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View Full Version : Do the men go easy on Women in mixed doubles?


Haywood
Feb 17th, 2004, 08:31 PM
I am a new member and without intending to be controversial I figured the following question could spark a lively debate:

In pro mixed doubles do men serve easier and basically take it easy, not drilling balls at net, etc., to the opposing women?

In my opinion men do not take it easy at all. Perhaps at net they do not drill the ball in mixed doubles, but Im not sure. I havent seen enough mixed doubles to say. However, in the matches I have seen, the women seem more than capable of holding their own. And I might add, many women pros one would think could be pros on the mens circuit.....What are your views?

Very interested in your comments and knowledge of mixed doubles.....

Glenn
Feb 17th, 2004, 08:35 PM
I don't think the men hold back because then they would be dissapointing their female partner.
So it's either dissapointing their partner and giving the other duo a chance to win points, or impressing both teams and winning points in the process.

Pamela Shriver
Feb 17th, 2004, 08:36 PM
Do the men go easy on Women
Only for Chris Evert.....easy.....

Haywood
Feb 17th, 2004, 08:43 PM
Pamela - please elaborate....what does you mean in saying that?

Only for Chris Evert.....easy.....

alfonsojose
Feb 17th, 2004, 09:30 PM
The man has to do everything he can to protect woman's serve. If not, he's going to be pressured on his own serve game.

Pamela Shriver
Feb 17th, 2004, 09:58 PM
Pamela - please elaborate....what does you mean in saying that?
The words Chris and easy are systematic.

"Sluggy"
Feb 17th, 2004, 09:58 PM
My feeling is that tennis is gentlemens/ladies sport. Meaning that if the opponent is caught up at net and there is an easy overhead, the person is not going to smash the ball in attempt to hurt the other person, be they a man or women. So no way do the men 'hold back' on the women. Definitely not!

On another note, mixed doubles is very very intersting and enjoyable to watch and Id like to see it become more and more popular. my favorite mixed doubles team is Elena Bovina and Mark Knowles........

The man has to do everything he can to protect woman's serve. If not, he's going to be pressured on his own serve game.

TennisHack
Feb 17th, 2004, 10:17 PM
Depends on how crappy both players are in doubles ;) Seriously, the better each player is in regular doubles, the better and more equal they are as a team. I haven't seen much mixed myself, but if the strategies of regular doubles play, the other team probably tries to hit as much to the weaker partner as possible.

The men aren't as rude, aka drilling the ball at net or hitting it especially hard *at* a player.

BTW, there are few people here who think professional women could play on the men's tour. Please don't open that can of worms again.

CanadianBoy21
Feb 17th, 2004, 10:26 PM
Of course they do not take it easy. They get paid lots of money for winning.
Women know what they get themselves into when playing mixed, and women are very strong with return of serves and volleys. For volleys you do not necessarily need massive power, but touch and reflexes. And the return of serve, most are better than men in my opinion.

Gowza
Feb 17th, 2004, 10:32 PM
i dont think they take it easy. in club on the other hand, in club tennis it happens a lot but only on the serve really, in club i tend to take it easy with my serve against females but with my groundies i dont as much. the only reason i do it with my serve is because one of my old teamates said she hates it when the guys hit their serve at full strength coz some woman cant handle it (she got hit in the face with a guys serve once) actually i feel really sorry for the women when i rally with them coz they stumble trying to get to the ball but dont get anywhere near it, but its funny when im rallying with the guys because they can get to it but they cant move the feet (actually most of the time i just hit it straight to them and they can get out of the way and i beat them for pace and they cant get it back)

upperkut
Feb 17th, 2004, 10:36 PM
yes, they do, even if on an unconscious level... the easy way to see it is to check the average speed of the male player while serving to the female opponent as opposed to the male one... you'll realize that the average speed of the serve is a good couple of miles down... or do you really think Mark Philoppoussis would serve a 130mph bomb to a lady player and risk being called on his antics?

