1) When is it worthwhile to take the malus and change your style for a match? As an example, I have a couple of players who are Defenders. Both of them are 60-65% in their service, return and rally skills, and 40-45% in their volley skills and special shots (topspin 35%). They frequently run into other Defenders who are 80-90% for service, return and rally, but only 0-15% in volley skills.
Since they are better than my girls in what is supposed to be our specialty, my thought was that on fast surfaces (grass and the three indoor) I might try switching to Volleyer, but the 20% malus has frightened me too much. How do I know when is the right time to abandon my default style?
2) Based on a very small sample size, it seems to me that doubles teams seem to play better the closer their styles are to each other. I had a Varied and a Counter paired off, and they rose to number 1 in the world. I had another team made up of the two Defenders mentioned above, and they made it to number 35 by the end of the Australian Open in the third year of the campaign. Since the Counter had nearly the same singles ranking as one the the Defenders, both of whom were much worse ranked than the other Defender or the Varied player, I mixed them up. The new teams (Varied/Defender and Counter/Defender) both started losing in the second rounds of their tournaments. When I put them back the way they were originally, they started winning again.
Have other players noticed this, or am I misinterpreting?
3) Are any particular styles advantageous for doubles play? I read a book about tennis written back around 1950 by Bill Tilden. He felt that, regardless of your normal style of play, when you play doubles you should adhere strictly to the serve-and-volley game (unless it's mixed doubles, in which case the man should be a Volleyer while the woman plays Defender). I remember way back in my first game of TEM (version 1.c) I tried pairing Volleyers with Defenders and Power Baseliners, but I don't remember it being very successful.