Mixed dubs tactics/strategies/plays when your partner isn't very good?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Torres, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    I rarely play mixed dubs, but I decided to join my club's mixed dubs 2nd team recently to be a bit more social and have a break from the physical grind of singles during the winter season.

    The team captain wants to try creating strong player/weaker player pairings rather than pairings based on complimentary styles of play, which seems pretty ridiculous to me, but hey....

    The problem is I've been paired a woman who isn't very good and the competitive part of me is getting incredibly frustrated. We played a match last weekend and (in my view), she doesn't have enough court penetration, length or aggressiveness to her groundstrokes - which just invites opponent on to us. The other problem is that her court coverage and speed is woeful. If I'm at the net and the opponents look to avoid me, she doesn't seem to be able to run down many of the balls that pull her out wide, get dropped, or requiring her to do some quick sprinting.

    Does anyone have any tactics, strategy, plays that we could try, given the nature of my partner's game?
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011
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  2. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

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    Tell her to get out of the way, and you try to hit everything.
     
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  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    She told me she had been paired with a guy who was no good.
     
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  4. escii_35

    escii_35 Rookie

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    If your partner can't volley find a new one.

    The ladies get broken a lot, relax and focus on grabbing a game here and there.


    Slant and L formation:

    "L" formation: The only place your partner has responsibility for is her service box and the doubles alley. Hence "L"

    "Slant" formation: You partner has rights to her service box and 30-40% of the baseline. Hence "\"

    I rarely use "L" unless my pard is a granny with a nice net game and zero mobility.

    If you have a good overhead take them all. The best 3.5 females on an 8.0 team have a 6th sense for when to duck and cover.

    Another way to win, figure out what shot is her best and try to set it up. I happen to be really good at this which is why I like a pard with a very unbalanced game.
     
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  5. goober

    goober Legend

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    Park her at the net and you cover everything else. If she can't volley you are in trouble since you said she can't play from the back court and is susceptible to short shots, angles, ect.

    Play more aggressive, try to end points quicker if you have the chance.

    Unfortunately this style of play can backfire because you may increase your errors by a lot.
     
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  6. ace18

    ace18 Rookie

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    I play pretty competitive mixed doubles in Atlanta. Out of the last 3 seasons, i can count on one finger the time my female partner was better then my opponents. They are by no means awful, pretty decent, but still struggle against the good guy and better woman. If I serve and volley, which I prefer, they bang it at the woman at the net or lob over her head. So, I chase a lot of balls and hit defensive shots. This gets very frustrating and I find myself trying to hit better shots then I'm capable of hitting. So, match after match, some wins, some losses, I decided that I wasn't seeing enough balls. Now, when I serve, or return serve, I stay back. I'm a pretty good groundstroker and I'll take my chances winning points off the ground or force my opponents into a weak shot which my partner can take care of. If it doesn't work that way, at least I see more balls. I do end up sneaking in at the right time but I like my chances hitting crosscourt with the woman and as the man starts to cheat down the middle i can nail it down the line. It works for me, unless of course, the guy is a lot better then me.
     
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  7. i3602u

    i3602u Rookie

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    Hi

    There is a reason for doing this. Lets say your playing 7.0 mixed doubles If you have a 4.0 Guy and 3.0 women vs 3.5 Guy and 3.5 Women the team with the 4.0 will usually win. The 4.0 will usually dominate and beat the 3.5 It is not uncommon to have.

    Phil
     
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  8. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    I've played a lot of 8.0 mixed doubles, and a lot of 9.0 mixed doubles too. I'm a strong 4.5.

    In mixed doubles, my favorite strategy is what others have described as the L formation. I park my partner extremely tight on the net. Her job is to defend the balls that come right at her. The key is to make sure that she never backs up. Lobs over her head are my responsibility -- once you get used to doing it, you'll realize that rolling diagonally backward left to right behind your partner to hit an overhead on a lob over your partner's side (when you are righthanded and playing the ad court) is actually easier than running directly backward to play an overhead on your own side.

    The other key strategy: I always serve from Aussie formation in the deuce court on my serve. The reason for this is that the standard doubles formation invites the opponent to hit a lob return over my partner (forcing me to play either a backhand overhead or a high backhand volley, which is difficult). The Aussie formation effectively takes away the lob return because the opponent has to fear my overhead when they lob over my deuce court.

