Mixed doubles: "but what do the guys get out of it?"

time_fly

Hall of Fame
I was talking up my USTA mixed doubles team with a very active, rapidly-improving woman at our club. Her comment was, "I can see why ladies want to play mixed: facing men is a challenge because they are stronger and hit harder. But what do the guys get out of it?" Gents, what would you say? Ladies, do you agree with her assessment of why ladies play mixed?
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Mmmm. I play mixed because it gives me the challenge of hitting against pace. I am bad at hitting against pace.

But I know a lot of ladies who do very well with pace. For these ladies, they find mixed more exciting in general.

I cannot speak for the menfolk, of course, but I think some of them just enjoy the challenge of supporting a lower-rated (or differently-abled) partner.
 

dsp9753

Rookie
Partly because men's is not all year round. If I didn't play usta mixed leagues, I would not have as many opportunities to play.
Partly because playing with women is also more social/fun than just playing with a bunch of dudes. (I find that playing with men its usually a lot more business-like. Straight to the point, trying hard on every point, and usually no one wants to talk or socialize.)

I don't think I have ever heard of any guy "enjoying" supporting their lower-rated partner.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
My wife is my mixed doubles partner so what I get out of it probably isn't the same for what other guys get out of it.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
I'll 2nd the continued opportunity to play. On one team, I am the lower rated player. I get to play a higher level level than I would normally see in Men's league. For the other team, it is social tennis plus a different kind of challenge. Can I play my game when the pace is so unpredictable and can I support my partner?
 

leech

Rookie
Much more social, and provides much-needed variety.

6.0 MXD -- chance for me to practice controlling points, and even play a bit of pseudo-singles if needed.
7.0 MXD -- chance to practice being strategic in targeting weaker opponent
8.0 MXD -- chance to feel what a 3.0 lady feels like in 7.0 MXD...just trying to stay out of the way and cover my alley!
 
I was talking up my USTA mixed doubles team with a very active, rapidly-improving woman at our club. Her comment was, "I can see why ladies want to play mixed: facing men is a challenge because they are stronger and hit harder. But what do the guys get out of it?" Gents, what would you say? Ladies, do you agree with her assessment of why ladies play mixed?
I agree 100%, I get no benefit playing mixed doubles. My game improves playing singles or men's doubles.
 

MRfStop

Professional
I was talking up my USTA mixed doubles team with a very active, rapidly-improving woman at our club. Her comment was, "I can see why ladies want to play mixed: facing men is a challenge because they are stronger and hit harder. But what do the guys get out of it?" Gents, what would you say? Ladies, do you agree with her assessment of why ladies play mixed?
I play mixed because I get to play more tennis and it’s a challenge. I considered not playing mixed this season and just focus on offseason workouts etc until next season but I was able to get on the strongest 8.0 mixed team in our area that has the best chance to make it to state. It’s a fun team with several female players that played on junior college teams and very strong male players as well.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
I play mixed with my wife mostly. It's actually nice since we can talk openly about strategy without social niceties getting in the way. It gives me an opportunity to play as the better partner rather than getting carried by a better male partner like I tend to in men's league.

It still serves a purpose for improvement as far as working on serve, returns, overheads. But for the most part its a social thing. I'm not sure I'd want to play in an actual organized mixed league. I've done a few Mixed tournaments and they aren't as fun as social mixed.
 

TnsGuru

Professional
I feel I don't play my best in mixed doubles because it seems like I'm holding back a little or something. I can be agressive against a guy and not feel guilty but when I hit towards a lady they tend to think i'm overly agressive with them and I get some dirty looks.

A lot of these ladies are more than capable of volleying and hitting groundstrokes against men but then get bent out of shape when you take it to them. I would get some comment like "you didn't have to hit it that hard" or "stop showing off" when this is not the case.

I guess I may have developed some kind of phobia about hitting a lady because I remember about 20 yrs ago I went super aggressive on an overhead and hit this lady on the chin. The ball actually hit the court first and ricocheted into her. I apologized but she thought I should have taken into account that she was female and I didn't have to hit it as hard as I did. It was not my intention to hit her but the ball was right there floating in the air and it was an important point so I just went for it.

I can't seem to hit it that aggresive towards a lady because of the incident 20 yrs ago. I have had friends tell me just hit it and not worry if they are male/female but that incident still haunts me to this day.
 
