I Am Really Starting To Hate Mixed Doubles...

SlapShot

Hall of Fame
I had my 7.5 mixed match last night, and it was against one of the guys on my men's team (who I usually play ahead of in singles) and a lady who subbed on our mixed team last spring. My partner and I definitely had the advantage to begin with, and we still couldn't win the match.

I feel like there is more pressure on me, as the man, to make more forcing shots, and I always end up going for too much. When I play dubs in my men's leagues, I'm always a much better player because I don't feel like I have to make every single shot count.

Not to mention (and this was just last night) I was getting upset about missing some really easy shots, and my partner says "I know you don't like playing with me, but at least give me some encouragement." I had to explain to her that I was upset that I had about 6 shots that were wide open, and I either sent 6" wide, or dropped into the net.
 

JLyon

Hall of Fame
join the club of disgruntled Mixed Doubles players. 1st timer here playing 8.0 mixed as a 4.5 player. I end up trying to hard and miss routine shots. Monday Night was the worst after missing several consecutive easy shots and a shattered racket later finally played ok, but way to late to salvage the match. Very frustrating, but you do need to encourage your partner as much as possible as they can be intimidated.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Man, my male partners don't encourage me. That would be nice! :)

Yeah, a lot of guys don't like mixed. As a woman who plays 7.0 mixed, I'm not exactly sure what the guy partners want from me. I mean, all I can do is what I can do.

I think a lot of the guys don't have good net games at all and are used to blasting the ball from the baseline in singles, yet they feel they have to take more chances at net to compensate for the woman's play. That makes their mixed doubles play rather dodgy, and they get frustrated to be out-macho'ed by the other mixed team man.

There's definitely more pressure on the guy, though. Just between you and me . . .

:lowers voice:

'Cause I expect my male partner to hold every time.

Awful, huh?
 

SlapShot

Hall of Fame
I think a lot of the guys don't have good net games at all and are used to blasting the ball from the baseline in singles, yet they feel they have to take more chances at net to compensate for the woman's play. That makes their mixed doubles play rather dodgy, and they get frustrated to be out-macho'ed by the other mixed team man.
That's what kills me so much about my mixed team. I'm a doubles specialist on my men's team, and my net game is pretty good. One up-one back doubles doesn't work for me, and it's pretty common for my partner to stay back on their serve.

My encouragement usually consists of "Nice shot" or "C'mon - get that first serve in" (spoken more as encouragement than what it sounds like on paper).

I'm going to give it one more week before I make a decision on whether I want to back out of my team and simply sub instead of start - we'll see.
 
I had my 7.5 mixed match last night, and it was against one of the guys on my men's team (who I usually play ahead of in singles) and a lady who subbed on our mixed team last spring. My partner and I definitely had the advantage to begin with, and we still couldn't win the match.

I feel like there is more pressure on me, as the man, to make more forcing shots, and I always end up going for too much. When I play dubs in my men's leagues, I'm always a much better player because I don't feel like I have to make every single shot count.

Not to mention (and this was just last night) I was getting upset about missing some really easy shots, and my partner says "I know you don't like playing with me, but at least give me some encouragement." I had to explain to her that I was upset that I had about 6 shots that were wide open, and I either sent 6" wide, or dropped into the net.

I actually enjoy mixed a lot, better than normal. The ladies on my team are very good players. Most of them have a net game far superior to mine. My partner will drill a guy multiple times. Most of the guys are too gentlemenly to drill her back. If they try to, then I'm coming after them. I just silently laugh when it happens. I never feel like I have to do too much. A good shot's a good shot. I do spend alot of time encouraging my partner, telling her to stay in there and not to worry. Just try to look at it as a social activity and have fun.
 

spt

Rookie
I think there is a big difference for men between being a good doubles player and being a good mixed doubles player. I have seen a lot of guys who can not win a match in mens league play, but are successful in mixed. The skills are very different. In mixed, men need to be more active at net and attack more than they might in mens doubles. What I do know from having played mixed is that you get a chance to work on poaching and overheads and being aggressive. All skills that transition well to all doubles.

I still believe though that if you win a mixed match it was because the woman played well and if you lose, it is because the man did not play well enough.
 

