The Mystery Of Mixed Doubles

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by ktowntennis, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. ktowntennis

    ktowntennis New User

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    Feb 18, 2004
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    I am 4.5 teaching pro who has played tennis for over fifteen years. Next weekend I will be participating in a 8.0 mixed doubles tournament. Yesterday, I had my first practice with the team and it was very frustrating. My female partner and I could never get into any sort of rhythm and we lost at least 2 games in which we were up 40-0. Granted this was the first time we had played together. Actually, yesterday was the first time we had ever met. We did manage to win one set out of four that we played against two different teams. My belief is that in mixed doubles your team is only as strong as it's female members since most of the action during the course of a match will most likely be directed at her. Also, I feel that the role of the female player is not necessarily to win the match but not to do anything to lose it. I find myself pressing when I play mixed doubles and I feel my skill level drops down to perhaps that of a 4.0 player. Part of the problem is that the team I play with includes people who all live in another town separate from where I live and therefore there's always this sense that I am an "outsider" playing with other people who all know each other but don't know me, at least where the ladies of the team are concerned. As I stated initially, I make my living teaching tennis but I'm finding it difficult to find a solution for this "mixed doubles mystery." I would welcome any advice from any of you who have experience playing mixed, teaching pro or otherwise.
     
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  2. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    I played mixed doubles against a husband and wife team and I absolutely hit my shots toward the wife. Unfortunately, the strategy of mixed doubles on any level will be to hit toward the woman, but you can make up for this tactic by being a good poacher and covering the backcourt very well when she is at the net. Let her know that she is allowed to miss volleys as you can cover for her unless of course, she's a great volleyer. I had a huge problem playing with a foolish girl who had too much pride as she saw me spiking volley after volley and she wanted to get in on the act. This girl would often clip the ball on her frame as she attempted jump volleys she saw me hit successfully. I told her to let those high volleys go, but she kept it up. If your run into a female partner who has a lot of pride in net play, but is not good at it, drop her and get a partner who is willing to give up many net plays as you can cover the balls better. Remember, be a good poacher and let the woman get out of the way at the net, perfect strategy for a mixed doubles win.
     
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  3. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I felt my level drop last year in the one 7.0 mixed tourney I played although we won that tournament. Most shots were hit at my partner and then since I was cold I tended to mis-hit more than my usual share. I held serve throughout the tourney so her serve was the big variable. It can be frustrating to play mixed since my shots will often overwhelm the opposing female even at the 8.0 level and I don't want to make opposing players mad at me so I am not playing mixed this year and would prefer to play Open level with a female who is as good or better than myself if I could find someone like that willing to play mixed.

    Also in this modern game of topspin baseline tennis, I will often have my mixed partner play back at the baseline with me when we are returning serve. There are no rules that she has to play up at the net in doubles if her vollies aren't solid enough.
     
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