happened in the past with male opponents but they try not to let it show. anyways, i felt awful and since then, couldn't do anything like that again. you just don't want to be in that situation. saying it's disrespectful to not go after the woman is fine until you end up in that situation and there is no gain from that.
     
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  39. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I dunno, I regularly practice with the 9.0&10.0 teams. It is an absolute blast. The girls are great, and about 1/2 of the guys are my normal practice partners.

    I play straight up, just like I would in mens dubs. Sometimes if I have to fill in against a weaker team they will ask me to serve easy, but usually it is straight up playing.

    Maybe it is different because I am playing with my friends, and all of the girls are very accomplished players?

    My advice to you is don't go in with a bias, go have fun.


    J
     
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  40. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I think its a little odd that someone would want to close in on the net after they just hit a sitter...I've never seen it done, but if someone wants to play the net like that they are asking to get hit.
     
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  41. GeoffB

    GeoffB Rookie

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    Yeah, a "sitter" is an extreme example, and experienced players pretty much never close the net on a true sitter. But the same situation still arises when someone closes the net on a weak, short approach shot (where "weak" is relative to the skill level of the players).
     
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  42. FloridaAG

    FloridaAG Professional

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    I play mixed all the time - frankly it is just a judgment call - whoever the receiver is if male or female, if they are not particularly strong players I just spin my serve instead of serving full pace, do not try to peg anyone, and play hard and have fun. Really its just common sense and determining what your goals are in the game - win at all costs or have fun. While I am extremely competitive, I can certainly guage the situation and adjust -
     
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  43. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

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    Maybe it's because I'm not that advanced of a player, but I don't even pay attention to who's accross the net (male vs. female), I play the same. If they're not protecting the line, I'm gonna fire a shot down the line as hard & deep as I can, regardless of if I believe they could get to it or not. Same for slams. I of course do not do this with my daughter, but she's not close to my level (8 y/o). But if you're good enough to be in the same league as me, I'm playing the same.
    Not that I'm like, "I'm gonna punish or take advantage of the weaker player." I just concentrate on what I'm doing, who the opponent is does not matter, where the opponents are at is what matters. I know, clear as mud:)
     
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  44. xcourt4hand

    xcourt4hand New User

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    I think you've got it just about spot on, I try to use it as practice for my second serve against opponents who are clearly not as strong, socially more so than competition though, but in neither would I hit directly at the opponent unless from behind the baseline.
     
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  45. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I think that is key... but I also think for some men it is hard to play all out in mixed... I know I am one of them, but that is no fault of anyone but mine.
     
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  46. precision2b

    precision2b Semi-Pro

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    I agree. It's not to much fun beating up on someone who can't beat back... "Have Fun" am not going to be getting any pay checks for my play any time soon...
     
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  47. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    Be nice if you want to have fun, you can even keep the scores close if you think you can manage. Save the winning for league?
     
    #47
  48. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    As if the male opponent isn't beating up on your partner as well? It evens out regardless of how you look at it because both sides have a male and female partner. Besides, you don't have to target the weaker player...you can hit your shots completely based on the positioning of your opponents.
     
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  49. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

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    That's what I say.
     
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  50. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Interesting concept. . . I feel as if I don't play full out, I am letting my partner down, and insulting my opponents. Like she is out on the court here to play with me, and they are here to play against me, the least I could do is give a crap.

    I mean, if it is clearly practice matches, and we want to work on S&V, poaching, signaling, whatever, then we don't have to play to win at all costs, but I still care, and do the best I can (admittedly best I can with what I have is my general doubles motto, since my game is not at all built for it, but I do enjoy it.)

    J
     
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