I know perfectly well what you mean. I'm playing in a small club with 10-15 players attending a normal club night. If there's an important soccer match on TV, we sometimes end up with 6 people only. Then there are two categories of players, the team and the hobby players and normally, the hobby players have the majority. Which basically means that we usually need to mix with the hobby guys and girls to have everybody playing on court. I know I should now say things like "I don't care who I'm playing with, I always enjoy the game and have fun!" - but hands down, that's just not always the truth. There are matches that just don't seem to "come to life" at all - you know, those matches in which no rally exceeds 5 shots and every second rally ends after 2 shots with a bad unforced error or an easy kill. Even if it sounds rude, there are matches that I only want to be over as quickly as possible and I couldn't care less if I win or not. On the other hand, it happens that I'm having a lot of fun in these matches too. What's most important is that you try to level out the player combination on both sides best possible. So for us, the most promising combination is to have one team player partnered with a hobby player on both sides. I found to get most of my motivation in these matches when in theory, our opponents should be the better pair and I feel like it's on me to make the difference. Mostly, we rotate then partners after the first match and I just love it when I scored a win with both hobby partners in the end. Overall, I would say the fun and motivation on court depends a lot on the flow of the match. Once there is a certain flow and you have interesting rallies going on, then is the time for @visor's "Be like TTY!"-moments. Play risky, do stuff you would never try in a "serious" match and just try to show (off) that you're the best player on court. I would even say that you can actually improve your own game in these kind of matches too. Either if you are working on your shot precision/variation or (if your partner is slower on his feet) you can work on your court coverage and movement. What totally sucks almost everytime is a situation in which there are three good players plus one really weak player on court. The strong pair will automatically isolate and focus on the weak spot and you (as his partner) will be standing around mostly and watch him fail. There's just zero fun in that. The only sentence I'm a bit worried about too is this one: For me, this would be a situation in which I would be happy, that I know for sure. If I had to squeeze out everything I got to win a tight match in the end, I would go home with a smile on my face. Because obvioulsy, it was me who made the difference on court (at least that's what I would be telling myself ). Chances are higher that I end up frustrated if I had just wiped the floor with clearly weaker opponents.