    In my experience, matches in 8.0 mixed doubles are generally won by the team with the strongest guy on the court, since a strong 4.5 can usually dominate against 2 4.0s. But in 9.0, the opposite is true, and the team with the strongest gal usually wins.
     
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  9. escii_35

    escii_35 Rookie

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    Shh,

    Don't give away too much. The strats you are talking about are exactly what I don't want to see my opps doing.

    Things which cause me to give my partner an ear full.

    1. Backing up.
    2. Not sliding over quick enough on a non S&V serve to defend the cross court bendy.
    3. Not executing a "Money Shot".

    Mentally, the best match I ever played my pard did not return a SINGLE serve from the "High-end" 4.5 guy until the second point of the MTB. We never gave up and never got down on each other even after losing the first 4 games and eating a few nasty overheads. Once we found our strat we relentless pursued it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
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  10. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    unless the 3.5's are smart enough to hit 90% of their shots at the 3.0 who misses most of them.
     
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  11. AR15

    AR15 Professional

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    Just make a decision that this is going to be FUN tennis no matter what. Once you decide you are going to have fun (win or lose) you can laugh about the mistakes you and your (weaker) partner make, and you'll have an enjoyable time. This is mixed doubles, and you shouldn't make too much out of it.
     
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  12. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    This is pretty tough to answer without you saying what level you are playing.
     
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  13. i3602u

    i3602u Rookie

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    gmatheis you missed it the 3.5 are not consistent enough the 4.0 player will tend to dominate the game over the 3.5 players.
     
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  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Nah, that wasn't my experience at 7.0 mixed.

    When I was the 3.0 woman, we usually lost to two 3.5s in 7.0 mixed.

    When I was a 3.5 woman, we usually beat 4.0/3.0 pairs.

    I think at 7.0, the 4.0 guys are low- to middle-4.0 guys. The stronger 4.0 guys prefer 8.0 mixed.

    So what happens in 7.0 mixed is that the 4.0 guy is trying to cover a lot of territory, but he isn't strong enough and makes a lot of mistakes. It is easy to isolate the 3.0 woman by lobbing the 4.0 guy and taking the net, and few 4.0 guys poach aggressively to prevent this.
     
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  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    In addition to what travlerajm said (all excellent advice), I'll tell you what one 4.0 guy I know did.

    He was very strong and was bumped up to 4.5 after his one season at 7.0 mixed. He positioned his partner close to net. He then played from no-man's land.

    From no-man's land, he was able to handle all lobs. He had the hands to dig out any balls that went to his feet. His position tempted opponents to try for angles they couldn't make.

    Yes, yes, I know. Whenever I raise "play from no-man's land" as an option, folks howl about how bad this idea is. Remember, however, that the folks trying to rip balls to his feet were 3.5 men and women. There wasn't a whole lot of ripping going on.

    Also, when your partner is serving or receiving (**preferably on the deuce side**), it is a good play for her to lob. Lob up the line, hesitate to make sure the ball is clearing the net person, then run to a position three feet in front of the net and put her racket in front of her face. I did this a lot, and my partner would take care of everything with his FH from then on.
     
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  16. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

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    If some mixed dubs guy told me to stay put and never move while I was playing mixed dubs with them, I'd walk off the court and tell them to play by themselves.

    I've got better things to do with my time
     
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  17. wao

    wao Professional

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    I would have to agree with SW.

    Work with your partner to get better. We all at some point where in that position, either at the 7.0 or 8.0 level in mixed. If you don't have the time or pataince to do that suggest that one of the others on your team try or find a new partrner. In pervious threads I hear all the hard work that Cindy and others have put in to elevate her game. You might be suprised that you partner is willing to try.
     
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  18. i3602u

    i3602u Rookie

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    Cindysphinx well i guess it depends where you live if you have low to mid 4.0 It also depends on what type of 3.0 you are.

    Around my area people tend to under rate them self.
     
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  19. heftylefty

    heftylefty Hall of Fame

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    As a guy that likes playing mix dubs and has experienced some success; I'm in full agreement with you. What has worked for me is trying to have my partner be relaxed and know we are a team. Would tell my partners go for your shots and don't worry about missing. I don't coach during a match. Once I had a partner that when she got tight stop gunting. I would just smile and remind her to "Make some Noise"!
     
