Originally Posted by Cindysphinx
Here's a guy who understands mixed. It is a different animal completely, and it requires different skills. Most guys, I think, just play the way they always play and then get annoyed when they don't win.
My new 8.0 partner (a 4.0 guy) gets it. I do not know how he plays men's mixed. When he partners, he considers it a mission straight from God to be a huge nuisance at the net. He misses a lot of volleys. It doesn't matter. By the time he is finished daring the opponents to get the ball past him, they have missed enough to offset any volleys he might miss.
Uh oh. Travlrejm? You OK?
I hope nobody targeted him because he was winning too many 8.0 matches . . . .
Former open player without much time to practice these days. So The rusty erratic serve (and the double faults that come with it) keep me from getting bumped up to 5.0. But the erratic serve is "serviceable" in 8.0 - so I consider myself an 8.0 specialist! I actually prefer 8.0 to "regular doubles" for another reason: because success depends much more on knowing the unconventional optimum strategy for each of the 8 types of points. It's a much more cerebral game, and very few teams 'get it'. The best teams are the ones where the guy is really strong, and both players know exactly what their roles are.
My partners always enjoy the fact that I "call the pitches" on their serves. Instead of signals, I like to use a quick huddle between points to tell her which side she should cover (her forehand or her backhand). If I'm playing with a 3.5 partner whose forehand is much stronger than her backhand (which is often the case), then I use Aussie exclusively when she serves from the ad (for the reason above), and then call a poach only about 1/3 of the time (so she plays forehand side most of the time). By telling her where she needs to go (instead of telling her which direction I'm going to go) it simplifies the task in my partner's mind, and she can execute better. You'd be surprised how much difference this makes for mind of the typical 3.5 lady - it's one less think to process, so she can focus more on getting a good serve in.
On deuce, when my partner serves, I like to start from the deuce side, but have my partner start next to the center line sometimes. This makes it easy for us to do a planned poach as a team (again I 'call the pitch' in the huddle and tell her which side to cover), and even if the called pitch is not to poach, having me start from the conventional deuce side makes it easy for me to execute a delayed poach-on-contact because I get to move left to right and smack a forehand volley, my more vicious poaching side. In most cases, the opponent returning from the deuce will be the lady, so the poach-on-contact strategy is usually effective.