JLyon

Hall of Fame
I think there is a big difference for men between being a good doubles player and being a good mixed doubles player. I have seen a lot of guys who can not win a match in mens league play, but are successful in mixed. The skills are very different. In mixed, men need to be more active at net and attack more than they might in mens doubles. What I do know from having played mixed is that you get a chance to work on poaching and overheads and being aggressive. All skills that transition well to all doubles.

I still believe though that if you win a mixed match it was because the woman played well and if you lose, it is because the man did not play well enough.
BINGO!!
Can not disagree with that statement.
 

jagsv650

Rookie
I love mixed. I think playing it made my mens double game better. The biggest thing the man has to get over is figuring you have to hit winners. I just try to play a consistent base line game and let my partner do her thing at the net and she does the opposite when she's at the baseline.
 

AR15

Professional
For me to enjoy mixed doubles, I have to modify my expectations of what I expect out of a match. I have to look at mixed as "social tennis" and decide that I'm going to have fun if I win OR lose.

Beer helps.;)
 

tennis-n-sc

Professional
I love mixed doubles and have for several years. It is rare for our team to have a "social" league match. During our matches, it's every man, er, whatever, for himself. I let the gal do her court coverage and I do mine. Most of the 3.5 ladies I play with are very good players and fearless at the net. They also come up with some great strategy. I even play mixed often in tournaments.
 
For me to enjoy mixed doubles, I have to modify my expectations of what I expect out of a match. I have to look at mixed as "social tennis" and decide that I'm going to have fun if I win OR lose.

Beer helps.;)

No wonder I always feel out of place on these boards. Losing rarely prevents me from having fun.
 

Cruzer

Professional
Mixed doubles can be frustrating for guys particularly if you are playing with someone who is one or two levels below you. Since the woman gets to vast majority of the balls hit in a mixed doubles match it can get rather boring for the man. Some men have a problem figuring out where or how to hit the ball in mixed doubles since they cannot bring themselves to hit at the women the same way they hit at the men. Consequently they can end up trying to play a style they are both unacustomed to and they don't enjoy. If I didn't play with my wife I probably wouldn't play mixed doubles.
 

Caswell

Semi-Pro
There's definitely more pressure on the guy, though. Just between you and me . . .

:lowers voice:

'Cause I expect my male partner to hold every time.

Awful, huh?
You shouldn't have that expectation. Holding serve in doubles is just as much about the net player as it is the server.

If you're playing with a woman with a weak or tentative net game trying to hold serve can become a nightmare. Nothing like hitting a nice penetrating serve that produces a floater only to have your partner miff the putaway.

EDIT: I love mixed doubles, FWIW.
 

Jack the Hack

Hall of Fame
About a decade ago, I started practicing with a woman that had been an NCAA Division III singles champion. She was a few years removed from the title, but I would guess she was still around a 5.5 level. I think I was officially rated 4.5 at the time, but I was also in my 20s and winning matches in Open tournaments (so I was closer to a 5.0 in reality). In our practice matches, I would beat her about 75% of the time, but it was always very close.

Anyway, to make a long story short, we played a little bit of mixed doubles together and it was always enjoyable. At net, I think she was much better than me, and she had a rocket backhand return. Since most teams hit to the woman more than the guy (even in Opens), this worked out really well for us! :)

Unfortunately, that was the only experience I had with mixed until a couple years ago. I was asked to play on an 8.0 mixed team... and I had a 3.5 level female partner in every match. Time and time again, the other teams would just drill the bejesus out of these poor women, and there was nothing I could really do to help. At the same time, I tried to play straight up... but if I ever hit towards the opponent's female, I would get dirty looks and comments. Our team ended up making it to Sectionals, but I had no fun and will not play on a team like that again. (The best doubles matchups on that team were players of the same level - 4.0 with a 4.0 - that had played together already for a long time or had a personal relationship.)

Bottom line, for me, mixed doubles is no fun unless both the male and female players are close together in level... and they are playing for the same mutual reasons (fun, competition, fitness, social, whatever).
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
You shouldn't have that expectation. Holding serve in doubles is just as much about the net player as it is the server.

