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 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 tournament would be feasible.
When did Mixed Doubles in Tennis start?
Mixed Doubles (or “XD”) has a long history in tennis with the first grand slam mixed match being played at the 1887 US Open Championships.
It 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, XD 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.
It is also now included as an event at each of the four grand slam tournaments (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open).
It 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.
2019 was the last time the Hopman Cup was played in Australia but thankfully tournament organizers have announced that the Hopman Cup will return in 2023, but this time it will be played on clay courts in Nice, France.
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 e.g. Fast Four Tennis 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 XD Tennis matches are played in a best of three 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.
Mixed Doubles on the ATP and WTA Tours
The first mixed competition at the Australian Open was held in 1922 with Esna Boyd Robertson and John Hawkes claiming the first mixed title at the Australian Open.
The current Australian Open champions are Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos who beat Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna 7-6, 6-2 in the 2023 Australian Open mixed final – see match highlights from the final below.
Margaret Court, Harry Hopman, and Thelma Coyne Long hold the record for most mixed titles at the Australian Open with four titles each.
The first mixed competition at the French Open was held in 1925 with Suzanne Lenglen and France Jacques Brugnon claiming the first XD title at the French Open.
The current French Open champions are Miyu Kato and Tim Pütz who beat Bianca Andreescu and Michael Venus 4–6, 6–4, 10–6 in the 2023 French Open mixed final.
Margaret Court holds the record for most XD titles at the French Open with four titles to her name.
The first mixed event at the Wimbledon Championships was held in 1913 with Agnes Tuckey and Hope Crisp claiming the inaugural title.
The current Wimbledon champions are Mate Pavić and Lyudmyla Kichenok who beat Joran Vliegen and Xu Yifan 6–4, 6–7, 6–3 in the 2023 Wimbledon mixed final.
Elizabeth Ryan holds the record for most XD titles at the Wimbledon Championships with seven titles to her name.
The first mixed event at the US Open was held in 1922 with Esna Boyd Robertson and John Hawkes claiming the 1922 title.
The current US Open champions are Anna Danilina and Harri Heliövaara who beat Jessica Pegula and Austin Krajicek 6–3, 6–4 in the 2023 US Open mixed final.
Margaret Osborne Dupont holds the record for most XD titles at the US Open with nine titles to her name.
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 event.
Mixed Tennis 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 Olympic events held to date:
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)|