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-   -   Mixed Doubles: What to do when your female partner is slow? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=334556)

JackB1 06-22-2010 07:19 AM

Mixed Doubles: What to do when your female partner is slow?
 
I am playing some mixed doubles and have gotten stuck with slow footed female partners for 3 weeks in a row. How can I compensate for what inevitably happens.....the opposing male realizes my female is slow and starts baseline rallies with her and moves her back and forth or just hits a winner out wide, while my partner lumbers in vain to reach it.

I don't know how to counter this strategy. I tried having her move up when possible and I stay back, but she's not comfortable at the net and often gets stuck in "no man's land". I try poaching, but the opposition will catch on and start sending winners past me down the line. The only thing that seems to work a little is for us to play 2-back and I tell her to cheat out wide and I try and cover more of the court for her.

michael_1265 06-22-2010 08:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JackB1 (Post 4787907)
I am playing some mixed doubles and have gotten stuck with slow footed female partners for 3 weeks in a row. How can I compensate for what inevitably happens.....the opposing male realizes my female is slow and starts baseline rallies with her and moves her back and forth or just hits a winner out wide, while my partner lumbers in vain to reach it.

I don't know how to counter this strategy. I tried having her move up when possible and I stay back, but she's not comfortable at the net and often gets stuck in "no man's land". I try poaching, but the opposition will catch on and start sending winners past me down the line. The only thing that seems to work a little is for us to play 2-back and I tell her to cheat out wide and I try and cover more of the court for her.

In my experience with mixed, having a slow partner who can't play net is the kiss of death. You can't poach when your opponent is not fast enough to cross. Successful teams I have seen with a slow-footed females have always put her at the net and let the man handle the rest. I call this the "L" offense because the woman stakes out a service box and the man covers the L-shaped area that remains.

Ripper014 06-22-2010 08:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by michael_1265 (Post 4788093)
In my experience with mixed, having a slow partner who can't play net is the kiss of death. You can't poach when your opponent is not fast enough to cross. Successful teams I have seen with a slow-footed females have always put her at the net and let the man handle the rest. I call this the "L" offense because the woman stakes out a service box and the man covers the L-shaped area that remains.

Service box...? You mean the alley right? And even then... you will need to cover any lobs. Mixed is an odd animal... the only time it would be interesting is if the female partner is the substantially higher rated player, which would make the team more balanced.

ie. 4.0 woman with a 3.0 man to form a 7.0 team.

vandre 06-22-2010 08:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JackB1 (Post 4787907)
I am playing some mixed doubles and have gotten stuck with slow footed female partners for 3 weeks in a row. How can I compensate for what inevitably happens.....the opposing male realizes my female is slow and starts baseline rallies with her and moves her back and forth or just hits a winner out wide, while my partner lumbers in vain to reach it.

I don't know how to counter this strategy. I tried having her move up when possible and I stay back, but she's not comfortable at the net and often gets stuck in "no man's land". I try poaching, but the opposition will catch on and start sending winners past me down the line. The only thing that seems to work a little is for us to play 2-back and I tell her to cheat out wide and I try and cover more of the court for her.

has anyone figured out to dropshot her or do you cover those? if you did, you'd both be on her side of the court, leaving half of the court open and it may take her a while to get there if your opponent hit the ball wide to the other corner.

just curious, have any of the female opponents picked up on this?

btw, this is the first time i've heard of someone being "too slow for doubles".

sorry, brain not working. no answer yet. maybe after some brainfood. maybe chinese food will help!

bodieq 06-22-2010 08:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JackB1 (Post 4787907)
I am playing some mixed doubles and.

...that's your problem, right there. Mixed doubles is a lose-lose situation.

9.0 and 10.0 mixed is not quite as bad, but anything less is...forget it.

polski 06-22-2010 09:17 AM

Buy her a jump rope at the end of the season. Let her know about the best pro in your area to work on volleys. Get her into a gym with a personal trainer.

If she can't do that stuff, she can't win at mixed doubles (7.0 or higher). If winning is your thing, find a new partner/team.

JRstriker12 06-22-2010 09:18 AM

Is there anything your partner does well? Does she have a killer lob? Can she target the female opponent at net?

Try to find her strenghts and maximize them.

But, sometimes there just isn't much you can do if the other team is just better than your team, unless you are just heads-and-shoulders better than the other guy across the net. Picking on the weaker partner is the name of the game in mixed dubs. If your team has the weakest link on the court (slow, only wants to play baseline but doesn't have big weapon), then you might just have to accept that you don't have a winning combination for most matches.

ace18 06-22-2010 09:27 AM

Mixed is tough. I'm playing mixed at a pretty high level, the women on my team are all solid, but they are older and slower then most of our competition. My experience, if your opponents female is better then yours, you are in trouble, even if you can smoke the other guy. If your partner is slow and weaker I really don't know what you can do, they will hit every ball they can at her. I try to keep my partner at the net and I tend to stay back so I'm ready to chase lobs. There is only so much court you can cover to be effective. Since I'm struggling with exactly what you mention, I'm gonna keep reading feedback.

Cindysphinx 06-22-2010 09:50 AM

Hey, it's not just mixed. Having a slow-as-cold-molasses partner is hard at any level. Geez, I remember one ladies social match in which I had a slow partner. Opponent had a wicked short slice.

They ate us alive. No matter what I did, I couldn't reach that slice sliding away from me at net. And my partner -- being unwilling to S&v -- could not ever reach those balls. The only thing that helped was playing Australian, so the slicer had to change direction and so started to miss a bit.

