Mixed doubles

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by whodat, May 2, 2004.

  1. whodat

    whodat Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Messages:
    121
    I know that this subject might have been debated multiple times before but I don't remember what the general concensus was. This past weekend I played in a 4.0 mixed doubles tournament and had multiple chances to really hit the opposing female opponent with overheads and short forehands. At the last second I let up and either hit a powder puff shot or shank the ball. Going over the match in my mind later I realized these few missed opportunities might have costed us the match. We lost 10-12 in the third set tie-breaker. :x When I play men's doubles I have no trouble going after a guy if he did not give up--i.e. turn his back or move out of the way of an overhead or put away volley. I have a difficult time getting past that barrier when playing mix. Not to degrade women tennis players but most 4.0 males have a vastly superior arsenal when compared to 4.0 females. At the higher levels, 4.5+, everyone should be expected to be attacked when facing short, putaway shots because they have the skills and reflexes to defend themselves. I don't feel that this is necessary the case for the lower levels. My question is should I go ahead and "pound the girl" when the opportunity arises--a lot of my opponents "pound" my mixed partner--or not play too much mixed and stick more to men's because of my "psychological barrier." :roll:
     
    #1
  2. Hawaii 5.0

    Hawaii 5.0 Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Messages:
    299
    I see where you are coming from.I know tons of people who have tried not to his the woman when playing mixed doubles, but even in doubles how often do they really get hit and how often are there times when they say that hitting them was the only option and that there was no other way.The point of tennis is not to hit people(whether you win or lose).There is NO way that one person can cover the whole court OR leave you NO option but to nail them.You can hit around them or hit with more angle or adjust where your hittin from, but when people say this, it's just ignorant.Now if they just stand there it's good tactics forcing you to adjust or choose the shot and test your accuracy.By hitting people your sending the wrong message(lack of control and ability to win the point).If you had control you could easily hit around them,sure it's more work, but it doesn't turn yourself into a target later when they get a similar sitaution.

    I'm not posting this story to be mean, but in a mixed doubles tournament 9.0 where we were in the quarterfinals.My partner is a 4.0 and obviously weaker, but my opponent(male player) did at first win the put aways by going around my partner(who did move sometimes and not always stand her ground), but then they started getting down in the set and he was frustrated and really started going at both me and her to no avail.Now he actually hit my partner on purpose when he hit a dropshot and she ran it down,he nailed her(we took an injury timeout to where even his partner was concerned) when he could have much more easily pushed it pass her.This enraged me to where we got in a verbal arguement.I regretfully retaliated by(on the next sitter) aiming for his ankle and nailing him in the ankle and forcing their team to retire from injury(I later apologized and hit with him regularly and consider him a friend).The point of the story is not to hit people because it shows ignorance and lack of control.

    Now getting over your mental barrier of trying not to hit them, but wanting to win the point(commendable).I say try harder to get in position to hit a better ball, not the easier one of hitting them.If you think about it that when you do hit people you often have tons of time to choose and think about where to go.Plus you'll find it's more rewarding and mentally hurtful to them to go around them than through them because even at open and 5.0 doubles I will hold my ground 90 percent of the time and I rarely get hit(usually of my own fault of crossing too soon or whatnot).Plus when I do get hit it's really not very hard because at higher levels people know that if you hit someone they will retaliate by winning(best revenge) or hitting you back(sometimes harder).That's why when women get hit,especially hard it's a sad state of tennis.How would you feel if you were a woman and you got nailed by a man even if you moved way to the overhead?The problem also lies in the fact that lower level doubles(mixed or not) is where this mostly happens.Tennis is a gentlemens game and for those of you who still beleive that hitting people is the only option,hope you don't hit my partner on a sitter or overhead.
     
    #2
  3. jun

    jun Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    548
    I think as long as you are not intentional, and you are not simply keep going after her you should be ok. You should probably go with a little bit more of placement and finese than pure force, i suppose.

    A group of people had chance to hit with d1 player and a good coach. And this girl who was about 4.0~4.5 was initimidated by his power and couldn't volley at all (we were all at the net). And the d1 guy just kept going after her. He might have thought it was even funny. No one really said anything, but i thought it was pretty low of him to do that.

    On the other hand, some women just don't expect anything hard at them, which I think is pretty ridiculous.