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J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I play mixed with my wife mostly. It's actually nice since we can talk openly about strategy without social niceties getting in the way. It gives me an opportunity to play as the better partner rather than getting carried by a better male partner like I tend to in men's league.

It still serves a purpose for improvement as far as working on serve, returns, overheads. But for the most part its a social thing. I'm not sure I'd want to play in an actual organized mixed league. I've done a few Mixed tournaments and they aren't as fun as social mixed.
I don't know about you, but I've had some awful quiet rides home.

J
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
I guess I may have developed some kind of phobia about hitting a lady because I remember about 20 yrs ago I went super aggressive on an overhead and hit this lady on the chin. The ball actually hit the court first and ricocheted into her. I apologized but she thought I should have taken into acount that she was female and I didn't have to hit it as hard as I did. It was not my intention to hit her but the ball was right there floating in the air and it was an important point so I just went for it.
Sad thing is I've had a guy complain about this happening to him. It was my partner that hit the court by his feet and it hit him on the bounce and he went all ballistic about it. I just told him that my partner hit what he was aiming for (the court) so how can you complain? Felt like telling him to grow a pair, If you get hit on the bounce, suck it up.

Some ladies aren't prepared for the power of men. They should be and choose their mixed matches wisely. If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen is my feeling about it. I don't hit hard enough to injure anyone but even I hate playing against 3.0 shrinking violets that are offended by my meagre topspin FH or drive volleys. They immediately fall of my social mixed list. I have a pretty good crew of women that are more than happy to play with my wife and I because they like the challenge and aren't afraid.
 
I feel I don't play my best in mixed doubles because it seems like I'm holding back a little or something. I can be agressive against a guy and not feel guilty but when I hit towards a lady they tend to think i'm overly agressive with them and I get some dirty looks.

A lot of these ladies are more than capable of volleying and hitting groundstrokes against men but then get bent out of shape when you take it to them. I would get some comment like "you didn't have to hit it that hard" or "stop showing off" when this is not the case.

I guess I may have developed some kind of phobia about hitting a lady because I remember about 20 yrs ago I went super aggressive on an overhead and hit this lady on the chin. The ball actually hit the court first and ricocheted into her. I apologized but she thought I should have taken into acount that she was female and I didn't have to hit it as hard as I did. It was not my intention to hit her but the ball was right there floating in the air and it was an important point so I just went for it.

I can't seem to hit it that aggresive towards a lady because of the incident 20 yrs ago. I have had friends tell me just hit it and not worry if they are male/female but that incident still haunts me to this day.
Just out of curiosity, what level girls are you playing against/with?
 

MRfStop

Professional
I feel I don't play my best in mixed doubles because it seems like I'm holding back a little or something. I can be agressive against a guy and not feel guilty but when I hit towards a lady they tend to think i'm overly agressive with them and I get some dirty looks.

A lot of these ladies are more than capable of volleying and hitting groundstrokes against men but then get bent out of shape when you take it to them. I would get some comment like "you didn't have to hit it that hard" or "stop showing off" when this is not the case.

I guess I may have developed some kind of phobia about hitting a lady because I remember about 20 yrs ago I went super aggressive on an overhead and hit this lady on the chin. The ball actually hit the court first and ricocheted into her. I apologized but she thought I should have taken into acount that she was female and I didn't have to hit it as hard as I did. It was not my intention to hit her but the ball was right there floating in the air and it was an important point so I just went for it.

I can't seem to hit it that aggresive towards a lady because of the incident 20 yrs ago. I have had friends tell me just hit it and not worry if they are male/female but that incident still haunts me to this day.
What level do you play? Lady opponents that play lower levels tend to not like it when the man out hits them. In my experience the 4.0+ ladies tend to not care and some can out hit the man.

If you want to enjoy mixed you have to ignore your opponents even if you get dirty looks or snide remarks.
 

ncgator

Rookie
In NC, mixed is played right before combo doubles so I look at it as practice for combo league since a 4.0 woman is comparable to a 3.5 man, although a good 3.5 guy is generally a little better than most 4.0 ladies.
 

heftylefty

Hall of Fame
I enjoy playing mixed dubs. As a man what I get out of it is being on a team. I have had the good fortune of playing with ex-D1 players which was amazing.

Mixed Doubles is like life; you get out what you put in.
 
