Could Tennis be a Pioneer in the Future of Mixed-Gender Sports?

published: Aug, 17, 2021

by: TC Staff

Tennis is still one of the few sports where mixed events occur, though there seems to be a growing trend towards men and women playing together in other sports as of recently. This was highlighted at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo where five new mixed events were added to the schedule.

Those events were the 4x 400-metre mixed team track relay, 4x 100-metre mixed team swimming medley, mixed team triathlon, mixed team Judo and mixed team trap shooting. This trend is set to continue as part of a wider drive for equality between men and women across sports.

Upcoming Mixed Doubles Events

The upcoming tournament of interest will be the 2021 US Open Mixed Doubles, however, this draw is still yet to be revealed on the week of August 30th. Novak Djokovic is currently at odds of 8/11 to be declared the men’s singles winner at the US Open once again, according to tennis betting markets, which would be yet another historic Grand Slam under his belt. In terms of the mixed doubles, the last two US Open editions were won by Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the USA and Britain’s Jaime Murray. It has yet to be confirmed if they will be back to defend their title but you can keep an eye on the latest tennis betting tips for updates and odds for all the US Open matches.

It remains to be seen whether Djokovic and Nina Stojanovic can make a prolific return following their shock withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics. The pairs’ mixed doubles bronze medal game was cancelled after Djokovic suffered a problematic series of injuries that forced a premature end to his Tokyo Olympics run. Undoubtedly, this had ramifications for the pair, but there are hopes they will return in winning form for the 2021 US Open Mixed Doubles event.

Why Aren’t There More Mixed Doubles Events?

The first mixed Grand Slam event occurred at the US Open in 1887 and all four Grand Slams added mixed doubles to their programs by 1922. Mixed doubles tennis was first featured at the Olympics in 1900 (Paris) before being dropped in 1920, then revived in London in 2012. With so much history behind mixed tennis, there’s a case to be made for more events to be added to the schedule.

Nonetheless, anyone who follows professional tennis will be aware that mixed double events are still quite rare in the sport. The main issue is that the separate tours for men and women make scheduling mixed events difficult, limiting them to the Grand Slams.

Andy Murray Speaks Out for Mixed Sports

Andy Murray asked on social media if people would be interested in seeing a mixed golf tournament in the style of the Ryder and Solheim Cups. The response was overwhelmingly in favour of such an event.

Tennis already has its own annual mixed tournament for national teams in the form of the Hopman Cup, but there could be room for a higher profile event featuring the top stars. Murray himself was a mixed doubles Olympic Games finalist in 2012 and a Hopman Cup finalist in 2010. With the trend for mixed sports set to continue, tennis should be well-placed to lead the way by getting creative with the mixed-gender format.

Mixed doubles tennis has such a rich history but rarely gets the attention it deserves due to the current set-up of the tours. Maybe there’s not a great appetite amongst fans but if the response for the Olympics is anything to go by, there could be a change of mindset on the horizon and tennis could play a major part.

TC Staff

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