If you're playing with a woman with a weak or tentative net game trying to hold serve can become a nightmare. Nothing like hitting a nice penetrating serve that produces a floater only to have your partner miff the putaway.

EDIT: I love mixed doubles, FWIW.
I know! It's horrible. I don't have that expectation when I partner with a woman. I try to stay on my toes and be aggressive at net. Not when I partner with a guy, though.

Call it The Damsel In Distress Syndrome.

Cindy -- who also serves poorly when she serves to the male player because she tries to do too much and is going to try very hard this season to disregard the genitalia
 

dcottrill

Rookie
... but if I ever hit towards the opponent's female, I would get dirty looks and comments.
This is why I dislike mixed doubles. At my level of play (3.0 or so) I can usually get the ball back, but sometimes not where I wanted it to go. If the opposing woman happens to be at the net and a hard shot ends up going her way, everyone starts getting bent out of shape.

I would rather have my testes squeezed with Vise grips than play mixed doubles.
My feelings exactly.
 

SB

Rookie
....
Bottom line, for me, mixed doubles is no fun unless both the male and female players are close together in level... and they are playing for the same mutual reasons (fun, competition, fitness, social, whatever).
Yeah, any doubles team will work better if there isn't an obviously weaker player. Combining mixed genders into the equation just makes it worse.

I think it works better when the woman is better than the guy, though. I didn't used to think that, but after some years of playing, that's where I am. So a 3.5 woman and a 3.0 guy in 7.5, and a 4.5 woman and a 3.5 guy in 8.0, etc. This takes a lot of pressure off the guy, because it IS true that people think it comes down to the man.
 

volleyman

Semi-Pro
and is going to try very hard this season to disregard the genitalia
Um, exactly what do the folks in your league wear, that you have to work at disregarding the genitalia? :)

I play and enjoy mixed doubles.

Mixed is a lot more fun when the woman is close to your level and when she's aggressive at the net. But, like all doubles, mixed is about maximizing your team's strengths and minimizing your weaknesses, and figuring out how to exploit your opponent's weaknesses and blunt their strengths. That's a part of the game I enjoy.
 

JavierLW

Hall of Fame
I had my 7.5 mixed match last night, and it was against one of the guys on my men's team (who I usually play ahead of in singles) and a lady who subbed on our mixed team last spring. My partner and I definitely had the advantage to begin with, and we still couldn't win the match.

I feel like there is more pressure on me, as the man, to make more forcing shots, and I always end up going for too much. When I play dubs in my men's leagues, I'm always a much better player because I don't feel like I have to make every single shot count.

Not to mention (and this was just last night) I was getting upset about missing some really easy shots, and my partner says "I know you don't like playing with me, but at least give me some encouragement." I had to explain to her that I was upset that I had about 6 shots that were wide open, and I either sent 6" wide, or dropped into the net.
I like or dislike mixed doubles for the same reasons I may like or dislike doubles in general.

If I have a good partner and Im in a good situation where I have an oppurtunity to win the match if we play well, I'll enjoy it, if I dont, I wont.

I dont see a diffrence between whether it's mixed or all men in our league. Mostly because we are playing with 3.0 players (most of which cant play normal doubles strategy) or 3.5 players (about half of them cant play normal doubles strategy).

I probally had my best State League Doubles match ever this year in 7.0 mixed doubles, mostly because I had a great partner. We were down 1-6, 2-4, and we thought a lot alike (mostly instead of panicing we calmly kept talking about what we needed to do in the next game) and we were able to come back and win 6-1, 7-5, 7-5.

Most of the male partners Ive had in that situation will panic or give up, or they ask the wrong questions like "What is going wrong?" or "Why are we losing??", because they are more focused on the score then what's really going on in the match.

Also it's weird, I only played two 7.0 Mixed matches this year, and in both of them we actually picked on the male player and tryed to avoid the female player. Usually the male sat on the baseline and really wasnt much of a threat, where the female was more consistant and came to the net like she was supposed to and threatened us a lot more. (and the last one we played had a nasty lefty forehand that we didnt want to deal with if we didnt have to)

I just dont believe the men vs woman stereotypes apply much at 3.0 and 3.5, you're dealing with players who for the most part have very incomplete games anyway. Maybe at higher levels it makes more of a diffrence since everyone is more consistant and the men generally have more weapons, but on average at 3.0 (6.0) and 3.5 (7.0), I dont think it matters much.

