Mixed Etiquette?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Sailing-fool, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. Sailing-fool

    Sailing-fool New User

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    I'm a returning player after taking 20 years off. I'm a tall man and have an imposing serve, and love being aggressive at the net and am hard to lob over. I'm playing a fair amount of mixed doubles. Do I need to back off the serves and volleys to the woman, or can I play every shot to win like when I play men? Of course I direct overheads away from the opponents if possible, but do aim for the feet often when volleying...
     
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  2. HitItHarder

    HitItHarder Semi-Pro

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  3. mirnyifan

    mirnyifan New User

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    Hit that big serve and drive those volleys at her feet... but be nice about it. Don't back off!
     
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  4. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    first question: are you playing in a social setting, or a competitive setting? If the former, then you usually take it easy on the women. If the latter, anything goes.

    But you should be able to tell also, on how your male opponents play too.

     
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  5. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Don't ever double fault against the female opponent...
     
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  6. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    Mixed doubles is an ugly animal... even if you take your que off your male opponent it could put you at a major disadvantage... if he is a steady pusher. Since you are a big server who would not be using your best weapon, yet he is playing to his strength.
     
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  7. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    Social XD - be nice, work on your touch volley's, laugh a lot.

    Competitive XD - play hard, but don't hurt anyone.
     
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  8. Ironwood

    Ironwood Semi-Pro

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    I play social mixed doubles once a week in addition mens doubles. Often social mixed doubles where you mix pairs of varying ability around, is nothing more than singles with interference!
     
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  9. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    Can't say it better than that, so I'll second it.
     
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  10. kelkat

    kelkat Rookie

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    "...is nothing more than singles with interference!"

    That's pretty funny.
     
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  11. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I feel like I'm playing monkey in the middle when I play mixed, and I'm always the monkey trying to get to the ball.
     
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  12. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I don't play mixed often; when I do, it's just social matches. But in my group of friends (most are at the 4.5 level) everyone is pretty competitive and will play every shot to win (but obviously not trying to hurt anyone). Actually my experience is that many women can handle the power ok if the ball is coming to them, but are not as strong if the ball is away from them or has heavy spin. So in some cases you might be better off taking off some power from your shots not to be nice but in order to be most effective.
     
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  13. Racer41c

    Racer41c Semi-Pro

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    On the serve, let it fly. If the return is weak your partner is cleaning up the points.

    On volleys, hit your shot.

    At some point, you need to be playing the right level against women who can handle your stuff. All the women I know who play 5.0 + can handle pretty much everything.
     
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  14. papatenis

    papatenis Semi-Pro

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    It really depends on what level you play.

    If you are 3.5 and lower, then just play your game.

    If you are 4.0 and above, have good control of your shots then;
    Social matches, just keep the ball in play, forcing the women to make the error. Seconds serves only.

    Tournament match play, anything goes.
     
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  15. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    ???

    I think you're underestimating the skills of 4.0+ women. Just keeping the ball in play isn't going to get it done. Unless you're a 6.0 of course (are you?)
     
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  16. papatenis

    papatenis Semi-Pro

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    A women that plays at the 4.0 and above are fair game. But it really depends on your level of play.

    Social tennis should be fun.
     
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  17. Cruzer

    Cruzer Professional

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    Generally in social mixed doubles the guys back off a little assuming that they are significantly stronger then the women. In some cases the guys need all the shots they have when playing mixed doubles because they don't know how to play doubles and/or they aren't very good.

    The downside to social mixed doubles when the guys are expected to just "play nice" is that it gets real boring real fast. My wife has hooked me into playing a few of these types of matches over the years and they are not a whole heck of a lot of fun. Unless I have a singles match lined up after the mixed doubles torture is over I try to avoid social mixed doubles.

    In competitive mixed doubles anything goes particularly since there tend to be a higher number of b*****s playing at the 4.0 and above level and they don't play social mixed doubles.
     
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  18. rich s

    rich s Hall of Fame

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    Bring what ya got.... both your opponents chose to be on the court opposite you. If either of them can't hack it, they shouldn't be there.

    I can guarantee no one is letting up for you......
     
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  19. tennisplayer3275

    tennisplayer3275 Rookie

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    I play a ton of mixed doubles and agree with the previous posts on social vs. competitive. Social should be fun for everyone...I have played too many matches where one person takes it too seriously and no one has fun. As for competitive...let it rip (without hurting someone)...the other team wants to win just as badly as you do.
     
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  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    On Sunday, I hit two hard shots at the opposing woman. They were forehand groundies hit from the baseline, not overhead smashes. Both times, she lost the point, and made a snide Ouch remark with a sarcastic smile. Another time, I hit an overhead towards the legs of my male opponent. It was a winner, but it didn't touch him. She said loudly to him: at least he did that to you, not to me.

    I didn't appreciate being stereotyped as some sort of an uncivilized male brute. I now understand how the Geico caveman feels like.
     