    Normally if end up hitting at them hard, i will just put my hand up..I haven't run into any that complains..
     
    #3
  4. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    If it is a competitive match you need to play tennis like you know how to play tennis. You never should intentionally go after someone or intentionally hurt someone, throw your racquet at someone etc.

    However, if it is an overhead you need to hit it to put it away even if it is to her side of the court. Just play normal doubles, hit it to her feet or better yet to a place your opponent(s) cant put a racquet on it for a lucky shot! If it is close to your opponent, a good sportsman will raise his hand to tell the opponents you were hitting the ball to the best spot - not at the player to hurt them.

    If it is a social match, that is a different story. I will sometimes sustain a rally even though the ball could have been put away for a winner.
     
    #4
  5. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    4,405
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    If she is playing 8.0 mixed doubles and you have a 4.0 rating, then you should hit to the weaker player regardless of sex. The ball usually doesn't hurt that much unless hit in the face, so just don't aim for the face for sure, but go low and hard. If you let her win by playing soft or avoiding her, that doesn't do anyone any good.
     
    #5
  6. whodat

    whodat Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Messages:
    121
    Thanks for the inputs. The shots that I missed were the ones that instead of hitting it hard at the girl's feet, I placed it softly there; and of course at the 4.0 level, she lobbed it over my head. If I had hit the ball harder to the same spot instead of pushing it I think she would have missed. I guess that as long as I don't actually hit her it should be okay. I do have enough control to hit around her, but on that particular day, it was very windy with a gust up to 25mph. What if the ball hit the ground first but still manages to hit her? :oops: I was only trying to put it at her feet afterall.
     
    #6
  7. Tim Tennis

    Tim Tennis Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Messages:
    1,073
    Location:
    Charleston, TN
    Usually when I have a sitter I will say, "watch out" just to let my opponents know I am going to crunch it. The people I play with can usually tell by how I load for the shot and turn their back to it. Most people have enough sense to turn away from the shot. I don't hit at people but in doubles you will usually go to an area they are in and you never know when your shot might mis-fire. I think in some of the posts I read that being hit with a tennis ball does not hurt much. You can't be serious, a tennis ball hit at 100 mph from 8 yards away can do some very serious damage no matter where it hits you. Please be careful.

    You got to love the game.
     
    #7
  8. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,198
    Imagine that your girlfriend or wife were watching the match; would you feel worse losing to them as in the above situation or winning but by hitting a girl?

    Obviously there is no correct answer for every one; only individual solutions.
     
    #8
  9. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    4,405
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Unless it hits you in the face or groin area, it's going to sting, but not do any serious damage. Hit the ball low and hard at their feet, it's part of the game. I have been hit myself and brushed it off and have hit others to have them brush it off and keep on playing me. That is the nature of good competition. I do apologize if my shot has strayed and hit them above the waist. I always mean to win the point and not for anyone to get hurt. Tennis is such a soft sport compared to most of the other major sports where physical contact is prevalent. Our sport needs to toughen up.
     
    #9
  10. Hawaii 5.0

    Hawaii 5.0 Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Messages:
    299
    Tennis is dangerous and I have in one instance chosen to take someone out(ankle), but getting on in the ear sucks as does the face and groin area or ribs.Legs aren't so bad, but you might get a dead leg.Yes they sting, but again most people don't see 100+ mph shots either.Tennis isnt' contact, but other sports aren't gentlemanly games either.
     
    #10
  11. @wright

    @wright Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,567
    I can definitely say you feel terrible hitting someone in an unfortunate area. I was practicing with my USTA team one Saturday and hit a solid volley with good pace right into my doubles partner's groin. Luckily his wife had just had a baby and they didn't want any more children. I felt terrible, but on the other hand, how many times have you rifled a shot at someone and had them either get out of the way super fast or gotten a racquet on it for a winner. I aim for places on the court, and usually no one is standing there, but I will definitely tone down my shot and hit it more carefully if I have to put away a sitter with a body right across the net.
     
    #11
  12. AndyC

    AndyC Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Messages:
    760
    It's within the rules so I'd go for it.. (maybe one reason I don't play competitive mixed doubles).. social mixed doubles is different of course.

    I do have a reputation for hitting people on the court (I've probably hit most of the club team and am surprised they still speak to me!) and in every competitive doubles match I play I make a point of taking a serve early and aiming straight at the person covering the net to test if they can handle such shots. If they can't then I have no compunction about going after them on more than the occasional shot. The way I see it if it's a weakness in their game then I'd be a fool not to exploit it.
     