If 7.5 means you have to have a 3.5 and a 4.0 player though (we dont have a mixed division like that here), that might throw a diffrent wrinkle into that I may not enjoy. But I dont necessarily care for all male combo league either for that reason. (it just turns into a game of keep away from the stronger player)
 

thehustler

Semi-Pro
I'm nervous about mixed

I'm going into my first year of mixed doubles, heck just doubles. I'm a "singles specialist" and I went 8-2 in my first year of USTA team tennis at the 4.0 level. The co-captain has asked me to join a mixed team and I have been hesitant for a while, but finally decided to try it out. He told me that I'd be paired with someone who plays like me (hustles for the ball, doesn't give up, plays hard on every point, etc). That made me happy. The one thing I was afraid of was being paired with someone who would just watch ball after ball go by and not even try for it. I'm fast, but I'm only so fast, and I figure if my partner isn't going to move I'd rather have them on the bench and play 2 vs 1. I'm trying to arrange a few mixed matches before the season, heck even practice starts so I can build a bond and trust with my partner. Hopefully it works out and we play well all season long.
 

tennisnj

Professional
Be happy you have mixed doubles leagues around you! Where I play there are no mixed leagues, just a small circuit of non-USTA tournaments (but considered the 'County Grand Slam' of mixed doubles, 4 tournaments from late spring-early fall @ the county tennis center) that get small draws. I play quite a bit of mixed doubles, & generally make it to the finals of all the 'county' tournaments.
 

uk_skippy

Hall of Fame
I'm giving up mixed doubles now after the last match I played. The women, who was a respectable player (ability wise), was annoyed that I hit a smash in her direction. Now, my smash do have a lot of heat on them, but it was close to her but didn't hit her. With that she stormed off court saying that if I was going to continue to do that then she didnt want to play. In the 20 or so years that I've played match tennis, I've never had any player, man or woman, walk off court for that reason.

OK, so I got a bit p!5sy after dropping my serve after being 40-0 and she didn't like that attitude. But still it was a legit shot. But this happened in the 2 game of the 1st set!

Now our matches comprise of 2 pairings whereby each pair plays each other, and each rubber is just two sets. The overall score is determined by number of sets won, and 1/2pt is given for every set you win, even if you dont win overall. The match against this woman I played was the 2nd round rubbers. I had already seen her and her partner make a few dodgy calls, and they seem to do the same from the off against my partner and I. I even questioned one of her calls on my one of my serves. She just replied 'I dont cheat'! as if any cheater would admit it!!

After she walked off we spent 15 minutes discussing how to get the game started again and the legitamacey(sic) of my smash. We did eventually re-start the match and we won 7-5, 6-3. I didnt want to be a really bad sport and claim the match when she walked off, but afterwards even though we won, I felt that I should have done so. During the match she never said a word other than to call score ot the ball out. No ''good shots', no 'unlucky; she wouldnt even walk the same side of the net on change of ends. Strangely enough, the next few times I had an easy kill at the net I bottled it and the ball either went in the net or out the back.

Upon reflection, I feel that she (and her partner) were just trying to play the gamesmanship card; calling a few dodgy calls, walking away during opponents 2nd serves, asking for lets when there were any. I think that her approach was to unsettle us because they werent going to win the match (their other pair were dyer). I'd never seen anything like it. If seen blatent hooking of lines by other teams, and even mixing up the score to un-nerve teams, but never a complete package like this. During the match I turned to my partner and said that ' I can spot gamesmanship, but its another thing (for me) to combat it without eventually losing my rag'. I think that 'down' time we had prob help me cool down and re-compose myself.

Regards

Paul
 
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Fedace

Banned
I had my 7.5 mixed match last night, and it was against one of the guys on my men's team (who I usually play ahead of in singles) and a lady who subbed on our mixed team last spring. My partner and I definitely had the advantage to begin with, and we still couldn't win the match.

I feel like there is more pressure on me, as the man, to make more forcing shots, and I always end up going for too much. When I play dubs in my men's leagues, I'm always a much better player because I don't feel like I have to make every single shot count.

