Originally Posted by AndrewD
I'd say, without any suggestion of sexism, that a mixed doubles team succeeds or fails on the strength of the male player. I don't mean strength in terms of his ability to play tennis but how he handles the mixed-doubles format. While I know there are a lot of women with lousy attitudes I'd say I've met 20 times more guys who could drain all the fun out of the game (and they seem to up that tempo when they play mixed). Even guys who are absolutely fine in a men's doubles format can lack the right attitude. Sometimes it's just the general 'vibe' they give off, other times it's making the woman feel superfluous, rather than part of a team. Men seem to be able to play without support from their female partner (I do realise I'm generalising but that is all you can do) whereas the women I've played with and against (mixed is integral to club comp here in Australia) don't. That's especially important if you've got weak pairings as a supportive male with the right attitude can add a couple of extra games to a losing score.
Of course, you've most likely got a team that gels well together. In that case, I'd always aim for pairing the teams in order of strength. If they're all at the same level, or only one team is strong, match on how they click.
As a well respected poster, Im surprised you went here. I will say that I am the strongest 3.0 in my area....but I play with a 3.0 girl who can play with me anyday of the week.
With that being said, the importance of the lady is very significant. Once you start playing against 3.5/4.0 level competition, the male will never see a ball to hit if the female is not a strong partner.