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Torres 10-08-2011 11:47 AM

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

lethalfang 10-08-2011 12:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Torres (Post 6051413)
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?

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

sureshs 10-08-2011 01:11 PM

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

escii_35 10-08-2011 03:10 PM

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.

goober 10-08-2011 03:28 PM

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.

ace18 10-09-2011 10:08 AM

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.

i3602u 10-09-2011 10:49 AM

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

travlerajm 10-09-2011 11:31 AM

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.

escii_35 10-09-2011 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by travlerajm (Post 6053374)
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.

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.

gmatheis 10-09-2011 04:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by i3602u (Post 6053311)
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

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

AR15 10-10-2011 04:52 AM

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.

spot 10-10-2011 06:05 AM

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

i3602u 10-10-2011 05:40 PM

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.

Cindysphinx 10-11-2011 03:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by i3602u (Post 6055774)
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.

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.

Cindysphinx 10-11-2011 05:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Torres (Post 6051413)
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?

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.

Spokewench 10-11-2011 01:18 PM

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

wao 10-11-2011 03:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spokewench (Post 6057382)
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

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.

i3602u 10-11-2011 03:25 PM

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.

heftylefty 10-11-2011 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spokewench (Post 6057382)
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

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"!

Lefty 10-15-2011 05:54 PM

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?


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