I have played a couple of 7.0 mixed matches this season with a particular 3.5 male partner. I love the guy to death. He encourages me to come in, is uniformly positive, understands doubles, is a good player, appreciates my paltry contributions. We have won more matches than we have lost over two seasons. One reason I like him so is that he helps take care of my serve. I have played with partners who check out when I am serving: Frozen with one foot in doubles alley, or starting every point too far back to poach on my serve. I have also played with partners with poor net games who cost me more points than they earn on my serve. Not this guy, though. He fakes and tries to be a nuisance and has good hands. Until recently. In our last two matches when I am serving to the male opponent (one against a 3.5 guy who got moved up to 4.0, the other against a 4.0 guy who got moved up to 4.5), he has started points on my serve at the baseline with me. He has simply told me early in the match that he's going to start two back and move in when the opportunity arises. This really, really got to me. I will grant you that I do not have the serve of a 4.0 man. I have a good serve for a 3.5 woman, though. My 3.5 female opponent couldn't even get most of my serves back in play. My serve this season is not much different from my serve last season, when this male partner played the net aggressively. Having him retreat to the baseline was the kiss of death in these two most recent matches. I simply could not hold serve with him back there. The opposing guy took these gigantic cuts at the ball, unimpeded by the risk of being poached, and I couldn't do a thing. Knowing that the ball would be coming back to me at 90 mph was so unnerving that my serve actually had less on it than when I served to the female, on account of how I was shaking like a leaf and also feeling badly that my partner clearly had no confidence in me at all. What do you make of this? Should I have done anything differently? I kind of didn't feel it was right of me to ask him to get up to the net. That's his call to make, and he obviously handled it this way because he thought my serving was poor. I have to admit that I was quite envious of my female opponent, though. Her partner was bobbing and weaving and poaching and faking and doing whatever he could to pressure our returns -- even though her serve was *considerably* weaker than mine. When my partner cracked the ball at him or passed him, he took it in stride and kept right at it. How normal is this? How should I handle it if it happens again? How about it, you guys who play mixed? Do you ever abandon the net completely when your female partner serves? I really want to make this partnership work because I do like this guy and think we do pretty well together.