    #12
  13. whodat

    whodat Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Messages:
    121
    Andy,
    Interestingly I spoke to one person (4.5-5.0) who has the same attitude. he believes in going after the net guy ASAP with any sort of sitter. If the opponent shanks the volley or starts to back up, he will be seeing the ball all day long. On one's heels is not a good position for volleying. In men's or mixed, if my male opponent poaches often, I will intentionally blast the ball down the line or at them just to serve notice that there will be consequences for being aggressive. :p I expect the same and have often find myself being passed, wrong footed, or ducking. I have a problem doing that to a woman. That's why now adays I will aim my putaways at the guy. He will get his racquet on it more often, but I can "live with myself" if I hit him with the ball. Saying sorry to a guy is a whole lot better than trying not to look like a fool consoling a sobbing woman that you just nailed. :oops:
     
    #13
  14. penpal

    penpal Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    302
    I think the danger involved in being hit by a ball is actually more prevalent at the 3.0/3.5 level than at the higher levels where players are better able to control their shots.

    I was watching a 3.0 mixed doubles match once, and the guy on one team was lining up to hit a floater at the net. As many 3.0 players are want to do, he kind of slapped at it with the racquet face out in front of him. Needless to say, the ball didn't go down at all, and would have zoomed head high into the back tarp if it hadn't been blocked by the ear of the opposing female. She went down hard. Turned out the ball busted her eardrum and for a few weeks it was unknown whether or not she'd ever have hearing again in that ear.

    Thankfully, the ear did heal. But it's these kind of guys, ones who possess power but not control, who IMHO are the most dangerous.
     
    #14
  15. AndyC

    AndyC Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Messages:
    760
    u're probably right in saying that at higher levels players are better at avoiding been hit.. they anticipate better.. the question is whether they can handle shots hit hard straight at their body (much like the serve that swings into the body). I still wouldn't aim at them all the time though.. their inability to volley shots aimed at them is more likely to be a relative weakness than an outright one.

    ladies/lower ranked players are more at risk.. fortunately (for me) I don't play competitive mixed doubles and in social mixed doubles.. well let's just say I tone thing down :) (sobbing ladies are definitely not my thing). in the club championship though.. I do play my fair share of lower ranked players (singles and doubles) and in one game I can remember hitting a 50 something year old smack in the solar plexus which resulted in him hitting the court hard for more than a minute (as well as stopping play in both adjacent courts). that's perhaps the only situation where I regretted aiming for the player.
     
    #15
  16. VTL

    VTL Guest

    Do everything you can to win (if there's money involved).

    If she dies, she dies

    I learned this from watching all the Rocky movies in a row.
     
    #16
  17. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    4,405
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Yes higher level players have quicker reflexes to get out of the way and have played long enough where getting hit is a natural part of the game that happens once in a while. Plus higher levels won't hit wild unpredictable shots that head for people's faces. I have seen 3.0's with tremedous power and no control, racquetball types. I often will just play back at the baseline and watch most of their balls sail long rather than try to volley or get pegged by them at net.
     
    #17
  18. Hawaii 5.0

    Hawaii 5.0 Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Messages:
    299
    VTL I feel sorry for you for many reasons.I'm not trying to attack you(I'm not like that), but you can't be a bigger person(gentleman) and win the point in ANY other way than hitting the lady? I mean come on now.I also feel sorry that you take to heart anything in any movie, especially a Rocky film(no matter how much you and I like them), it's nor reality and purely entertainment.That's also why you can't buy pride and if your playing a woman for money and again can't win without forcing their retirement through injury, maybe you should spend your money on some lessons or learn not to play people(especially women) for money.
     
    #18
  19. SB

    SB Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Messages:
    351
    Speaking as a woman who plays a lot of mixed, both 8.0 and 9.0, don't patronize the women. It's more offensive to your partner to lose points by failing to go at the other woman's feet, trust me! (I'm speaking about competitive situations, not social.)

    Just hit the shots you would normally hit. Don't go after the woman's upper body or head, just like you wouldn't go after a man. But she shouldn't be out on the court if she can't handle normal tennis, with putaways and the like.

