Originally Posted by cknobman
But I still believe that any pair of 4.0's that are average or above average would return the 3.5 females serve well enough to mitigate the opposing teams male trying to poach the net.
A 3.5 serve is usually slow enough and lacks enough spin that its fairly easy to A. Lob a crosscourt shot deep pinning the 3.5 server in the back court or B. if the male is poaching too much hit one down the line to keep him honest. Then once you keep the male honest and he cant poach 1/2 to 3/4 across the net then its easy to blast returns at the 3.5 female who usually has zero chance of getting solid contact on it.
Honestly, this has not been my experience.
You would be shocked -- shocked, I tell you -- at how often a 4.0 guy will botch a return of the 3.5 woman's serve. It is less pace than they are used to, bounces lower. Not to mention the enormous surge of testosterone the 4.0 guy must battle the instant that serve hits the box.
If the 3.5 woman puts that serve to the T all night, a 4.5 guy should be able to feast on the returns all night.
And remember . . . some of the 3.5 women (who are really 4.0s in 3.5 clothing) have pretty good serves. In other words, they are capable of directional control and some have good enough mechanics that their serves aren't necessarily sitters. Add in that they are used to absorbing pace and getting 1 or 2 balls back and you have plenty of opportunity for the 4.5 to dominate.
IME (and speaking to some extent of the 3.5 women on TennisMonkey's team) where the 3.5 women are most vulnerable is with their net play. Alas, 4.0 guys are reluctant to hit at them when they are at net, and it isn't easy to send a solid shot to the woman when you have to do it off of the 4.5's serve or groundies.