Not to mention (and this was just last night) I was getting upset about missing some really easy shots, and my partner says "I know you don't like playing with me, but at least give me some encouragement." I had to explain to her that I was upset that I had about 6 shots that were wide open, and I either sent 6" wide, or dropped into the net.
OK forget about all that and just play for fun. If you lose to a lesser guy than you, it is mixed doubles and you don't always win just cause you are the best player on the court. This happened to me several times in men's doubles as well losing to a lesser team. Only reason i even entertain the idea of playing mixed is if there is a hot girl or woman i am trying to hook up with.;)
 

JavierLW

Hall of Fame
Key rule...... Just aim at the female's feet or body. They usually freak and don't know what to do.
Or at the male's, well you know.... (I accidently did this, this year in mixed)

I also "accidently" hit the female a few times, but she did the right thing. (she yelled at her stupid male partner who set me up with an easy floater)

DISCLAIMER: I wasnt "trying" to hit her though, I hit it very hard in her general direction hoping that it wont come back, there is a diffrence. I would do the same to any guy, although I admit, if I was better and I had more control, I would just aim it in a very good spot instead which would be more effective.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
What level was that, UKSkippy?

Cindy -- Starting to get the feeling that she should start pouting whenever the guy hits to her at net and feeling like a sucker for thinking it is her job to actually hit the ball
 

OrangeOne

Legend
(Possibly annoyingly anti-topic ;)): I played the most enjoyable mixed set of my life the other night. We don't have US grades here (being outside of the US and all), but it would have probably have been 9.5 (yeah, me 4.5 or just over, girl 5.0 or just under), and the opposition kept doing the default and hitting to her. I just laughed (quietly) as she thumped her 2HBH for winner after winner, or half-volleyed her way into the net as if she was Nav reincarnated.

Great fun! I highly recommend it - and we won 6 - 0, which made it even more fun still....
 

uk_skippy

Hall of Fame
What level was that, UKSkippy?
We dont really have the same sort of rankings here in the UK, or rather club players arent so interested in such. As an estimate I'd way that I'm about a 5, 5.5 on a very good day, my partner is about a 4. The opponents about a 4 each.

Regards

Paul
 

Old_Crow

Rookie
I play mixed with my wife...:shock:

Actually, it works quite well. She's slightly ahead of me in NTRP ratings and while I can beat her in singles with my serve & forehand, she's definitely the better doubles player (since she play's 5-6 days a week, mostly league doubles). Generally, she's the 'captain' or lead strategist and acts as the 'setter' while I get the glory or look like a choker.;)

I know some married couples don't get on playing mixed but with our hectic day-to-day, it's a time for us to be actively engaged in doing something together as a team.
 

Fedace

Banned
I play mixed with my wife...:shock:

Actually, it works quite well. She's slightly ahead of me in NTRP ratings and while I can beat her in singles with my serve & forehand, she's definitely the better doubles player (since she play's 5-6 days a week, mostly league doubles). Generally, she's the 'captain' or lead strategist and acts as the 'setter' while I get the glory or look like a choker.;)

I know some married couples don't get on playing mixed but with our hectic day-to-day, it's a time for us to be actively engaged in doing something together as a team.
I am curious, when you guys win together, does things get kind of fun after you get home with the Mrs??;)
 

Joeyg

Semi-Pro
Not only would I rather have my testes squeezed with Vice Grips than play mixed, but if my bride were my partner, I would probably slit my wrists and bleed out rather than subject our marriage to that potential debacle. That being said, it is a good way to check out babes.
 

Spaingirl

New User
I'm a 3.0 C woman player (will be moved up to 3.5 after this season) The two types of players, THAT I CANNOT STAND in the 7.0 mixed doubles league are::

1) Women who whine and cry because the man hits hard shots at them.

2) A 4.0 male partner who won't serve hard and hit tough ground strokes (that he is more than capable of doing) at the female opponent b/c he doesn't want to be the "bad guy."

