Thread: Mixed doubles
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:09 PM   #22
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 515

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx View Post
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.
A 3.0 man and a 4.0 woman playing mixed doubles are going to be the closest in skill level than any other combination possible. A 4.0 guy is going to be far superior to a 3.0 girl and since we know NTRP's are not gender biased a 3.5 man is going to be stronger than a 3.5 woman on average.

Also, doubles (especially mixed) is not about "consistency". Doubles is about setting up points and successfully closing out points.

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx View Post
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.
Not a good 3.0 who is sticking to their guns and working as a team.

Sure, in singles the 4.0 would bagel the 3.0 guy all day long. In doubles, the 3.0 just has to not "lose points" or be "useless" and has to defer to his partner so she can finish the points. In singles, he doesnt have such a luxury.

-If the 3.0 can return the serve of the 4.0 without making careless errors or floating balls at the net he would be holding his own. He doent need to be able to rip BHDTL winners, but he has to be able to return the ball in the court without feeding balls.

-If the 3.0 can serve a decent ball without double faulting so that his net player is not getting killed by the 4.0's return, he would be holding his own. He doesnt need to serve aces, but he cant let the 4.0 just drill his partner without risk of error or double fault twice in a game.

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx View Post
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.
That's exactly what "not be a liability" means.

He would get crushed on the singles court, but he can do much more on the doubles court by trying to set up his partner especially in areas where hes weak.

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx View Post
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.
I'm at the top of my rating level and my partner is an ok 4.0. Although she went to 3.5 nationals for womens, she's been having a hard time in 4.0 womens which means we had a hard time in mixed.

We had an impressive year together. And we were the most dependable line out of all of the other lines. We lost in both playoff's however.

It's very hard being the 4.0 girl in a 7.0 combo. She was under a lot of pressure at net. My volleys are still terrible so my game was pretty much pound from the baseline and serve hard. I would only close in on balls she could not get to. I also stayed back to cover the lob, but after they see my overheads they didnt lob very much, lol.

The problem is, this type of brute force strategy doesnt work at high levels. They will just keep hitting balls at her and she could not put them away "almost every time" for the win. Even with this primitive strategy we still were very competitive even at the playoff level and completely demolished people in regular season play.

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx View Post
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.
Playoff level and above are what I consider the "real" level. It's the "benchmark" level and its averaged across the section/nation and is the greatest indicator of where you're at.

If I self rated as a 2.5 (or 5.0) I would be top of the district. Once I to go the section ill know exactly where im at. The same thing essentially applies to all ratings, its just that participation is more active in the middle levels.

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx View Post
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.
The serious 4.0 players I know will bean you in a heartbeat if they have to. They dont care. If you hit a sitter and you're standing net between them and a winner they are going to hit you. This doesnt really seem to be the same attitude at 3.5 and below even on serious teams.

There are players of all levels that are "social" and there are players at all levels that are "serious".

I just see more 4.0+ players who "play to win" because most people 3.0's to 3.5's just play to be social.

Originally Posted by anubis View Post
My record this year in rated NTRP matches is 11 wins 4 losses, but I didn't get bumped up. I consider myself to be a strong 3.0. I want the matches to be competitive, i want to be driven to play better by my teammates. I feel like I'll be more challenged in 7.0 than 6.0.

Thanks for the advice all
With that kinda record I would try it out.

It's a whole different game, but you seem like a decent 3.0 so I dont see any problems with it.

If you were 4W-11L id say try out 6.0 first lol.
"In the 1980's two men dominated--sometimes each other, most of the time everyone else."
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