Originally Posted by bethany2
I've been reading this thread and others about mixed doubles and keep reading that a 4.5M and 3.5W combination works really well.
As a strong 3.5 female, would you all suggest that I play 7.0 or 8.0? I honestly thought that 7.0 would be my only option, but am now wondering if 8.0 might be better as I'm not sure I like being the stronger partner. Sorry if this is a dumb question, I'm new here (and somewhat to USTA)!
It depends on what your goals are.
If your goal is to have challenging and competitive matches where what you do on the court is really important, play 7.0. If you play line 1 or the tougher teams, then you will see very solid play from your opponents and will draw the occasional 4.0 guy.
If your goal is to go to the playoffs or to win, then play 8.0. You will have a 4.5 partner, and he will dominate the court. You will be told where to stand, what to do, what not to do. If the ball gets past him, your job is to get it back any old kind of way so he can have another chance to finish the point.
Honestly, the most unhappy stories I have heard from women in mixed involve being paired with a 4.5 guy. Their attitude toward their 3.5 partner can sometimes be that she is a load of bricks he must carry around the court. I fail to see how standing on the court while one's partner dominates everything can be a positive experience.
In my case, I did play 8.0 mixed as a 3.5 with a 4.5 partner. He was very nice, and he did his level best to carry me. Trouble was, I really couldn't return serve or handle his pace at the baseline or at the net. And when we ran into 4.5 male/3.5 female opponents, I simply couldn't do a thing against the 4.5 guy. Blech.
My most positive mixed experiences were playing 7.0 as a 3.5 (went to sectionals) and now playing 8.0 mixed as a 4.0 -- a 4.0 who can finally, sometimes, just now and then find the court when returning serve.