Learn How to Serve an Ace on a Tennis Bet
With eleven months of solid action, you’re never far away from finding a bet on a tennis tournament. Whether it be the ATP, WTA, ATP Challenger Tour, WTA 125k Series or Davis and Fed Cups, the calendar is littered with competitions for us to get excited about, with a majority of tournaments running from Monday to Sunday (excluding Grand Slams and qualifiers). TV deals and streaming services have allowed us to gain access to a vast majority of these tournaments throughout the year; betting markets flourish when matches are shown to a live audience.
Despite the criticism by players in recent years expressing their concern over the length and depth of the tennis season the calendar continues to grow, with over 16,000 singles matches being played in 2017 alone.
This depth of competition allows us punters to take our pick of tournaments to bet on based on a plethora of variables. Court surface, tournament type, country, round, and opposition all play a significant role in tennis betting with a focus on finding value a necessity.
Tournament Winner – A bet on who you think will win the tournament in question.
Match Win – this allows you to bet on who you think will win the match outright.
First Set Winner – A bet on the outcome of the first set.
Set Betting – this allows you to predict the score of the match in sets (i.e. 2-0, 2-1).
Tie Break In Match? – A bet whether there will be a tie-break in the match.
Double Result – this allows you to bet on multiple outcomes in the match (i.e. Andy Murray to win the first set and win the match).
Number Of Sets – bet on the number of sets you think will be played in the match.
Total Games – this is typically an under/over market with you backing how many games will be played in total throughout the match (i.e. Under/Over 21.5 games)
1st Set Total Games - this is typically an under/over market with some options for you to decide whether the number of games in the opening set will be under or over.
With so much action being played throughout the year it is important to choose our tournaments carefully. It’s impossible to develop an assessment of every tennis match performed daily, so pick a speciality and stick to it! Whether this is the men’s tour or the women’s tour, or maybe even a particular surface, studying detailed data of a specific variable can reap the rewards in the long run while avoiding unnecessary losses on matches where knowledge is limited.
Finding value is particularly manageable when looking at a tennis draw for a tournament. Draws are typically announced on the Saturday before a Monday start, so you have plenty of time to assess the seeds, matches, and possible routes for the players involved. With some players unable to compete in a tournament EVERY week, seedings may be skewed for particular competitions – this is where we can pounce. If for example, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray all found themselves all in the same half of a draw, backing a lower ranked outsider to reach the semi-finals or final in the opposite half of the draw will hold decent value. Of course, they will still face fierce competition, but a hefty price on them to win the tournament can be layed off upon them reaching the latter stages.
The surface is crucial. Rafa is the king of clay and Federer has dominated on grass; every player on tour will prefer certain surfaces throughout the year with their style of play benefitting greatest from one particular surface. Whether a tournament is played on grass, clay, hard, indoor or even carpet will make a massive difference to your player’s progression throughout the week. Players with a big serve tend to prefer grass as it allows for a more significant bounce from a player with a tall frame. Faster, slicker, more technical players may prefer to glide on a clay court whereas net-players may benefit from the grip of a hard court. Make sure you’re aware of the depth of the field, as well as who may benefit from the surface in question.
Using head-to-head records can be of great benefit; they should not, however, be relied on. In all sport, competitors come across their ‘bogey’ players (or teams). In boxing it’s referred to as ‘having someone’s number’, and in tennis it’s similar. Styles make matches, and sometimes it can be to the downfall of one of the players if they struggle to come to terms with what their opponent brings. Studying the head-to-head record on that particular surface can be of enormous benefit in understanding where the value lies, however, the price will be the ultimate determinant of whether or not a specific player is worth backing.
Serving is a huge part of tennis. Like a one-punch knockout artist; or a big driver in golf, a big tennis server is often labelled as just that throughout their career. The best players will always find ways to overcome the big servers; John Isner, Ivo Karlovic and Sam Groth are currently the fastest servers in the game, yet struggle to win regular titles. Tie breaks are where these players come into to play from a betting perspective. Often, matches involving these players will be decided by a tie-break with their opponent struggling to break their serve – the odds will reflect this likelihood. However, the market is still worth exploring.
Pressure gets to us all – sportsmen and sportswomen are no exception. This being said, some players deal with it better than others. Using in-play betting, backing a player to throw away a lead in a high-pressure situation can be highly profitable. With tennis scores effectively ‘resetting’ after each set, supporting a player to get a win after being 1-0 down in sets can prove a lot easier than backing a player to come from behind in other sports.
So, how can we win money on tennis betting? Studying the above pointers will leave us in a position of knowledge to tackle the big tournaments, but we still need to find the right markets to attack.
Backing the home favourite is an undervalued tactic when it comes to tennis. In the caldron of a tennis court, home support can be crucial in getting a player over the line. If the odds are fairly even between two players, backing the ‘home’ player will provide the best value; we’ve seen a number of Americans fare well in recent US Open tournaments with all four WTA semi-finalists coming from the USA in the 2017 competition.
Upsets are reasonably common in the opening rounds of Grand Slams, so picking these upsets could prove hugely profitable. Seeded players coming into Grand Slams in a bad patch should be looked at carefully – backing against them winning their opener can provide fantastic value. Many players refuse to turn down the opportunity of playing in a Grand Slam even if they are injured or struggling for form – their seeding will usually ensure they are an odds-on favourite for their opening match despite their inability to perform to their highest standards.
An important tactic to employ in tennis betting is to spread your selection across a multitude of bets. With 31 matches in a tournament with 32 players, there is plenty of time to make the right choice rather than rushing into the wrong match. Studying a player’s form throughout round one could be a benefit, with round two being a prime time to pounce on who is looking the most comfortable.
So we know the fundamentals of tennis betting. Using these betting techniques should allow you to squeeze as much value out of the market as possible, however, in a sport that can fluctuate so often due to patches of form you can never be certain of your picks.
Making sure that you understand the market that you are betting is MUST when it comes to any sport, this includes tennis. Although the rules are fairly easily digested, knowing the surface of the tournament and the number of sets played isn’t always openly stated on betting websites.
As is true in all sports betting – do your homework! A players Form is crucial in a sport which is so reliant on mental strength and confidence, with players wavering throughout the long and draining seasons. There are always risks attached to betting. However, if you study the markets and the sport to the finest detail, there is no reason why you can’t make a tidy profit on tennis.