I play hard. And I love the net. I play the net and get lots of opportunity to poach, overhead and volley. I have no problem with the 4.0 guy hitting hard to me (I've gotten my share of bruises). Why not? BECAUSE THAT'S MIXED DOUBLES. The woman is going to get it hard at the net and if she can't handle it, then go back to the baseline. And if she really doesn't like it, get out of mixed doubles league all together and play the lob game with the other 3.0 women and 3.5 players in the ladies leagues.

As for my "gentlemanly" male partner who wants to play nice to the female opponent and hits his groundstrokes only to the guy (who then, of course, wails it at me for me to deal with), that kind of play comes at a cost. We end up losing, of course, b/c its no longer an even playing field. And to this kind of male player, I say: stick to the mens game where you can truly hit your shots without feeling any guilt.

This "gentleman" may have preserved his rep as a nice guy but he just guaranteed a loss for himself and for me. VERY FRUSTRATING.

As for me, I'm no longer playing with this 4.0 guy and will go on to play with the 3.5s on our team. They aren't as skilled but they have no problem going after the woman and playing to win.
 
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McLovin

Legend
2) A 4.0 male partner who won't serve hard and hit tough ground strokes (that he is more than capable of doing) at the female opponent b/c he doesn't want to be the "bad guy."
I’m a 4.5, but I’m definitely guilty of this. But, in my defense, I’ve actually found that 3.5 and 4.0 women have a harder time returning kick serves than they do hard flat serves.

As far as hitting “tough ground strokes”, not sure what you mean, but I’ve found a dipping forehand gets the job done just fine, and without me coming off as a d!ck.
 

BallBag

Semi-Pro
I'm a 3.0 C woman player (will be moved up to 3.5 after this season) The two types of players, THAT I CANNOT STAND in the 7.0 mixed doubles league are::

1) Women who whine and cry because the man hits hard shots at them.

2) A 4.0 male partner who won't serve hard and hit tough ground strokes (that he is more than capable of doing) at the female opponent b/c he doesn't want to be the "bad guy."

I play hard. And I love the net. I play the net and get lots of opportunity to poach, overhead and volley. I have no problem with the 4.0 guy hitting hard to me (I've gotten my share of bruises). Why not? BECAUSE THAT'S MIXED DOUBLES. The woman is going to get it hard at the net and if she can't handle it, then go back to the baseline. And if she really doesn't like it, get out of mixed doubles league all together and play the lob game with the other 3.0 women and 3.5 players in the ladies leagues.

As for my "gentlemanly" male partner who wants to play nice to the female opponent and hits his groundstrokes only to the guy (who then, of course, wails it at me for me to deal with), that kind of play comes at a cost. We end up losing, of course, b/c its no longer an even playing field. And to this kind of male player, I say: stick to the mens game where you can truly hit your shots without feeling any guilt.

This "gentleman" may have preserved his rep as a nice guy but he just guaranteed a loss for himself and for me. VERY FRUSTRATING.

As for me, I'm no longer playing with this 4.0 guy and will go on to play with the 3.5s on our team. They aren't as skilled but they have no problem going after the woman and playing to win.
There are women that don't like being targeted and there are women don't like not being targeted. There are also women everywhere in between. I try to dial down the competitiveness until I figure out who I'm playing with and like @McLovin said, I get more mileage from variety than MPH.
 

CHtennis

Rookie
So I have played a fair amount of 8.0 as a 4.5 male partner and it can be tough to thread the needle of being nice and playing to win. I try to play mostly nicely during the regular season, this means no really hard hit balls at the women, mostly on overheads or easy volleys. If they are having trouble with me hitting hard groundstrokes at them then maybe 8.0 is not for them. In the playoffs though, I play at the woman (this is all assuming she is the weaker player, which is not always the case) on every ball I can and hitting them hard at them. This is not to hurt them or anything and I will hit to the open court if i can but this is usually pretty effective.

Some woman have the right mindset for competing in 8.0 and some struggle with the dynamics (same for the men), but it can be tough. My brother 4.5m hit a women 4.0F in the eye with an overhead (she ducked her head down and turned and he bounced it into her now ducked head, where he was trying to hit away from her and her turn took her into the path of the ball) and she still holds a grudge against him. She did have a black eye for 6 weeks and this was right before halloween. Anyways he felt terrible for hitting her, but how do you balance that with playing to win?
 
