Originally Posted by cknobman
Its all about dominating the woman. A 4.5 guy wont have problems with a 4.0 guys serve but a 3.5 woman sure will so the 4.0 guy should still have a really good chance of holding serve. Then it all boils down to who can break the womans serve. It is much easier to break a 3.5 womans serve than a 4.0 (generally speaking).
I would agree that what you are saying is the conventional wisdom -- it's all about how the woman plays and whether she holds. I am starting to feel differently about it.
Take my match the other night (four 4.0s on the court). We won, 7-5, 6-4.
Why, though? Why did we win that match? Remember, our opponents were a recent 4.5 move-down and a 4.0 woman who does way better in 8.0 mixed than I do. They should have crushed us, or more accurately, me.
The difference wasn't the ladies. The difference was the guys. More specifically, the difference IMHO was how the two guys played the net.
Neither guy S&V. My partner, however, is a poaching *beast.* (This, you should know, is exactly why I thought he would be a good partner for me.) If I put a serve into the box, he considers it his job to crush a poach, often so ferociously that it goes over the back curtain and into the hallway behind the court. My female opponent could not get the ball by him.
I, on the other hand, could get my return past the opposing male consistently when the woman served. Is this because I have a killer return? No. I just tried to stand in as close as I dared and hit my FH crosscourt -- I only took one return up the line the entire night. I just think our opponents played a more conservative net style that didn't involve active poaching.
So. One could conclude that I was simply a better returner than my female opponent. I disagree with that conclusion -- like I said, she wins more.
I think the difference in the match was how the guys played.
So. If we substitute a 4.5 guy into the picture, I would expect his net play to be strong enough to dominate the net when his partner is serving so that she can hold.