Somewhere towards the end of my failed mixed doubles experiment we were in a very tight match with another 4.5/3.5 team. After our male opponent took a pretty hard shot at my partner when she was at the net, my partner walked back to me for a mid-match conference and said “you need to take her head off.” Huh? I responded rather eloquently. “Take her head off. He nearly took off mine.” I considered this advice for a minute and replied, “Then shouldn’t I try and take HIS head off instead.” No, I was sternly advised, that’s not the way it’s done.
As you may have figure out by now, I wasn’t one to drill ground strokes at female 3.5 opponents when they were at the net. Somehow it just didn’t seem sporting, or very nice. But I did run into guys a couple of times that did just that and seemed to have no problem with it. What was I supposed to do at that point? In baseball it was pretty clear. You bean my guy and we’re gonna come back and hit your next batter. We didn’t actually wait for their pitcher to bat, you just hit the next guy at bat and everyone got on with the game. Of course when I played high school baseball the next batter wasn’t a junior high girl that was getting dusted with high heat.
Where’s the middle ground? Is it the old ‘he started it’ defense? Yeah I bruised your partner but you bruised mine first? And why did these women show little to no concern when their partner was doing it but were indignant when it happened to them?
‘Sorry but your partner has been killing my girl at the net’ was met with ‘you could have hurt me hitting it that hard’. Probably not difficult to see why all this remains a mystery to me.