Tennis does attract a lot of support from the punters and it's not hard to see why. The entertainment produced from tennis is unrivalled and there is actually a lot of money to be made with tennis if you're switched on and know your stuff. The extra attraction is the rapid turnover of matches on both the men's and women's tours. Both Tours run pretty much all year long affording great betting opportunities week in, week out.
Picking an Outright Winner - Selecting a tournament winner is always the most popular market in tennis, especially in one of the Grand Slams. However, although the chances of seeing a surprise winner in the big tournaments are slim, there is an opportunity to do some trading on the exchanges or if that doesn't interest you then there are certainly a fair few value bets out there.
Picking an Outright Winner
Selecting a tournament winner is always the most popular market in tennis, especially in one of the Grand Slams. However, although the chances of seeing a surprise winner in the big tournaments are slim, there is an opportunity to do some trading on the exchanges or if that doesn't interest you then there are certainly a fair few value bets out there.
Before picking an outright winner, check the draw for the tournament. It's wise to pick a player at a fairly big price who appears to have an easy first couple of matches. Providing he makes it through the early rounds, you can make a quick buck on the exchanges. You should also keep one eye out for any home-grown players. If a player is playing in his own country then they tend to have the backing of the crowd.
Here is one example of tournament betting where you will need to pick an outsider. That doesn't necessarily mean you pick a no-hoper. As an example, pick out a top ten player in the field who are trading outside of the very elite players in the world and back them (even each way) at a long price in the outright winner market, say 28/1. But then in opposition to that, you could hit a Betting Exchange and Lay that same player at maybe 8/1 to not win the tournament. Either way, you are well covered and in profit as long as the Lay bet return covers the stake played on the outright winner market.
Set Betting - This is where you often get a lot of value. Especially with players who are expected to rout their opponents. As always, homework is required for this to be a success as there's a reason why their price to win in straight sets is so low. Below are a few factors you should bear in mind when either betting to win or lay in set betting.
Head-to-Head - Check the recent matches between the two. If the previous encounters have been close then it's best to stick your money on a couple of sets.
Recent Matches - This is the most important factor in our opinion. If the favourite is odds on to win in straight sets then you should take a look at some of their recent matches. If they were involved in a long match just a few days ago then fatigue could play a part in their next match.
Big Servers - Players who boast a strong serve are often very hard to break. If the opposition is odds on to win in straight sets but the other player possesses a big serve then there's definite value in laying the odds on favourite.
Roger Federer is 1.95 on Betfair to win 3-0 in sets against Andy Murray in the Wimbledon final. The Head-to-Head heavily favours Federer, but Murray possess a big first serve so the lay of Federer winning 3-0 looks decent value.
Final result - Federer won 3-2 so the bet WON!
Handicap Game Betting
Some punters tend to find laying a favourite in the set betting market a bit risky or are simply not interested so they instead look towards the handicap game market. This is where you can start with a couple of games advantage with the underdog. If Federer is a heavily backed favourite, but you think Andy Murray could make more of a match than many think, then you could bet on Murray having a 4.5 game head start.
Federer is 1.1(1/10) to beat Andy Murray.
Andy Murray is 2.0 (EVENS) to win with a 4.5 game head start. This means Murray must be ahead in games when the match comes to an end. So Federer can still win the match but your bet on Murray on the handicap could still win.
Federer 6-4, 7-6, 7-6 - If this was the final score then Federer would be four games up on Andy Murray. As you bet on Murray with a 4.5 game head start, your bet would have won.
Sizing up a match
Betting on tennis can often be very profitable. Just like every other sport, a lot of homework is required beforehand. Several different factors come into play when weighing up each player's chance of success.
We have listed just a few below:
Form - If a player is on a hot winning streak then his confidence will take off. A confident player will perform a lot better. He will time his shots a lot better, his accuracy will improve and they tend to take their chances more when they come along. However, if a player is going through a difficult patch then it's best to stay well clear. Confidence is crucial and if a player has very little then they will often try to second-guess themselves. They will be more conservative as they don't trust themselves taking any big shots and tend to put in less effort.
Head-to-Head - Certain players can perform a lot better against specific players. Some will find their games is best suited against certain competitors and this normally shows in their head-to-head records. Before betting on any match, read up on the recent head-to-head record between the two players. Not only will this give you a good indication as to whom has won the most times out of the two but it could indicate that a player has the beaten of the opponent and knows their game very well.
Surface - Some players find their style of play suits a specific surface more than others. For instance, Wimbledon is often said to be more favourable to big servers. This was evident this year with Andy Roddick reaching the final and the American ended the tournament with the most amount of aces. Whereas the slow red clay gives Rafael Nadal more time to dish out some big ground-strokes and dictate the play.
