Club night (5), the "Rules of mixed doubles"
Mixed doubles mix-in at club night yesterday. Sometimes it's OK and sometimes it's not. Last night it was not, but I was playing conservatively anyway because of the groin strain. This meant I did not chase down some shots I normally would, and was less adventurous at the net. One of my lady partners did comment on this.
This lead me to think about some of the unwritten rules of mixed doubles at our level of play. These rules probably don't apply at the more advanced levels, especially when the lady player can more than hold their own against the men.
Rules of mixed (from a male perspective).
1. Serving: don't show off your first serve and always use second serve kick or slice when serving to the lady.
2. Serving: you can blast your first serve at the man, irrespective of age.
3. Receiving: when receiving second serve from the man, don't blast the return at the opposing lady or hit a down the line winner.
4. Receiving: when receiving from the lady don't take advantage of a weak serve by hitting an outright winnner, but use some spin, lob, positioning, angle, to create a winning position.
5. Be prepared to run down all lobs over your partners head.
6. Be prepared to take all shots close to the the middle, even the ones on your partners side.
7. Don't poach aggresively to volley directly at the opposing lady when intercepting service returns from the opposing man.
8. Ask your partner which side of the court she prefers and let her play from there.
9. Don't scowl or mutter when your partner messes up a shot, say something like "bad luck" (through gritted teeth).
10.If the ladies are engaged in a cross-court baseline rally (this is club level tennis remember) resist the urge to intercept and blast a volley winner.
11.Give an encouraging smile if your partner double faults.
12.Never play with or against your wife, life-partner.
Will happily accept rules from the lady's perspective.