Monthly Tip - June 2014

Modern Mixed Doubles

Many years ago ladies playing mixed doubles were not allowed to come anywhere near the rear court and were parked near the short service line guarding the net. This was based on the laughable notion that ladies were weak and slow but their sole quality was to have great reflexes. In recent years this concept has been thrown into the bin and it’s now accepted that ladies can (and do) play a more active role all over the court. But it is of course still the case that in the vast majority of cases men are more powerful in the rear court, it's also the case that in the dark days men rarely ventured as far as the front court.

In modern mixed the man needs to be able to travel to three corners, and to know what to do when he gets there.  

A lady needs to be able to come back and defend but also to be able to attack well from the rear court.

It is still the case that the lady doesn’t want to be isolated in the back court and should get forward when she can and even in modern mixed a top man will try to isolate the lady at the rear court if he can.

The lady needs to be able to defend well particularly from the following positions (right handed):

1.In her forehand court both from a man smashing at her cross and straight

2.In her backhand court from a man smashing straight

3.The most difficult is in her backhand court from a man smashing cross

No 3 can be very tough for a lady to deal with so lots of practices must be carried out to try to avoid putting her in this position.

The most effective mixed pairings at the top will be where the man has a big smash and the lady a good defence and agility in the forecourt.

Without the power it’s unlikely that the pairing will succeed. 

So, lots of clues about what to look for when putting a mixed partnership together.