If you pass the Cottonwood tennis courts Monday through Thursday, you might imagine that CTC is segregated by sex. Monday and Wednesday women congregate. Tuesday and Thursday the men preside. But Friday is really the best day of the week, because that is Mixed Doubles Day and focuses more on making friends and playing social tennis than on who wins a match.
Anyone at any level can sign up, and the coordinator will place two men and two women of similar abilities on each court. It’s a good opportunity for both men and women to experience playing mixed doubles in a structured but not super-competitive environment.
It also provides an opportunity for husbands and wives to play together, or if they are not at the same level, they can still be on the courts at the same time. Both men and women have the opportunity to interact as tennis players and make friends. Often, people who have played together on Fridays end up being partners in the competitive mixed doubles tournament.
Other benefits of mixed doubles include meeting people of different levels who you otherwise wouldn’t meet on the court. This leads to weekend match-ups for fun and sometimes breakfast on Sundays after tennis, or social events like sitting together at a tennis dinner. There’s even been a romance or two. Many people enjoy mixed doubles more than gender doubles and play every chance they get.
John Cousins likes mixed doubles because it’s fun and good exercise. “It’s a different kind of play. Men and women approach tennis differently, and both have to adjust.”
Sonda Giles has participated in Friday mixed for years. “I enjoy it because it gives me a chance to play against hard hitters, and the guys are very nice and helpful.”
Newcomer Felisa Kulba hasn’t been playing very long, and she says, “It’s nice to learn from both the women and the men. The more-experienced players have been very helpful, and I am getting better.”
Cottonwood Tennis Club is open to new members at any time. Free lessons are available to newcomers on Monday and Tuesday evenings, and on Thursdays and Sundays there is open play when anyone who shows up can participate. For information on membership, contact Toni Reider, membership chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org.