Anyway . . .

In mixed, having a slow partner is tough for the guy. I would consider lining up Australian (make sure slow partner starts near center hash and serves up the middle) to see if the guy starts to miss a bit or hits more conservatively.

Since we play indoors and slow players can wind up wrapped in the side curtain if they can't move up to a short angle, one thing you can do is have her serve from close to her alley. Then she has less distance to cover to get a racket on angled balls.

Also, tell her not to rally with the guy but throw up a moonball over the opposing woman, especially in the deuce court. Again, it gives him something new to deal with and you can sometimes strike gold if the opposing guy doesn't have a good running BH.

JackB1 06-22-2010 09:53 AM

Thanks for the replies and it's what I was afraid of....I'm screwed :) A slow footed female partner that can't play up at the net is a lose-lose proposition. She HAS to learn how to volley at the net, because she's not going to gain footspeed overnight. For now our only hope is to play 2 back and hope the other side doesn't drop shot her too often.

Old school Paul 06-22-2010 09:54 AM

My strategy is just the opposite. My partner is average speed but caanot volley very well. she has average groundstrokes and we keep her back most of the time. I move up and back depending on the situation and I am always looking for a ball to cut off. We play 8.0 level and she is an average 3.5, I am a 4.5. For the most part she is usually the weakest player on the court as we play mostly two 4.0's and our strategy has worked by keeping her in her comfort zone.

tennis tom 06-22-2010 10:00 AM

Position her on the service line (if you can pick her up) in the center of her half of the court. That way she doesn't have to move more than a couple of steps in any direction and fills up her half of the court. You can run around and take anything she can't reach from her little circle. This worked for Nadal when he won his recent doubles title with his nobody doubles partner buddy.

Jennifer 06-22-2010 10:01 AM

I'm a slow player with a just okay net game. My partner encourages me to play at the net to help me improve with the experience at the position.

When I play back, we decided that he would cut off some of the balls directed at me when he's at the net to throw off the other side. It's a good strategy to balance out my slow feet and keep our oponenets from taking advantage.

Figjam 06-22-2010 10:02 AM

get her off the court....
what i mean is once play has started, tell her to just move into the alley and stay there, and just hold her racket out incase the ball comes near.

goober 06-22-2010 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Old school Paul (Post 4788474)
My strategy is just the opposite. My partner is average speed but caanot volley very well. she has average groundstrokes and we keep her back most of the time. I move up and back depending on the situation and I am always looking for a ball to cut off. We play 8.0 level and she is an average 3.5, I am a 4.5. For the most part she is usually the weakest player on the court as we play mostly two 4.0's and our strategy has worked by keeping her in her comfort zone.

Pretty much what I do. She stays back and I move up and back depending on the situation. As long as she has decent groundstrokes it can work out ok. I run into this situation a lot in social or pickup doubles.

JackB1 06-22-2010 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by goober (Post 4788527)
Pretty much what I do. She stays back and I move up and back depending on the situation. As long as she has decent groundstrokes it can work out ok. I run into this situation a lot in social or pickup doubles.

Keeping my partner back was killing us. The opposing diagnol player would hit groundstrokes to her left and right untill she couldn't reach one. She has decent groundstrokes, but is very slow moving side to side.

goober 06-22-2010 10:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JackB1 (Post 4788559)
Keeping my partner back was killing us. The opposing diagnol player would hit groundstrokes to her left and right untill she couldn't reach one. She has decent groundstrokes, but is very slow moving side to side.

If she was getting pulled off wide off the court I would move to the middle of the court. Tell her to throw in some lobs or deep moonballs so she can have time to recover. If I am at the net I would cut off everything that goes over the middle and force them to go up the line or hit a very sharp angle shot. If I am back, I would camp near the middle and just cover anything that I can get to.

Really there is not much you can do if she can't volley and she can't move. There is no magic strategy that will make you start winning points when you have such a weak link. All you can do is cover as much as you can.

vandre 06-22-2010 11:18 AM

hi jack,

i just got back from lunch and i came up with a solution for you: fire your partner and play austrailian doubles!

sorry. you ask me for a solution and i offer you a lame joke. maybe all you can do is try to put the ball away. high risk, high reward. that's all i got. sorry.

spot 06-22-2010 12:30 PM

You need to poach to keep her out of baseline rallies with the opposing guy. Don't hit the guy shots that he can attack your partner with. When she is serving- go australian so it takes away the oppents angle and crosscourt return.

escii_35 06-22-2010 04:14 PM

Lots of Great Tips Here:

At the lower level "L formation" comes in handy. Aka 50/50 at the net 70/30 on the baseline Dem grannys can volley but lateral motion can be really bad. If your current partner has no net game and can't move find another partner.

Jumping up one level I have to choose my pard's very carefully. My partners must not be afraid to take big cuts at the ball. I'll forgive a bad day with a lot of errors but I need that -threat- of a big put away. A person with good hands who gets a lot of balls back will not work.

Another good point: "keeping her in her comfort zone" If her BH volley is money yet the FH volley stinks figure out ways put her in winning positions.

Unorthodox strategies work much better in mxd then regular: At sectional 8.0's we played classic dubs vs a 4.5/3.5 combo. After losing the first set I told my partner to take all the weight off of her shots and 3.0 rally/lob that 5 foot nothing female to death. "He is going to get some smashes but that's fine stay focused." I had to duck and cover a few times but we won. 2-6 6-4 10-6


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