A mixed doubles match in tennis involves teams of two (one man and one woman) playing each other, using the same rules as regular men’s and women’s doubles.
Mixed doubles is mostly seen at the recreational level and is less frequently seen at the professional level as there aren’t that many ATP/WTA combined tournaments where a mixed doubles tournament would be feasible.
Professional mixed doubles tournaments are now mostly limited to the Grand Slam tournaments and the Olympics.
As the men’s grand slam tournaments are still the best of 5 set matches, most of the top ATP players do not play in the mixed doubles event.
Table of Contents
- When did Mixed Doubles in Tennis start?
- Mixed Doubles at the Olympics
- Mixed Doubles at the Australian Open
- Mixed Doubles at the French Open
- Mixed Doubles at Wimbledon
- Mixed Doubles at the US Open
- How do you Play Mixed Doubles in Tennis?
- How Many Sets are in Mixed Doubles Tennis?
- Final Thoughts
When did Mixed Doubles in Tennis start?
Mixed Doubles has a long history in tennis with the first grand slam mixed match being played at the 1887 US Open Championships.
Mixed Doubles was also included as an event in the Olympics in 1900, 1912, 1920 and 1924 but was excluded from the Olympics held between 1925 and 2011.
However, in 2012, Mixed Doubles was included again as an event at the London Olympics and was also included as an event at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Mixed Doubles is also now included as an event at each of the four grand slam tournaments (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open).
Mixed doubles was also included as the third rubber in the Hopman Cup, which was a tournament played in Australia up until 2019 and was used as a warm up tournament ahead of the Australian Open.
The Hopman Cup was one of my favourite tournaments as you got to see players like Serena Williams and Roger Federer play on the same court.
2019 was the last time the Hopman cup was played but thankfully it has been announced that the Hopman Cup will return in 2023 but this time it will be played on clay courts in Nice, France.
Mixed Doubles at the Olympics
Mixed Doubles has been an event at a total of seven different Olympic games with the first being the 1900 Paris Olympics.
Below is a list of medal winners from Mixed Doubles Olympic events held to date:
Mixed Doubles Medal Winners at the Olympics
|Olympics||Gold Medals||Silver Medals||Bronze Medals|
|1900 Paris||Charlotte Cooper and Reginald Doherty (Great Britain)||Helene Prevost (France) and Harold Mahony (Great Britain)||Marion Jones (USA) and Laurence Doherty (Great Britain) / Hedwiga Rosenbaumová (Bohemia) and Archibald Warden (Great Britain)|
|1912 Stockholm||Dorothea Köring and Heinrich Schomburgk (Germany)||Sigrid Fick and Gunnar Setterwall (Sweden)||Marguerite Broquedis and Albert Canet (France)|
|1920 Antwerp||Suzanne Lenglen and Max Decugis (France)||Kitty McKane and Maxwell Woosnam (Great Britain)||Milada Skrbková and Ladislav Žemla (Czechoslovakia)|
|1924 Paris||Hazel Wightman and Norris Williams (USA)||Marion Jessup and Vincent Richards (USA)||Kornelia Bouman and Hendrik Timmer (Netherlands)|
|2012 London||Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi (Belarus)||Laura Robson and Andy Murray (Great Britain)||Lisa Raymond and Mike Bryan (USA)|
|2016 Rio||Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jack Sock (USA)||Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram (USA)||Lucie Hradecká and Radek Štěpánek (Czech Republic)|
|2020 Tokyo||Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Andrey Rublev (ROC)||Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev (ROC)||Ashleigh Barty and John Peers (AUS)|
Mixed Doubles at the Australian Open
The first Mixed Doubles event at the Australian Open was held in 1922 with Esna Boyd Robertson and John Hawkes claiming the first mixed doubles title at the Australian Open.
Margaret Court, Harry Hopman and Thelma Coyne Long hold the record for most mixed doubles titles at the Australian Open with 4 titles each.
The Defending Australian Open Mixed Doubles Champions are Kristina Mladenovic and Ivan Dodig who beat Jaimee Fourlis and Jason Kubler 6–3, 6–4 in the mixed doubles final of the 2022 Australian Open.
Mixed Doubles at the French Open
The first Mixed Doubles event at the French Open was held in 1925 with Suzanne Lenglen and France Jacques Brugnon claiming the first mixed doubles title at the French Open.
Margaret Court holds the record for most mixed doubles titles at the French Open with 4 titles to her name.
The Defending French Open Mixed Doubles Champions are Desirae Krawczyk and Joe Salisbury who beat Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev 2–6, 6–4, 10–5 in the mixed doubles final of the 2021 French Open.
Mixed Doubles at Wimbledon
The first Mixed Doubles event at the Wimbledon Championships was held in 1913 with Agnes Tuckey and Hope Crisp claiming the first mixed doubles title at Wimbledon.
Elizabeth Ryan holds the record for most mixed doubles titles at the Wimbledon Championships with 7 titles to her name.
The Defending Wimbledon Mixed Doubles Champions are Neal Skupski and Desirae Krawczyk who beat Harriet Dart and Joe Salisbury 7–6, 6–2 in the mixed doubles final of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships.
Mixed Doubles at the US Open
The first Mixed Doubles event at the US Open was held in 1922 with Esna Boyd Robertson and John Hawkes claiming the first mixed doubles title at the US Open.
Margaret Osborne Dupont holds the record for most mixed doubles titles at the US Open with 9 titles to her name.
The Defending US Open Mixed Doubles Champions are Desirae Krawczyk and Joe Salisbury who beat Giuliana Olmos and Marcelo Arévalo 7–5, 6–2 in the mixed doubles final of the 2021 US Open.
How do you Play Mixed Doubles in Tennis?
Mixed Doubles follows the same rules as regular doubles with the only difference being that it is played with one man and one woman per team.
However, in some tennis formats where no advantage is played when the score reaches 40 all, the general rule is that if a male player is serving then he will serve to the male player on the other team and if a female player is serving then she will serve to the female player on the other team.
How Many Sets are in Mixed Doubles Tennis?
Most Mixed Doubles Tennis matches are played in a best of 3 sets format with the final set being a 10 point tiebreak.
However, in some matches, a full third set will be played but this format is not commonly used.