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dizzlmcwizzl 01-21-2013 12:13 PM

A Mixed Question for the Ladies
 
In my past USTA life as a 4.0 I played a lot of mixed. I have partnered with this one 4.0 lady at 8.0 several times. When we partnered she would always return the guys serve well inside the baseline ... she explained that she could not handle spin out wide if she played back and that in mixed she found that guys were always afraid to hit the big serve at a woman anyway.

She also explained that she enjoyed the added benefit of getting a few extra double faults because of how tight she played to the service line putting the pressure on the man.

Fast forward to Friday night and as a 4.5 I am now playing against her. I know her mind set and I know she is going to hug the service line because she thinks I will not issue body serves at a woman in mixed. She was wrong ... Twice I hit hard flat serves that struck her in the torso. She moved back and then I hit about 10 aces out wide into the curtain that she could not get to.

So these are my questions:

Do you ever crowd the service line because you think you will gain a psychological advantage against the man?

and

Would you be upset if your opponent rifled hard serves at you regardless of your gender?

LeeD 01-21-2013 12:19 PM

Guy's view...
If you stand in, you face the body shots.
If you stand back, you face the wide serves.
Good luck.

J_R_B 01-21-2013 12:41 PM

I can't give you a woman's perspective, but I can say that I return serve inside the baseline all the time, often taking a step or two in then a split step. Against lefties with wicked spin, I have occassionally moved in almost to the service line to more or less half volley the serve before it jumped on me, so it seems like a viable strategy. I probably wouldn't go that far against a serve like yours, though. If someone is going to challenge you like that, though, they should be prepared to deal with the heat, especially in a competitive match, and really especially if she's already told you she does it intentionally because she feels like guys give her an unfair advantage.

blakesq 01-21-2013 12:42 PM

Do you ever crowd the service line because you think you will gain a psychological advantage against the man?

Yes.

and

Would you be upset if your opponent rifled hard serves at you regardless of your gender?

No.

Just realized you were directing this to ladies.

OrangePower 01-21-2013 01:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dizzlmcwizzl (Post 7144803)
Do you ever crowd the service line because you think you will gain a psychological advantage

No. I do sometimes (often) stand 3-4 feet in from the baseline, but that's because I genuinely think it gives me better chances of returning, not because I'm trying to get into my opponent's head.
Quote:

Originally Posted by dizzlmcwizzl (Post 7144803)
Would you be upset if your opponent rifled hard serves at you regardless of your gender?

It depends. If I'm playing someone at my level, no. But if I was playing someone several levels above me, then maybe. For example as a 4.5, how would I feel if a 6.0 or 6.5 was trying to peg me with a 130mph serve on every serve, even if I was returning from behind the baseline? Dunno.

Which of course is the problem with mixed - if you're a 4.5 playing mixed against a 3.5 woman, who is maybe the equivalent of a 3.0 male, it's the same situation.

J_R_B 01-21-2013 01:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrangePower (Post 7145091)
It depends. If I'm playing someone at my level, no. But if I was playing someone several levels above me, then maybe. For example as a 4.5, how would I feel if a 6.0 or 6.5 was trying to peg me with a 130mph serve on every serve, even if I was returning from behind the baseline? Dunno.

Which of course is the problem with mixed - if you're a 4.5 playing mixed against a 3.5 woman, who is maybe the equivalent of a 3.0 male, it's the same situation.

Two comments about this. First, this is a competitive match. If it were a social match with friends who happened to be a lot better/worse than you, then, OK, you should probably hold back, but we're talking about a league match between presumably relatively evenly matched opponents and one who specifically said she uses that strategy to get a psychological edge. Second, she's standing right behind the baseline of here own volition. If you're playing Sam Querrey for whatever reason and you stand 3 feet behind the service line to return his serve and end up getting nailed a couple times, I'm sorry, that's your fault.

goober 01-21-2013 01:31 PM

I know some old guys that do this. They can't get out wide serves very well and so they crowd the service line and block the shot back with their OS snowshoe racquets. Some of them are really good at doing this. I have seen some women do it as well but not against me since my serve is not big enough:razz:

OrangePower 01-21-2013 02:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J_R_B (Post 7145106)
Two comments about this. First, this is a competitive match. If it were a social match with friends who happened to be a lot better/worse than you, then, OK, you should probably hold back, but we're talking about a league match between presumably relatively evenly matched opponents and one who specifically said she uses that strategy to get a psychological edge. Second, she's standing right behind the baseline of here own volition. If you're playing Sam Querrey for whatever reason and you stand 3 feet behind the service line to return his serve and end up getting nailed a couple times, I'm sorry, that's your fault.