Venue - Check up on who's from where. If there's a player from the same country as the venue then it will often play into that player's hands. This was clearly evident at Wimbledon with Andy Murray and it's the same at the US Open with Andy Roddick. The home crowd can often act as a 12th man, as it's known in football, and it's a massive advantage for the home-grown players. Grand Slams
In tennis, it's now how many times you win but how many Grand Slams you have to your name. There are tennis tournaments going on throughout the year but the ones that really matter are the four Grand Slams. Australia, France, England and USA are where the four major events are held and each country tends to go with the motto that their Grand Slam is of course the best. Well, it's hard to really class one as an absolute best as they all come with their own unique characteristics.
Australian Open - Australia is venue for the very first Grand Slam of the year and competitors don't have to wait too long before they're back competing at the big stage after their winter break. The tournament is held in January each year at Melbourne Park. The very first Australian Open was held back in 1905 and was originally played on grass of all surfaces. However, 1988 brought about changes and the tournament is now played on a hard court.
Start Date - January
Main Courts - Rod Laver Arena & Hisense Arena
Surface - Hard Court
Unique Characteristic - The Australian Open is all about the heat. Having talent is not enough when playing down under. To go all the way you need to be able to cope with the blistering heat that normally surrounds Australia in the early part of the year. Both the main courts do have retractable roofs although the irony is they use the roofs more for extreme heat conditions then to actually prevent any rain delays.
French Open - The French Open or 'Roland Garros' as it's sometimes known is arguably the hardest of all the Grand Slams to win purely because the surface is like nothing else out there. The red clay makes for a totally different game of tennis and you will often see players sliding around the court as if on ice. The surface makes for slower shots and this often leads to lengthy five set encounters. It is often referred to as the most physically demanding of all the Grand Slams and this reason amongst many others is why it attracts more worldwide viewers then any other tennis tournament.
Start Date - Late May
Main Courts - Roland Garros & Court Philippe Chartier
Surface - Clay
Unique Characteristic - It's undoubtedly the surface. The red clay slows the ball right down which in turn, leads to longer rallies. To succeed at Roland Garros you need to be on top of your game physically. You need bags of stamina as well as an intuitive mind. Rafael Nadal is a master on this surface as he knows how to sue the slow red clay to his advantage. You will often see players standing further behind the baseline and often covered in clay.
Wimbledon - The peoples favourite tournament. Well, that's what the British will have you thinking. Wimbledon tends to split the critics down the middle. Some will say they find this tournament those most entertaining of the four while some will claim it's a surface which only suits big servers. It's the oldest of all the Grand Slams and is generally considered the most prestigious because of this.
Start Date - Late June
Main court - Centre Court
Surface - Grass
Unique Characteristic - The atmosphere. As long as there's a British hopeful in the draw, the fans at the All England Club will ensure there's an atmosphere to remember. There's literally nothing like it when Andy Murray takes to the stage, especially if it's a tense match. You will also see Henman Hill which is often full to the rafters with loyal tennis fanatics and you'll never find a spare ticket on one of the main courts.
US Open - The last of the four Grand Slams and probably the most competitive of them all. Whereas Grass and clay courts favour certain players, hard courts tend to allow for an even playing field. Although that may not look the case with Roger Federer winning the previous five US Opens. The tournament has been through a variety of surfaces but the hard court has been in use since 1978 and has remained since.
Start Date - August
Main Court - Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre (Flushing Meadows)
Surface - Hard Court
Unique Characteristic - Unlike the there other Grand Slams, the US Open's attempt tbe different from the rest is to have a final set tie-break. The other slams don't feature a last set tie-break. This affects a player mentally as the thought of having to break your opponent doesn't necessarily come into your thought process and some will stick it out for the lottery of the tie-break.
ATP, WTA, World Tour Finals - The men's best player take part in the ATP World Tour whereas the women are playing on the WTA World Tour. Both Series contain all Grand Slam tournaments but most other turnaments are either men or women only. Both have their own finals at the end of the season. The location for the finals change every year. The top 8 players of the WTA and ATP ranking are qualified. The finals established themselves next to the Grand Slam tournaments and the olympic tennis tournament as important events in tennis.
The World's Greatest
Tennis has seen some truly great players and the argument about who is the greatest of all time often springs about whenever one of the Grand Slams are in action. Players such as John McEnroe, Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras are always mentioned after they enjoyed a successful stint in their time but it's hard to argue with anyone when they claim that Roger Federer is the greatest player to ever grace a tennis court.
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