    I'll back off a little on that to say that it depends on the tenor of the match and the actual woman you're playing. Warning: This can be hard to do successfully. I was in a tournament last year where the guy was young and strong, but the women was older and not that good. My partner and I won the first set 6-1, playing aggressively, and then backed off a touch because it was getting a little uncomfortable. Well, don't you know, as soon as we stopped going hard at the feet, she was able to return balls with soft little angles and lobs. Suddenly we're tied in the second set, and as you know it can be hard to get back on track. We ended up winning the second set, but Yikes.

    And whatever you do, don't stand around after the match (especially after a match in which you've been soundly beaten) and blow hard about how you don't really try so hard in mixed, and that the men really dictate play by what they DON'T do, and that you could hit the ball a lot harder but that the poor woman wouldn't be good enough to return it and might get hurt. :roll:

    First off, you'll irritate your partner, who probably wishes you HAD played better. Second, YOU MORON, if you could hit the ball a lot harder every time without screwing up, you wouldn't be a 4.0. Third, you just got your clock cleaned. Own up to it.
     
    #19
  20. whodat

    whodat Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Messages:
    121
    SB,
    The intent of my original post was not to offend anyone, especially someone of the opposite sex.

    I totally understand that at the 8.0 and 9.0 levels, women expect to be attacked by the ball much more so than men. I tell my partner all the time to be ready. However, we lost 13-11 in the third set tiebreaker. Although this still constitute as a loss, "our clocks were not cleaned."

    When I go after the net person, the intent is to hit at his/her feet or somewhere in the vicinity. I NEVER try to hurt anyone through my tennis actions. But if during the course of one's shot, a thought occurs about easing off and causes the shot to go bad, then that is concerning. Alot of tennis is mental, if I cannot focus on my opponent as an opponent irregardless of gender than maybe I should work more on my mental game :) .

    I am surprised that you took my post to mean that I try to patronize women but I treat everyone equally. However, I have never seen a male player cry when hit by the ball--I have hit a guy on the groin with an overhead because he was an idiot and tried to disrupt my concentration by running up to the net at me when I was swinging :oops: :x --but I have seen women cry after being hit and it is disturbing to me. I tend to lose all aggressiveness and focus afterwards.

    One last comment, I am a gentleman although it is hard to prove on a forum.
     
    #20
  21. SB

    SB Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Messages:
    351
    Oh dear, I didn't mean you to take that post so personally; I was speaking much more generally. In the instance I spoke of at the end, I was just talking about something that happened to me last summer, when the guy we creamed was all blustery (as if he let us win) after the match. I didn't mean it toward YOU. I was addressing ALL men.

    I posted some stories to illustrate my point: just play tennis. If you accidentally hit someone, apologize. It happens. But don't hold back on a normal shot. That's not nice to your partner. She wants to win, too, and she probably doesn't care if you bruise your opponent's shin. If it's a close match, they should understand. If they don't, oh well. As long as you haven't done anything unsporting, I wouldn't worry about it.

    Is that more clear? Very sorry about the misunderstanding. I don't know what to say about women crying on the court; I've never seen it before. I grew up playing boys baseball and soccer, so tennis balls and physical contact don't bother me in the slightest. If I get hurt, I'm far more likely to swear and throw my racquet, and then play even better. I guess I'm not the best woman to ask about these things, then (but I'm a darn good mixed partner! :wink: ).
     
    #21
  22. SB

    SB Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Messages:
    351
    These two things are what is making mixed difficult for you. I think you can reconcile them, though. In my opinion, once the lady steps on the court, she doesn't need to be treated any differently than the man. She is your opponent. (Again, this is for competitive, not social, tennis.) Treat her fairly, respect her. Respect on the court is not being treated like your frail grandmother.
     
    #22
  23. VTL

    VTL Guest

    What? You actually took me seriously? I thought I was obviously sarcastic.. If I took a rocky movie to heart I would've lost many brain cells and I wouldn't be able to say witty things like my sarcastic comment :wink: Besides, what would my girlfriend think of me if I disabled one of her friends in a mixed doubles match (since that's the only time I really place mixed doubles)? It's cool tho, it's nice to know that there are people out there concerned for me :D
     
    #23
  24. VTL

    VTL Guest

    Oh yeah, it was the russian dude in Rock IV that said "If he dies, he dies".. and I never really liked that guy.
     
    #24

Share This Page