What level do you play? Lady opponents that play lower levels tend to not like it when the man out hits them. In my experience the 4.0+ ladies tend to not care and some can out hit the man.
Yup. The girls I play with/against are either 4.0 or 4.5 and I almost never hear a complaint about pace or targeting. One of my regular partners is this upper level 4.0 girl who is 5' tall standing on her toes. If you follow a weak approach into the net against her she will take your head off with the pace she hits. She is also fearless at the net. Take pace off when you hit at her at the net because she's a girl? Sweet. Free point for us, haha. You'll have better luck hitting moon balls over her head that I have to chase down than you will with trying to blast groundies past her.
 
I can't seem to hit it that aggresive towards a lady because of the incident 20 yrs ago. I have had friends tell me just hit it and not worry if they are male/female but that incident still haunts me to this day.
It's not so much the act itself as how the person reacts: some would shrug it off and say "no problem"; others would start looking for a personal injury attorney.

The Oracle at Delphi said to "know thyself" but for this case it's "know thy opponent".
 
I enjoy playing mixed dubs. As a man what I get out of it is being on a team. I have had the good fortune of playing with ex-D1 players which was amazing.

Mixed Doubles is like life; you get out what you put in.
Forrest Gump is also apropos: "My momma always said life was like a box of chocolates: you never know what you're gonna get."

I'm envious of your opportunity to play with ex-D1s!
 

MRfStop

Professional
Yup. The girls I play with/against are either 4.0 or 4.5 and I almost never hear a complaint about pace or targeting. One of my regular partners is this upper level 4.0 girl who is 5' tall standing on her toes. If you follow a weak approach into the net against her she will take your head off with the pace she hits. She is also fearless at the net. Take pace off when you hit at her at the net because she's a girl? Sweet. Free point for us, haha. You'll have better luck hitting moon balls over her head that I have to chase down than you will with trying to blast groundies past her.
I've played a lot of 7.0 when I was a 3.5 with my sisters and people (the ladies) didn't like how hard we hit. I played a 8.0 mixed tournament as a 3.5 with a 4.5 who played at a Junior College. We won the first two matches and they were 0-0 and 0-1 against two teams that had both 4.0s. There was talk that people thought it was unfair that I was playing with the 4.5 girl. We went on to win the tournament.

I've played 7.0 tournaments where a 3.5 lady was defeated before the match even started or would have "nice complaints" about how well my partner or I were playing. Now that I am 4.0 and only able to play 8.0 its not like that anymore. Most of the ladies get the ball back or don't get overwhelmed at the net.
 

Notirouswithag

Professional
I play 8.0 mixed and i love it for the social aspect, I dabbed in a few mixed tournaments and said forget it because it was either full of complaining or not as fun.

I actually like to play in more of a social aspect as there more opportunities and i can keep consistently working on smaller things like timing or strategizing on the go....cant really do that when im playing mens dubs with a bunch of 4.0-5.0 guys
 

sunnyday

New User
It seems like most of the posters on here are men - as a female, I just wanted to tell you guys that sometimes ladies purposely play the "sympathy" card:) I had an older female opponent (in 7.0 mixed) constantly complain about my partner's pace and act like she was getting hurt whenever he hit a hard shot to her - guess what, we lost that match. Anyway, I looked up her record later on - and for someone who was complaining about pace - she rarely lost at both 7.0 and 8.0 (18+ and 40+)!
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
I enjoy playing mixed dubs. As a man what I get out of it is being on a team. I have had the good fortune of playing with ex-D1 players which was amazing.

Mixed Doubles is like life; you get out what you put in.
lol, for my level, that's just *good* doubles, period :p
 

TnsGuru

Professional
Just out of curiosity, what level girls are you playing against/with?
Majority 4.0 some are 3.5 but were self rated and play much better than their rating. I have played some women who played Div 2 college rated at 4.0 but I think they should be 4.5 at best. I used to play 4.5 many years ago but am down to a solid 4.0 because I have aged a little and play only recreationally these days.

I wish I could train and lose a few lbs and refine my game again but I just play for fun now. Maybe one day I will be serious again? We'll see.
 

MRfStop

Professional
It seems like most of the posters on here are men - as a female, I just wanted to tell you guys that sometimes ladies purposely play the "sympathy" card:) I had an older female opponent (in 7.0 mixed) constantly complain about my partner's pace and act like she was getting hurt whenever he hit a hard shot to her - guess what, we lost that match. Anyway, I looked up her record later on - and for someone who was complaining about pace - she rarely lost at both 7.0 and 8.0 (18+ and 40+)!