As someone who has played a lot of 8.0 mixed, I can tell you from experience with certainty that against the best 8.0 teams (which in the majority of cases tend to be 4.5m/3.5w combos with the 3.5 hugging the net really tight on her net points), going hard at the 3.5 gal is rarely the best percentage play to win the match.
 

BallBag

Semi-Pro
So I have played a fair amount of 8.0 as a 4.5 male partner and it can be tough to thread the needle of being nice and playing to win. I try to play mostly nicely during the regular season, this means no really hard hit balls at the women, mostly on overheads or easy volleys. If they are having trouble with me hitting hard groundstrokes at them then maybe 8.0 is not for them. In the playoffs though, I play at the woman (this is all assuming she is the weaker player, which is not always the case) on every ball I can and hitting them hard at them. This is not to hurt them or anything and I will hit to the open court if i can but this is usually pretty effective.

Some woman have the right mindset for competing in 8.0 and some struggle with the dynamics (same for the men), but it can be tough. My brother 4.5m hit a women 4.0F in the eye with an overhead (she ducked her head down and turned and he bounced it into her now ducked head, where he was trying to hit away from her and her turn took her into the path of the ball) and she still holds a grudge against him. She did have a black eye for 6 weeks and this was right before halloween. Anyways he felt terrible for hitting her, but how do you balance that with playing to win?
This seams like a good approach. If you **** somebody off, they are from a different section and you probably won't see them again.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
I’m a 4.5 male, and I’ve played a boat load of 8.0 mixed with 3.5 partners the last few years. Our team has made regionals several years running and sectionals the last couple years.

I generally enjoy 8.0 mixed. It forces me to be a lot more aggressive, which I always need work on.

Thought it is mixed, I am trying to win out there. That said I refuse to employ lousy tactics to do so - hitting every single ball at the weaker player, for example. And like any other tennis match, I won’t intentionally try to hit anyone, unless it is obvious they are trying to hit me or my partner. But anyone who is out there playing with some expectation that balls hit with pace ought not be hit in his or her direction probably shouldn’t play. Getting hit in doubles is part of the game.
 

xFullCourtTenniSx

Hall of Fame
I’m a 4.5, but I’m definitely guilty of this. But, in my defense, I’ve actually found that 3.5 and 4.0 women have a harder time returning kick serves than they do hard flat serves.

As far as hitting “tough ground strokes”, not sure what you mean, but I’ve found a dipping forehand gets the job done just fine, and without me coming off as a d!ck.
Heavy spin serves in general seem way more successful against women than men. While hitting spin serves in general works better than flat serves for me when getting free points, the gap in effectiveness is much larger with women.

In general, if my strategy devolves to having to hit hard to win points, I know I'm in a bad spot in the match. It's just not the most effective way to beat someone in my experience. There are exceptions where players just can't handle an injection of pace, but they are very few.
 

kylebarendrick

Professional
If you are a 3.5 woman who brings a 4.5 partner to what is essentially a 4.0-level match (8.0 mixed), then you deserve whatever you get. I won't change my game to target her (or anyone else), but I will hit the shots that give me what I think is my best chance to win.
 

Zman

New User
Thought it is mixed, I am trying to win out there. That said I refuse to employ lousy tactics to do so - hitting every single ball at the weaker player, for example.
I don't see how it's "lousy tactics" to hit the ball to the place that gives you the best chance to win. That's what I do in singles, that's what I do in doubles, and that's what I do in mixed. If the other team is a 3.5 woman and a 4.5 man then my job is to exploit my advantage over the 3.5 woman before that 4.5 man can exploit his advantage over my partner. If I play someone in a men's USTA league match, and I notice that they have a weak backhand, then I'll hit every single ball to their backhand until that stops winning me points. Would you call that a "lousy tactic" as well?
 