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  21. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    What we have here is a failure to comminicate.

    ASK your partner what the "groundrules" are in hitting out during your mixed doubles match.

    ASK your opponents what their expectations are in hitting out during the forthcoming match.

    Clearly you've recognized the potential for hard feelings, so do your best to mitigate problems by starting a dialogue that should continue during the match.

    Men may be from Mars, and women from Venus. But we play mixed doubles here on earth.
     
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  22. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I've been playing mixed for three years: social, 6.0, 7.0, and 8.0, and I never go easy against the woman, and not once has anyone ever made any comment about me playing too hard.

    It just seems asinine that someone would walk onto a tennis court with the expectation that their opponent(s) aren't going to try their best. I don't even believe half of what people post on these mixed threads because of this. Its all in your heads.
     
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  23. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    I used to play mixed in little tournaments in our subdivision. Between the older ladies that play just once a week, and the younger gals that play often (and competitivie), there was just no way to please everyone. Now I avoid mixed doubles like the plague.
     
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  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Are you suggesting that before a match (social or competitive), we should ask the opponent team: Hey, the guy amongst us hits very hard. Should he go hard against your gal?

    It would be perceived as an arrogant statement and demeaning to the woman. Even the woman on your side may not like the condescending tone.
     
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  25. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    Sureshs is in your face about it, but I think he is correct. Just play tennis.

     
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  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I am unfailingly polite. It is only some people who follow me around who are in your face.
     
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  27. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Disagree strongly.

    If my male partner asked me before a league match whether he should go easy on the opposing female, I would raise an eyebrow before telling him to Bring It.

    If the opposing male asked this of us before a match began, I would know I was dealing with a Mixed Doubles Noob who wouldn't be comfortable hitting at me. I would exploit this as much as possible.
     
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  28. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    Most of us have agreed that, within reason, competitive matches are to be played competitively. A league match would fall into that area in most cases. The difference is in a "social" match, where skill levels are likely to vary, and the main objective is to have fun. In that case, the more highly skilled players can encourage the fun times if they're not blasting away winners on their hapless opponents. That does not apply to only mixed doubles (or only tennis, for that matter).
     
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  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Exactly. We all know that in a social match, stronger players should not aim to destroy their weaker compatriots. Only in the context of mixed doubles do guys suddenly wring their hands about how they should play.

    I'm with Raiden. I play mixed, and I just don't believe all of these stories about how the male is made out to be the bad guy if he goes out to win. I think the guys telling these stories go into the match a bit nervous because they've little experience playing with women, so they interpret any little thing as proof that there is some secret code that they can't just play tennis.

    In my last 7.0 match, my highly skilled partner was *crushing* his serves and groundies to the female player. She moonballed most of these balls back in rather impressive fashion. Had my partner not played lights out, we would have lost. I am glad he understands that and didn't tank the match out of some misguided notions of chivalry.
     
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  30. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    Hey Cindy....

    You should be old enough to understand this... I was brought up in an age where we respected women and our elders... When your skills are much greater than your female opponent it is hard for some of us to aggressively attack them. Somewhere deep in the recesses of our minds it is wrong... just how some of us have been wired. Nothing to do with our opponents... when I play mixed I will still usually win the point but with guile, usually angle, spin and wrong stepping my opponent. But I will never hit through the woman...

    Trust me... I know you said to bring it... but you don't want me to bring it to you. I do the same thing when playing with seniors... and I do that out of courtesy...

    And this is why I no longer play competitive mixed... and only casually do I play mixed doubles... with nothing invested... it does not matter if I win or lose... as long as everyone has a good time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
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  31. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    "Trust me... I know you said to bring it... but you don't want me to bring it to you. I do the same thing when playing with seniors... and I do that out of courtesy..."

    Talk about arrogant. If you are playing with people close to your level, then you seem to have an inflated opinion of yourself. If you are playing with people a lot worse than you in skill, then, duh...you don't "bring it" to the extent that someone is defenseless and likely to get hurt by you. Sheesh.


     
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  32. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    How does hitting a hard serve or groundstroke interfere with your morals regarding women? If they are at the baseline, its not like you are hitting them with the ball. Worst case you hit a winner or force an error. If they are at the net and you get a short ball or sitter, you can still crush the ball without directing it at them.
     
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  33. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Maybe the reason we have so many differing opinions is because it's somewhat situational. Not just on competitive match versus social match, but probably more importantly depending on the relative levels of the players.

    In many social matches you might have husband/wife teams or similar; and is the men are say 4.5 and the women 3.0 or 3.5, then it's a completely different dynamic.

    On the other hand whenever I play social mixed it tends to be with all same level players, and hitting hard to the woman is not an issue.
     
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  34. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    It is not about being arrogant... it is what it is. I play people across the board, those close to my level and those that are definitely well below my level, I do this because they ask me to play and I am more than willing to play with them.