Sam Querrey could probably peg me at will even if I'm standing 5 ft behind the baseline. The incongruity here would be the notion of me being in a "competitive" match against him.

Mixed introduces an inherent contradiction between the bolded bits in your response. It purports to be competitive, but then puts together people on the court who are NOT evenly matched. Do you really think a 3.5 woman is "relatively evenly matched" with a 4.5 man? Really? But yet this is a common pairing in 8.0 mixed.

sureshs 01-21-2013 02:24 PM

Humble brag alert

dcdoorknob 01-21-2013 02:48 PM

I love how the first 8 (9 now) responses are all from guys.

dizzlmcwizzl 01-21-2013 03:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dcdoorknob (Post 7145375)
I love how the first 8 (9 now) responses are all from guys.

You noticed that too

dizzlmcwizzl 01-21-2013 03:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7145300)
Humble brag alert

OK, I guess ...

But I am genuinely interested to see if other ladies do this as well. Stepping close to the service line is perfectly fine if your attention is to cut off the angle and you can handle the pace when you are so close,

However, I think it is kind of absurd to assume a man wont serve at you and ... but then get upset when he does just that.

dizzlmcwizzl 01-21-2013 03:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrangePower (Post 7145091)
No. I do sometimes (often) stand 3-4 feet in from the baseline, but that's because I genuinely think it gives me better chances of returning, not because I'm trying to get into my opponent's head.

It depends. If I'm playing someone at my level, no. But if I was playing someone several levels above me, then maybe. For example as a 4.5, how would I feel if a 6.0 or 6.5 was trying to peg me with a 130mph serve on every serve, even if I was returning from behind the baseline? Dunno.

Which of course is the problem with mixed - if you're a 4.5 playing mixed against a 3.5 woman, who is maybe the equivalent of a 3.0 male, it's the same situation.

She is a good 4.0 woman .. I am barely a 4.5 man. So it is more of a man woman thing than it is that she is rated well below me.

sureshs 01-21-2013 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dizzlmcwizzl (Post 7145440)
OK, I guess ...

Yeah admit it man :-)

Angle Queen 01-21-2013 05:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dizzlmcwizzl (Post 7144803)
So these are my questions:

Do you ever crowd the service line because you think you will gain a psychological advantage against the man?

Absolutely, especially if it proves successful early in the match. Do it against women too, even more extremely.

Quote:

and

Would you be upset if your opponent rifled hard serves at you regardless of your gender?
Absolutely...not. If you can't stand the heat, get out the kitchen. And, quite frankly, it's one of the reasons I'm not playing 8.0 right now. I simply can't catch up with a good 4.0M, much less a 4.5M's serve and don't want my male partner at such a disadvantage. I may eventually get there, but I really don't see it happening, nor is it something I'd necessarily pursue. If they ever changed it to 4.0Mxd, I'd consider it again but we have way too many really good 4.5M/3.5W combinations around here. If I can't contribute in any substantial way, I'll take a pass.

But your lady friend/partner is spot on. A lot of guys won't wail on it and I'm all for taking advantage of that reluctance.

Cindysphinx 01-22-2013 06:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dizzlmcwizzl (Post 7144803)
In my past USTA life as a 4.0 I played a lot of mixed. I have partnered with this one 4.0 lady at 8.0 several times. When we partnered she would always return the guys serve well inside the baseline ... she explained that she could not handle spin out wide if she played back and that in mixed she found that guys were always afraid to hit the big serve at a woman anyway.

I'm curious about how she executed this strategy. It sounds like she stands in close and then does the best she can. This encourages the man to body serve her, of course.

I think it is a lot smarter and more effective to stand right on the baseline. Then when the guy tosses, take a few steps in and split. Mix it up and don't move in sometimes. I find that this makes you a lot less predictable, so the guy can't know exactly when to body serve (or at least makes them doubt what to do a bit more).

