Originally Posted by anubis
I'll be playing mixed doubles this winter, for the first time in my tennis experience. I've heard from others that mixed leagues NTRP levels are different than that of a men's NTRP level. Is this true?
If you've never played mixed before, you'll find that it's a different kind of tennis to 'regular' tennis. Partly is because of the dynamic of having mixed genders, but mostly IMO it's that the skill levels of the players on court vary by way more than in other leagues.
For example, and as other have pointed out, in 7.0 mixed you can have 3.0 male + 4.0 woman, 3.5 + 3.5, or 4.0 + 3.0.
If you as a 3.0 play with a 4.0 woman, then you and your partner would be somewhat close to one another in skills. A 3.0 man on average is slightly stronger than a 3.5 woman, but weaker than a 4.0 woman.
However, more common parnerships from what I've seen are 3.5 + 3.5, and 3.0 woman + 4.0 man. In fact it seems the latter is the most successful. And in this case, there is a huge difference in skill between the 3.0 woman and the 4.0 male.
As a result, much of the tactics in mixed revolve around keeping the ball away from the stronger opponent, and making the weaker opponent hit as many balls as possible.
This is in contrast with 'regular' tennis, where much of your shot selection is based on percentages and what shots you can make, rather than based on the individual strength / weakness of each your opponents.
Some people like the added dimension of having to adjust for different skill levels on court at the same time. Some (like me) don't, because it requires what I view as artificial shot selection rather than solid percentage play, and in general results in not very good tennis (again IMO).