    And you saying If you are playing with people a lot worse than you in skill, then, duh...c. Sheesh, is why playing mixed is an issue. I played more mixed tournies than I want to remember where my female opponent would not be able to protect herself. In a heated exchange at the net with someone close to my level I do not always hit it exactly where I want.

    In my experience with tourament play... the skill levels between men and women are substantial... lets not kid ourselves. Someone said something about mixed being a game of keep away... it is a pretty accurate statement. Only at the highest levels do things start to even out... and even then if the man loses his serve the match is usually over.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
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  35. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Ripper, I somehow get the idea that your USTA level is a tad higher than 3.5. Which means you cannot be my opponent in 7.0 mixed.

    The 3.5 guys I am playing can Bring It, and I am OK with it. I can handle their serves (in that I might or might not make a good return) and I can handle their groundstrokes if I am at net (meaning I might or might not hit a winner).

    I would venture a guess that if you were playing mixed with women of your level, they wouldn't have a problem if you decided to Bring It.
     
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  36. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    Yes a tad... but like I have said numerous times... I have problems engaging in mixed doubles unless it is purely social. In competitive situations I have been known to hit my opponents on a regular basis, just because they were not ready for a quick volley. Occassionally I will be the one receiving the hit... but I just cannot get used to the idea of hitting a female opponent, hence this is why I say there may be a lot of men with this issue. And I re-iterate again... it has nothing to do with the women... just something some of us men have trouble dealing with. We still wish to treat you like ladies opposed to targets.

    And I appreciate that we can discuss it without it becoming personal. If I appear arrogant it is an accident I assure you, like many here I am just trying to state what I think I know.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
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  37. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    All I can say Ripper, is that if you and I ever played, you definately wouldn't want me to "bring it to you".

     
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  38. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    Personally, I always back it off a bit when I play juniors.

    (Just joking - I think you and I are pretty much on the same page on this. It's not so much about playing someone of a different sex or age - it's about playing someone of a different skill level.)

    If you're playing an NTRP event then you know everyone is pretty much the same level - then you can play all out. Social doubles is a different animal.
     
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  39. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I would honestly like to see that, I have lost a lot to better players... but I have yet to see someone consistantly put the ball through me. And I am always up for a challenge, besides someone has to lose. Tennis is a game where you can only have one winner and if that were to be me... I'm ok with that.

    And why is it that the only people that have issues with me have blake in their name, well and of course LeeD.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
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  40. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I am in total agreement with you except when it comes to mixed.
     
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  41. ALten1

    ALten1 Rookie

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    I agree with ripper about being raised to respect women and elders. I tend to back off on purpose...I can't help it. Had a 4.0 lady last saturday ask me not to kill her at the net. I didn't, we lost! She was better (in doubles)than the 3.5 guy, which goes against my belief that a 4.0 woman isn't even close to a 3.5 guy.
     
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  42. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    Actually, I think our views on Mixed are about the same also. But whatever.
     
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  43. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    If you are below 4.5 and have to dial down your shots when playing mixed as to not hurt the female opponent, then you are full of crap. If you are 4.5 or above, I would say if you are playing a female of the same NTRP level, then they will have enough skills to not get hurt by your shots, even though you will still beat them easily.

    Can you win free points off them, yes. Can you out-rally them, yes. But in order to hurt them, you have to go out of your way to do so.
     
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  44. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    No, honestly you wouldn't want me to "bring it to you". I know better than you.

     
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  45. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Usually guys who worry about such things are concerned only about their ego - their actual game tells a different story about their ability to hit with any pace. It also gives them a good excuse when they lose (I just couldn't bear to hit the lady).
     
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  46. KSJ1979

    KSJ1979 New User

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    I once saw during a 9.0 mixed match, the 4.5 guy hit a few hard balls at the 4.0 lady at the net. The 4.5 guy kept apologizing for hitting at her and then after a while, she yelled "stop apologizing to me!!!"...
     
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  47. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    All right. I am going to start exploiting this fear guys of have of hurting me coupled with their own inflated view of their strokes. I need help from you guys on how best to do this.

    I'm thinking what I should do is plant the seed when I introduce myself. "Hi, I'm Cindy. Do me a favor, man. I have a family, so don't *kill* me, OK? HA-ha-ha!"

    Then I will proceed to poach and fake and charge the net when he is winding up for an overhead, secure in the knowledge that the guy won't hit at me.
     
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  48. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    LOL that is exactly right. Quite a few old farts going around claiming levels which are at least a full point above their real level, while they hit their dinky backhands and lollipop second serves.
     
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  49. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    And when he passes me down the line, I need to put my hands on my hips and say, "Hey now" in my best schoolmarm voice.
     
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  50. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I actually did pass the woman (whom I mentioned before) twice down the line with a service return hehe and once I drop-shotted her. But it was her male partner who lost the match for her with his inability to get most serves in, a fact that he will probably conveniently overlook based on one fast serve he may have gotten in by chance.
     
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