So you're saying some ladies play possum?
 

Vilgan

New User
I like mixed because I get to play with a female friend. We'd play men's together as well, but haven't heard back from the USTA yet on whether that's okay.
 

Torque

New User
I have played with a high level female and it is fun while relieving me of having to play "perfect". In fact, I let her serve first most of the time. This is more like an "equal" men's team.

I am now playing in a 4.5 tri-level mixed league. The female levels are very different from team to team even at the 4.5 level. Many get balls back but not with pace and especially serves.

I find it challenging not to screw-up the easy serves and the inevitable lobs and moon balls. So, I get some unique practice against these teams while also getting another chance to play. I think I will be better for it.
 
I think the most obvious reason for playing mx'ed is the opportunity to be around the opposite sex. After a couple of sets of tennis, you get to know the person's character pretty well, and whether you want to move things further along socially in the post match arena.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Guy at a club social tried to ask me out (quick failure since I am happily married) ... his line was that he liked my style of play and broke up with his last girlfriend because he didn't like the way she played. (note: ex-girlfriend is a 2.5 and dude would lose bagels and breadsticks to a C rated 3.0 male)

I too wonder why men play mixed. I have only played 7.0, 8.0 and 8.5. (yeah the 8.5 was a terrible terrible mistake on saying yes to) I think it is a lose-lose proposition in so many ways.

If you as the male are the higher rated partner, but the opposing male is better than you ... your lower rated female partner cannot swing the difference and you have to walk away from the match knowing it was your fault for the loss.

If you are the higher rated partner and opposing male is weaker than you ... I have seen too many women claim it was THEIR play that won the match because they were better than the opposing female ...

Now granted, in playing mixed I have recently been partnered in such a way that we are either 0.5 or a full 1.0 below the expected court rating. Captain says, yeah, but you play like a 4.0 so I will pair you with a 3.5 male ... you will be fine. Yeah, not fine.
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
I prefer mixed because I've found a lot of dudes to be overly-competitive a55hats as doubles partners. Sometimes it's just utter misery. I've been lucky recently to have a few good partners for regular doubles, but I knew them quite well before playing. But when I play ITF events I prefer to play mixed if I don't have a partner I already know. I'd rather play with a random woman than a random man. A couple of years ago a friend asked me if I was playing doubles and I said, "Yeah, mixed." He said, "Oh no, mate, the girls will ruin your strokes." I said, "Nope, it's the other way around - I ruin theirs." *rim shot*
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Guy at a club social tried to ask me out (quick failure since I am happily married) ... his line was that he liked my style of play and broke up with his last girlfriend because he didn't like the way she played. (note: ex-girlfriend is a 2.5 and dude would lose bagels and breadsticks to a C rated 3.0 male)

I too wonder why men play mixed. I have only played 7.0, 8.0 and 8.5. (yeah the 8.5 was a terrible terrible mistake on saying yes to) I think it is a lose-lose proposition in so many ways.

If you as the male are the higher rated partner, but the opposing male is better than you ... your lower rated female partner cannot swing the difference and you have to walk away from the match knowing it was your fault for the loss.

If you are the higher rated partner and opposing male is weaker than you ... I have seen too many women claim it was THEIR play that won the match because they were better than the opposing female ...

Now granted, in playing mixed I have recently been partnered in such a way that we are either 0.5 or a full 1.0 below the expected court rating. Captain says, yeah, but you play like a 4.0 so I will pair you with a 3.5 male ... you will be fine. Yeah, not fine.
Women win mixed doubles matches and men lose them.

J
 
Guy at a club social tried to ask me out (quick failure since I am happily married) ... his line was that he liked my style of play and broke up with his last girlfriend because he didn't like the way she played.
Just curious, do you wear a wedding ring when you're playing? I've noticed some women who are married do--and some don't--why is that?
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Mmmm. I play mixed because it gives me the challenge of hitting against pace. I am bad at hitting against pace.

But I know a lot of ladies who do very well with pace. For these ladies, they find mixed more exciting in general.