broncosven
Feb 17th, 2004, 10:45 PM
No dont think they take it easy

Mixed is only played in Grand Slams and so when men and women play this (mostly doubs play nehow or low ranked singles) the mean business . . . they wont the money, experience and match play

if women (like serena williams and now golfers like davies and sorrenesom) beleive they can compete with men then for the men to take it easy would be patronising and ironical against the opposing female player

although im sure u realise that every possible ball will go to the womens player in mixed doubs just by watching a few matches this is obvious

alfajeffster
Feb 17th, 2004, 10:54 PM
I think Mixed Doubles is one of the most enjoyable forms of the game, personally. Men are physically stronger than most women, however, women, out of necessity, (and what Billie Jean King has often pointed out as the lack of exposure to athletics the same way boys are exposed at an early age) have developed their minds for the tactical side of doubles, and actually compliment the play. Mixed Doubles is often times more interesting than either Men's or Women's doubles because of this variety.

In answer to your question, yes, I do believe men adjust by taking pace off many first serves to women, and opting to spin, because many times it's more effective. Goran Ivanisevic played a Mixed match at Wimbledon a few years back, and Martina Hingis had no trouble blocking his 120mph flat serves back at his feet. I wish we would see more of the top male players taking Mixed Doubles seriously, because it would definitely add more variety and depth to their game. I know, it's a guy thing, but seriously, try it- you'll like it! And besides, if you play with a woman who is a stronger player, say a level above where your game is- you're basically playing Men's Doubles at that point anyway.

Gowza
Feb 17th, 2004, 11:00 PM
im a guy and ive always played mixed doubles, i agree it is really fun, however i do have more success in mens doubles than mixed. one of my female teamates whacks the hell out of the ball and has a gr8 serve, when she is on our opponents are stuffed (even the guys have trouble).

Darop.
Feb 17th, 2004, 11:04 PM
If anything they try to hit the ball more to the women :p

Volcana
Feb 18th, 2004, 01:06 AM
In trhe 70's mixed doubles was often on TV. And the firstthing you'd notice was that the men aced the women way more than the men, and the hit to the woman's side way more than the men. So at the pro level, I'd say no. Especially since doubles players in general don't make what singles players do, and tennis is an expensive sport to be in.

Club level is a whole 'nother deal.

On of the reaons the Williams sisters were so successful at mized is that if anything, the men ASSUME the woman is the weaker player, and attack her regardless of situation. Since V&S can hit with such pace, they got a lot of winners off that.

I'd say if anything, the men attack the woman more than they should, simpy assuming she's the weaker player. Not always true.

alextreiber04
Feb 18th, 2004, 01:19 AM
I don't think the men hold back because then they would be dissapointing their female partner.
So it's either dissapointing their partner and giving the other duo a chance to win points, or impressing both teams and winning points in the process.

When I read this, I began to laugh. :haha: Sorry. Thats my 2 cents. :haha:

bis2806
Feb 18th, 2004, 12:36 PM
davenport was kicking hantuchova's mixed doubles partner at hopman cup... i mean her serves really bothered him... :D go lindsay!

stephanwiberg
Feb 18th, 2004, 01:15 PM
I am a new member and without intending to be controversial I figured the following question could spark a lively debate:

In pro mixed doubles do men serve easier and basically take it easy, not drilling balls at net, etc., to the opposing women?

In my opinion men do not take it easy at all. Perhaps at net they do not drill the ball in mixed doubles, but Im not sure. I havent seen enough mixed doubles to say. However, in the matches I have seen, the women seem more than capable of holding their own. And I might add, many women pros one would think could be pros on the mens circuit.....What are your views?

Very interested in your comments and knowledge of mixed doubles.....

