Thread: Mixed doubles
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:26 AM   #18
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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No one will be shocked to hear that I disagree with almost all of this. FWIW, my observations are based on many seasons of 7.0 mixed, but I never played 6.0 mixed.

Originally Posted by NTRPolice View Post
What is your record at 3.0 mens like? If your record is bad, I wouldnt play 7.0 because your 4.0 girl partner is not going to enjoy playing with you lol. Remember, as a 3.0 man playing 7.0 mixed you're going to be expected to play "even" with a 4.0 woman and not be a "liability" against a 4.0 man on a competitive team.
Nah. A 3.0 guy playing mixed will be expected to play like a 3.0 guy playing mixed. He will not be expected to play "even" with a 4.0 woman. This is because she is essentially one USTA level stronger and will be way, way more consistent.

No matter what the 3.0 guy does, he will be a "liability" against the 4.0 guy. On account of how a 4.0 guy is two full USTA levels above him. The 3.0guy/4.0woman pair can still win by ruthlessly targeting the 3.0 female opponent.

The job of the 3.0 guy will be to get his serves in and keep the ball in play. He should know he will see most of the balls, and he shouldn't try to do more than he can comfortably do. The worst thing he can do is try to play even with the 4.0 gal or guy, because he will go down in a flaming blaze of UEs.

If you're just playing for "fun" and your team is for "fun" then go ahead and test yourself in 7.0. If that team is a competitive, going-for-it, team, I wouldnt even think about it unless you're at least 80% wins in 3.0, preferably at doubles.
Mmmm, maybe.

A playoff-bound team will probably not want many 4.0woman/3.0guy pairs. If you get on such a team, it will be fine if your expectations are appropriate. Unless you and your partner are both at the top of your rating levels, you won't play much.

To put this into perspective, you will be up against two 3.5 players who are likely 4.0's in ability once you get to the playoff level. In order for a 3.0 man, 4.0 woman, combo to work, your girl is going to need to play "at level" (meaning 4.0) and you're going to have to play up, way up, to a strong 3.5 or better to stand a chance.
The bold part is the problem: Who said anything about "playoff level"?

Most league tennis is played at the non-playoff level. If you view everything through the gauzy haze of what happens at districts/sectionals/nationals, you will give out a lot of questionable advice that only pertains to a small percentage of USTA league players.

Will the two 3.5 players OP will face be "likely 4.0 in ability?" Most of the time, no. There are plenty of 7.0 mixed players who are at the lower or middle range of 3.5. You will probably do fine against all but the strongest 7.0 pairs. Against those strong pairs, you will lose but the sun will still come up the next day, I promise.

4.0 is when players start to become much more "competitive" and a lot less "social".

Whether matches or teams are social or competitive depends on the local environment and team culture. There are plenty of individuals and teams at 3.0 and 3.5 that are very serious and competitive about their tennis, and there are easy-going, social 4.0 teams.

OP, I guess it all depends on how you define "social," but my experience at 7.0 was that everyone on the court wanted to win. From reading here at TT, I understand there are certain conventions that apply in league mixed (e.g. the guy should not crush his biggest shots at the woman at net unless she can volley), but you are perfectly within your rights to play to win.

And if you don't play to win on a team at the top of the standings, expect to be benched.

FWIW, I was bumped to 4.0, and that put an end to my 7.0 mixed career. I (and most of the 4.0 women I know) did not wish to play 7.0 mixed with a 3.0 partner. The reason is that we knew all balls would go to our partners. Some of us did not feel athletic enough to scramble and poach and somehow get in the point.

I do know one 4.0 woman who signed up for 7.0 mixed. She had a sandbagging 3.0 male partner, so they crushed the competition. The team earned a trip to sectionals. At that exact moment, the 3.0 male partner declined to attend or play any more mixed because he didn't like it. This left my friend sitting at home for sectionals because this guy was the only 3.0 guy on the team.
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