Chalkdust

New User
I don't see how it's "lousy tactics" to hit the ball to the place that gives you the best chance to win. That's what I do in singles, that's what I do in doubles, and that's what I do in mixed. If the other team is a 3.5 woman and a 4.5 man then my job is to exploit my advantage over the 3.5 woman before that 4.5 man can exploit his advantage over my partner.
I wouldn't call it lousy tactics, but I'd call it 'non-standard'. Often in doubles, shots are made instinctively rather than analytically. Much more so than in singles where you have more time. And those instincts as to the best shot for a given situation are usually developed over time playing mostly with people at the same level as you. So when you are playing against an unbalanced pair (which mixed usually is, but it happens outside of mixed also), the best shot, given that there is a weaker player to exploit, is often not what your instinctual shot would be.

Some people handle that better than others. Personally, when I play mixed I just play my usual game and usual shot selection knowing that it's not optimal for mixed, but for me mixed is more for fun than serious competition and I don't want to risk messing my shot selection up for when playing with at level players.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
I don't see how it's "lousy tactics" to hit the ball to the place that gives you the best chance to win. That's what I do in singles, that's what I do in doubles, and that's what I do in mixed. If the other team is a 3.5 woman and a 4.5 man then my job is to exploit my advantage over the 3.5 woman before that 4.5 man can exploit his advantage over my partner. If I play someone in a men's USTA league match, and I notice that they have a weak backhand, then I'll hit every single ball to their backhand until that stops winning me points. Would you call that a "lousy tactic" as well?
So if you were a 4.5 and you were playing mixed against a 4.5 male and a 3.5 woman, would you rip every ball to the woman (even when it makes no sense tactically)? Of course, there’s nothing in the rules that says you can’t do that. But if you don’t know that’s a lousy thing to do in mixed...I can’t help you.

IMHO gender singles and doubles are different. Any “restraint” I might display in mixed is generally out the window in gender play.
 
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am1899

Hall of Fame
From my own experiences in 8.0 mixed, the fun of mixed gets lost when 4.5 players are hitting literally every single ball at the 3.5 player on the other side of the net.

That’s not to say i never hit balls at the weaker player - i do it all the time. I do want to win. But not so bad that I would completely abandon sensible doubles tactics to completely disallow the stronger opponent from ever seeing a ball come to his or her side of the court.
 
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I'm a 3.0 C woman player (will be moved up to 3.5 after this season) The two types of players, THAT I CANNOT STAND in the 7.0 mixed doubles league are::

1) Women who whine and cry because the man hits hard shots at them.

2) A 4.0 male partner who won't serve hard and hit tough ground strokes (that he is more than capable of doing) at the female opponent b/c he doesn't want to be the "bad guy."

I play hard. And I love the net. I play the net and get lots of opportunity to poach, overhead and volley. I have no problem with the 4.0 guy hitting hard to me (I've gotten my share of bruises). Why not? BECAUSE THAT'S MIXED DOUBLES. The woman is going to get it hard at the net and if she can't handle it, then go back to the baseline. And if she really doesn't like it, get out of mixed doubles league all together and play the lob game with the other 3.0 women and 3.5 players in the ladies leagues.

As for my "gentlemanly" male partner who wants to play nice to the female opponent and hits his groundstrokes only to the guy (who then, of course, wails it at me for me to deal with), that kind of play comes at a cost. We end up losing, of course, b/c its no longer an even playing field. And to this kind of male player, I say: stick to the mens game where you can truly hit your shots without feeling any guilt.

This "gentleman" may have preserved his rep as a nice guy but he just guaranteed a loss for himself and for me. VERY FRUSTRATING.

As for me, I'm no longer playing with this 4.0 guy and will go on to play with the 3.5s on our team. They aren't as skilled but they have no problem going after the woman and playing to win.
I hear you, I really do, but the amount of #1's out there is part of why there are so many #2's out there. I am a 4.0 who played 7.0 this year and the guys who went all out at the 3.0 women were well known and not well liked.
Fair... not fair... it is what it is and I didn't want to be that guy. Thankfully, I am a skilled enough 4.0 and also had an incredible 3.0 partner (who, like you, is fearless and aggressive at the net) so we were able to go undefeated in city and sectional play and helped lead our team to nationals without my having to target 3.0's at the net.
It's a tough position being a 4.0 in 7.0 tennis. It's easy for you, as the weakest player on the court (I don't mean this in a pejorative way) to tell the strongest player to man up and do what it takes to win, but he has to live in this community once he steps off the court.
 
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