8.0 Mixed Teams should not allow 4.5 players

Agree that I hear straight level play in Mixed is a desired product. There's no match for a good 4.5 guy at 8.0.
Our area always sees the best 4.5 men/3.5 women rostered teams advance. The 4.5s can dominate and the 3.5 women are either "wink, wink" 3.5s or have a serve that can't be immediately crushed, can get a few returns in play off the opposing man, and otherwise understand they aren't too get involved if the 4.5 can get a crack at a ball.
 
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J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Agree that I hear straight level play in Mixed is a desired product. There's no match for a good 4.5 guy at 8.0.
Our area always sees the best 4.5 men/3.5 women rostered teams advanced. The 4.5s can dominate and the 3.5 women are either "wink, wink" 3.5s or have a serve that can't be immediately crushed, can get a few returns in play off the opposing man, and otherwise understand they aren't too get involved if the 4.5 can get a crack at a ball.
Don't underestimate the non-bouncing lady serve!

J
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
I also return it to the server low and short with no pace...follow it in and close. If done well, a high volley put away is all that’s left. If done poorly...well, you can probably figure out what happens then.
 
Agree that I hear straight level play in Mixed is a desired product. There's no match for a good 4.5 guy at 8.0.
Our area always sees the best 4.5 men/3.5 women rostered teams advance. The 4.5s can dominate and the 3.5 women are either "wink, wink" 3.5s or have a serve that can't be immediately crushed, can get a few returns in play off the opposing man, and otherwise understand they aren't too get involved if the 4.5 can get a crack at a ball.
I have most success in mixed not by pushing my 3.5 partner out to the alley, but by encouraging her to stay tight on the net with aggressive positioning near the center (with liberal use of Aussie formations). This way she can take up more space and make it difficult for the opponent to find a safe place to hit. I rarely hit the ball hard (aside from overheads), but rely on setting my partner up for putaways. My 3.5 partners are not necessarily on the high end of the 3.5 scale (sometimes even low 3.5), but as long as they can feel comfortable playing from an offensive net position and avoid any temptation to back off the net, they can succeed at 8.0.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Ideally , these teams should be mostly 4.5 women
It may seem like that would be the case. But IME, that pairing hinges on both a strong 4.5 female player, and a 3.5 male “ringer.” Again IME, in the opposite pairing - a male 4.5 can often ball hog and “hide” a weak 3.5 female partner. That’s not to say thats always the case. And to be sure, it can vary day to day, match up to match up.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
P

I have most success in mixed not by pushing my 3.5 partner out to the alley, but by encouraging her to stay tight on the net with aggressive positioning near the center (with liberal use of Aussie formations). This way she can take up more space and make it difficult for the opponent to find a safe place to hit. I rarely hit the ball hard, but rely on setting my partner up for putaways. My 3.5 partners are not necessarily on the high end of the 3.5 scale (sometimes even low 3.5), but as long as they can feel comfortable playing from an offensive net position and avoid any temptation to back off the net, they can succeed at 8.0.
100%
 

struggle

Legend
I prefer playing "sandbag" mixed teams (or men's teams for that matter). Brings my level up even if i don't win.

I've got better places to spend my vacation time than Mobile, Alabama.
 

sunnyday

New User
I prefer playing "sandbag" mixed teams (or men's teams for that matter). Brings my level up even if i don't win.

I've got better places to spend my vacation time than Mobile, Alabama.
I just played at 7.0 mixed nationals in Mobile - thank goodness we flew through New Orleans - or there would have been nothing to do!

It seemed like all of the tougher pairs that we faced were 4.0M/"3.0"F. The 4.0 guys just put the 3.0 women about two arm lengths from the net and played singles.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I just played at 7.0 mixed nationals in Mobile - thank goodness we flew through New Orleans - or there would have been nothing to do!

It seemed like all of the tougher pairs that we faced were 4.0M/"3.0"F. The 4.0 guys just put the 3.0 women about two arm lengths from the net and played singles.
I had fun in Mobile, spent a couple of days in NO but it wasn't my cup of tea. The New Orleans city tennis center was AMAZING though. The greatest hard courts I've ever played on.

J
 

MRfStop

Professional
@schmke has probably done an analysis on this but I would imagine a strong 3.5 lady and 4.5 guy would be more likely to win state/sectionals compared to a 4.0/4.0.

I still like the idea of USTA implementing a mixed combo league.
 
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@schmke has probably done an analysis on this but I would imagine a strong 3.5 lady and 4.5 guy would be more likely to win state/sectionals compared to a 4.0/4.0.

I still like the idea of USTA implementing a mixed combo league.
I'm assuming you mean with the ratings gap capped at 0.5? That might lead to a more balanced playing field but from the USTA's perspective they can't do that because it would greatly reduce the amount of leagues people can play and therefore $$$ coming in.
 
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