I cannot speak for the menfolk, of course, but I think some of them just enjoy the challenge of supporting a lower-rated (or differently-abled) partner.
If men folks were into challenge of playing with lower rated player so much, ??????? Then why are all the guy so not into playing doubles with weaker partner and avoid it like a plague ????????? lol
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
My wife is my MxD partner, and playing tennis together is one of those "couples" things we really enjoy. I doubt I'd play MxD if she was not a tennis player.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Developing mental strength is the main advantage. In mixed doubles at the social level, expectation is on the guy to perform and sometimes the women make that clear too. Seasoned mixed-dubs women will also play the mind game with the opposing male partner - boosting his ego. Many men develop performance anxiety and this starts to first get reflected in more and more aggressive serves which go long, and moves on to cursing and racket throwing, while the opposing woman is laughing away.

Playing mixed doubles make a man aware of mind games and be relaxed during performance.
 
Guy at a club social tried to ask me out (quick failure since I am happily married) ... his line was that he liked my style of play and broke up with his last girlfriend because he didn't like the way she played. (note: ex-girlfriend is a 2.5 and dude would lose bagels and breadsticks to a C rated 3.0 male)

I too wonder why men play mixed. I have only played 7.0, 8.0 and 8.5. (yeah the 8.5 was a terrible terrible mistake on saying yes to) I think it is a lose-lose proposition in so many ways.

If you as the male are the higher rated partner, but the opposing male is better than you ... your lower rated female partner cannot swing the difference and you have to walk away from the match knowing it was your fault for the loss.

If you are the higher rated partner and opposing male is weaker than you ... I have seen too many women claim it was THEIR play that won the match because they were better than the opposing female ...

Now granted, in playing mixed I have recently been partnered in such a way that we are either 0.5 or a full 1.0 below the expected court rating. Captain says, yeah, but you play like a 4.0 so I will pair you with a 3.5 male ... you will be fine. Yeah, not fine.
I think I'd stop playing doubles entirely if I, or my partners, were constantly worrying over who was responsible for a win or a loss. That's just not the attitude I want to have or be around when I'm playing doubles.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Just curious, do you wear a wedding ring when you're playing? I've noticed some women who are married do--and some don't--why is that?
Yes, I wear my ring at all times. Many people however do not wear theirs as they find it interferes with their grip .... it doesn't bother me at all.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I think I'd stop playing doubles entirely if I, or my partners, were constantly worrying over who was responsible for a win or a loss. That's just not the attitude I want to have or be around when I'm playing doubles.
Totally agree ... although in mixed I am ashamed to say that I have done so. Particularly when my 4.0S vanity rating partner double-faulted an entire service game. An Entire Service Game.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Yes, I wear my ring at all times. Many people however do not wear theirs as they find it interferes with their grip .... it doesn't bother me at all.
I brought my friend's racquet to my stringer and my stringer said oh, I didn't know he was married.

I was like how do you know he's married from looking at his racquet.

The wedding ring wore away the paint at the throat where his left hand rests in the ready position.

J
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Yes, I wear my ring at all times. Many people however do not wear theirs as they find it interferes with their grip .... it doesn't bother me at all.
If you notice, J-Mac wears his on a chain around his neck because he can't play with it on.

J
 

CHtennis

Rookie
I have not played a whole lot recently but I really enjoyed playing 8.0 mixed as a 4.5 man. It required me to be very aggressive and move a lot more than I would in the 4.5 league. There was also a lot more to the strategy than hit to the women, although that is usually a good default. The teams I have been on have been a lot more social as well and that has been fun.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
I also like the pressure of mixed where I have to win my service games, focus on hitting a quality shot every single time and since I usually play the ad court face the pressure of a lot of game winning/saving points.
 

time_fly

Hall of Fame
Just curious, do you wear a wedding ring when you're playing? I've noticed some women who are married do--and some don't--why is that?
Ha ha, this could be a topic for a whole 'nother thread. I don't wear my ring when I play tennis. I'm lefty and it sometimes bothers or distracts me. I was heavily into martial arts when I got married and couldn't really wear a ring or any jewelry while training, so my wife was aware of me taking it off for sports from the beginning. I don't otherwise hide the fact I'm married though. :)
 
I don't wear my ring. My fingers tend to swell a bit during a match, to the point that the ring starts to hurt me. But by that point, there's no getting it off. So I just leave it at home. Wish I could say that wasn't a lesson learned the hard way.
 
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