Since she's now your opponent, don't tell her that, though. :)

Quote:

So these are my questions:

Do you ever crowd the service line because you think you will gain a psychological advantage against the man?
No, I don't do it for psychological advantage against men or women. Against women I do it so more angles will be open to me on my return, I can get to the service line more readily, and I can have the ball back on the server faster.

Against men, I prefer to return from the baseline. But if the guy aces me out wide or up the middle, I start moving in until I start making some returns.

Quote:

and

Would you be upset if your opponent rifled hard serves at you regardless of your gender?
Puh.

It's mixed. If you don't want to be out there, then don't play. I've never gotten upset with a guy who hit at me or served at me hard or whatever. And believe me, they do it all the time.

Mauvaise 01-22-2013 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dizzlmcwizzl (Post 7144803)

So these are my questions:

Do you ever crowd the service line because you think you will gain a psychological advantage against the man?


No. I play 7.0 & 6.0 (as a 3.0W). My reactions times are not quick enough to crowd inside the baseline against a good server. I know this, so I'll give myself time to react. If I get aced a few times, then I shrug and accept that it's to be expected (especially at the 7.0 level).

If I know someone has a weak second serve, then absolutely I move in (against men or women). But not for psychological reasons, but because I want to hit the best return I can (it's my one "good" shot).

I don't understand people that refuse to return from inside the baseline when they know the server can't hit a serve fast or deep and they are going to wind up scrambling to move up to hit the return.


Quote:

Would you be upset if your opponent rifled hard serves at you regardless of your gender?
No. Absolutely not. Though with me, they are better off hitting a kick serve. I can (eventually) get the timing down well enough to at least block back a hard serve to start the point, but a good kicker? That one can take a whole match for me to "get". If I ever do. Sigh.

The only time I got a bit upset when I was hit with a fairly hard serve (thankfully in the leg) was when my 4.0M opponent was serving to my 4.0M partner in the deuce court and managed to hit me on the fly standing near the ad-service line. I wasn't even crowding the middle! It was the very first point of the match too. :: grumble ::

J_R_B 01-22-2013 08:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrangePower (Post 7145271)
Sam Querrey could probably peg me at will even if I'm standing 5 ft behind the baseline. The incongruity here would be the notion of me being in a "competitive" match against him.

Mixed introduces an inherent contradiction between the bolded bits in your response. It purports to be competitive, but then puts together people on the court who are NOT evenly matched. Do you really think a 3.5 woman is "relatively evenly matched" with a 4.5 man? Really? But yet this is a common pairing in 8.0 mixed.

If they're playing at the same level (8.0 or whatever), the teams should be relatively evenly matched and the match competetive. At least tnat is the goal of NTRP. In any (relatively competitive) match, there are relative advantages and disadvantages, and you can't afford to just give up one of your biggest advantages out of a sense of chivlary or whatever. If dizz were playing a 3.5 woman in singles, then he should probably hold back a little, but that is not the case here.

AceKing 01-22-2013 09:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J_R_B (Post 7148268)
If they're playing at the same level (8.0 or whatever), the teams should be relatively evenly matched and the match competetive. At least tnat is the goal of NTRP. In any (relatively competitive) match, there are relative advantages and disadvantages, and you can't afford to just give up one of your biggest advantages out of a sense of chivlary or whatever. If dizz were playing a 3.5 woman in singles, then he should probably hold back a little, but that is not the case here.

I donít believe chivalry should be disregarded just because Iím playing a competitive match. I try to be a gentleman both off & on the court. As a 4.0M with a big serve I have plenty of opportunities to hit hard body serves at women playing too close to the service line. I choose not to because:
1) I wouldnít feel good about myself if I hit a woman.
2) I honestly donít need to use my serve to intimidate the woman in order to get easy points. I can hit aces & service winners with relative ease already.

Dizz, can you honestly say you have no qualms at all about hitting that woman twice? If you hit her with flats, she MUST have 2 significant bruises.

arche3 01-22-2013 09:55 AM

Eh... I dont olay women unless they are better than and can beat me. Problem solved.


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