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  20. Lefty

    Lefty New User

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    So for the $64,000 question:

    What do you do to counteract the alpha 4.5 male playing 70-80% of the court with a partner with fairly good hands but no range in the "L" formation?
     
    #20
  21. goober

    goober Legend

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    Well I recently played a match and was in this exact situation as the OP. Opponents were 4.5 F with a self rated 3.5M who was a strong 4.0 at the net. My partner had a 4.0 rating but was actually worse than many 3.5s I have played with. L formation did not work in most situations. On her serve, it was so weak that there is no way she could follow it in without getting passed. On receiving she pretty much either made an error or a weak reply. The L formation could work when I was serving and returning. We pretty much had no chance to win. I think the L formation only really works if you are the best player on the court.
     
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  22. escii_35

    escii_35 Rookie

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    A. Pray my partner is having an above average day.
    B. Hope the opposing females serve pops up for easy placement.

    If A and B don't happen it's going to very rough out there. This is why 4.5/3.5 over 4.0/4.0.
     
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  23. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    This is the serious advice. And as the (often) weakest player on the court (at least in Mixed), I love it when my partner "takes charge." Despite being otherwise a confident player, I know My Place and try to oblige. Give direction and some coaching/mentoring. All the coaching/paid-lessons aside, I've learned more from the ones who've taken the time to tell/show me what they know.

    This is the more "social" reply IMHO. If you're going to be stuck together for several matches, see what you can do. But if it's really a "social" opportunity -- just have fun. Laugh at her. Laugh at yourself. Encourage her to just "Go For It" since it's just for fun. You might be surprised; she'll miss as many as she makes.

    Thanks for putting a thread like this out there. I really enjoy playing out-of-my element, whether it's up or down. If my partner is "into" it with me...it's really enjoyable...win or lose.
     
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  24. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    One thing about mentoring a weaker player during a match . . .

    The weaker player can only do what she can do. She has the shots she has, and that's it. Rather than boss her around, ask her what her strengths are and watch what she does and adjust to that.
     
    #24
  25. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    I think you are definately on to something about that aus to cut down on lobs. someone else just recently told me this. I was so glad they did because I was about to twist my back out of place because I was serving from the normal spot in the deuce court and hauling @$$ to cover the lob but at was so insisting on hitting the overhead to stop her from doing it I would jump at the last minute and rotate to my right allowing me to hit the overhead....it hurt like hell and it stopped her because I put the first two right by her shoulder as she would follow the lob expecting as you said a high backhand volley....now had she done that a third time...I don't know what I would have done. So it makes perfect sense to serve from the T to stop that and keep my back in place. :)

     
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  26. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    Let me first say that what I have problems with the most when I'm playing against a mixed team is when the woman stays right on top of the net. the reason is if she has breath in her body she should be able to make contact with her raquet and even if she shanks it it will fall over the net. It forces me to do either a couple of things. I either have to try to blow her off the net by hitting some missiles at her or I have to hit balls to the man which is most of the time asking for trouble.
    For me personally I've found when I'm playing with a woman that I feel isn't as strong as I'd like for her to be I try to find out what makes her feel the most comfortable and then I work around that. The only thing I don't negoitiate on is which sides we play on. If she can't play she always has to play deuce.
    My patience is too short for a woman or myself for that matter hitting another woman's second serve into the bottom of the net at 40-30 or 30-40. If she is just that bad, I try to make them feel comfortable by telling them to relax and hit everything to the T. That at least allows for more balls to get into play even if the guy come in and slams a few overheads. I at least want to make them do something to get the point besides serve. The best women I've found though to play with can A. Get their first serve in and not try to prove they can hit the serves as hard as a man. B. Can volley and C put away an overhead. My wife thank god does all three and contrary to popular opinion with tennis people....I play with her(wife) first. My suggestion is to work with her and get her to a point where she put away a few overheads and be able to volley for starters. It will save you a lot of running and headaches. :) That's what I did.

     
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  27. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Have'em sit down on the bench, relax and make a few phone calls, and you'll do all the rest--it's basically the ozzie formation but by the rules you have to play your sides alleys too.
     
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