Dont have to explain , right

stephanwiberg
Feb 18th, 2004, 01:26 PM
if you would be a man in wimbledon mixed doubles final, 9-8 in your advantage. it's match-point and the only way to win the point, is to smash Anna Kournikova right in her face, which would make her face kinda ruined forever. Would it still be appropriate.

these are some possible reactions:

J. Mcenroe; Hell yeah
L. Hewitt; sure Mate.
M. Chang, only if she can afterwards do the same to me
T. Henman: ofcourse not, the lady would feel bloody awful.
R. Krajicek: Who cares, all female-tennisplayers look like pigs anyway.
J.M Gambill: Girlfriend, you were too much competition anyway, to become the new Queen of Tennis, this suits you way better darling

Fantastic
Feb 18th, 2004, 01:27 PM
On the serve, the men definitely don't hold back. On net exchanges, there is some level of restraint against aiming the ball directly at the woman. The women in mixed expect the balls to come to them a lot of the time so they are probably more alert during the matches than the men, and more than they would normally be in womens' doubles.

At the Hopman Cup, some of the top male players still feel a little uneasy playing against a woman, mostly because they're not used to it. They tend to hold back and not strike the ball at the other woman to put away shots, thus resulting in some unusual errors. Marat Safin had this problem this year. He said he was never sure if he should hit or serve the ball hard to the woman or not. Goran Ivanisevic had the same level of restraint when he played mixed there a few years ago. That was, until Martina Hingis returned most of his hardest serves... and also aced him!

Experimentee
Feb 18th, 2004, 01:30 PM
I've seen a lot of mixed doubles and they definitely do not take it easy. In fact they keep trying to attack the woman and hit lots of balls to her because they assume shes weaker, but most of the time women can hold their own. They do serve at the women full power, if they dont they disappoint their partner. I remember recently watching Nenad Zimonjic in the final of the AO mixed, he was serving at 200+ kph at Martina Navratilova, even though shes an old 47 year old woman! I've also seen some men drill the ball into the opposing woman's body. They just cant hold back at this level, because theres a lot at stake and they have to do everything they can to win. Everyone expects it from them.

spudrsca
Feb 18th, 2004, 01:48 PM
On the serve, the men definitely don't hold back. On net exchanges, there is some level of restraint against aiming the ball directly at the woman. The women in mixed expect the balls to come to them a lot of the time so they are probably more alert during the matches than the men, and more than they would normally be in womens' doubles.

At the Hopman Cup, some of the top male players still feel a little uneasy playing against a woman, mostly because they're not used to it. They tend to hold back and not strike the ball at the other woman to put away shots, thus resulting in some unusual errors. Marat Safin had this problem this year. He said he was never sure if he should hit or serve the ball hard to the woman or not. Goran Ivanisevic had the same level of restraint when he played mixed there a few years ago. That was, until Martina Hingis returned most of his hardest serves... and also aced him!
I find it hard to believe the part "Hingis returned most of Ivanisevic's hardest serves" when you know Ivanisevic often serves 20+ aces/ match in the men's game or he was serving always at the same place in this match.
What I've notice is that the top players tend to serve not as hard in doubles than in singles.

alfajeffster
Feb 18th, 2004, 02:28 PM
I find it hard to believe the part "Hingis returned most of Ivanisevic's hardest serves" when you know Ivanisevic often serves 20+ aces/ match in the men's game or he was serving always at the same place in this match.
What I've notice is that the top players tend to serve not as hard in doubles than in singles.There is a reason for this- and Ivanisevic obviously didn't understand it, or was incapable of varying his service- too grooved on smacking the bomb, probably. In doubles, moving the serve around the box with more spin than usually used in singles is a better tactical play. Think about it- the returner has to go crosscourt well over 90% of the time, and usually the server is coming in to pressure the returner with a volley. It's easier to groove on returning a hard, flat bomb in doubles, no matter how hard hit, than it is to groove on returning a ball that keeps coming at you with a different look. It also gives the server more time to close in tighter for that all-important first volley. A flat bomb can come back at you just as fast as you hit it.