How To Bet On Tennis
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As with all forms of sports betting, odds determine how much a bettor will win from any bet placed, providing they are successful and have correctly predicted the outcome.
Odds on tennis are presented in three ways;
- Fractional - Popular format in the UK and Ireland
- Decimal - Popular across Europe and the southern hemisphere.
- Moneyline - Popular in North America.
No matter how knowledgeable a bettor or a tennis tipster may be, as all sporting events are open to human error, sports betting will never be an exact science. However the laws of probability do determine that an outcome is more or less likely to occur.
What Do Tennis Betting Odds Mean?
So let's begin with the common question, what do tennis betting odds represent? If a player is listed at odds of 1.75 to win a Grand Slam match, what does this mean? Well, betting odds represent a likelihood (often referred to as the ' implied probability' ) of a particular outcome occurring. So if a player is listed at 1.75 to win a match, these odds reflect what the bookmaker believes that player's chances of winning the match are.
So what are the chances a player listed at 1.75 will win the match? We can answer this with a simple formula:
Converting decimal odds to implied probability formula:
|Implied probability||=||1 / decimal odds|
So in our example, the chances of a player listed at 1.75 winning a match are:
|1 / 1.75||=||0.5714||=||57.14%|
Understanding the probability expressed in betting odds is key to successful golf betting. Knowing how to convert odds into their implied probability will only help enhance your chances of long term success betting on tennis.
How Do Tennis Betting Odds Work?
So how much will you win if you place a bet on a particular player and he or she wins their match? This is a very simple calculation:
|Your Profit||=||(Stake * Odds) - Stake|
So let’s say we place a £10 bet on a player listed at odds of 1.75 to win an upcoming match. And let’s say that player wins. How much profit will you make on your bet?
|Your Profit||=||(£10 * 1.75) - £10|
|Your Profit||=||(£17.50) - £10|
So in our example we would make a profit of £7.50 on our £10 bet. A nice win indeed.
Tennis Odds In Action: An Example
Heading into the 2014 Australian Open, Rafael Nadal was the top seed in Melbourne and the world no.1. Nadal was hot-off a sensational return to top form in 2013 that saw him come back from injury to take both the French and U.S. Opens plus nine other titles. After dismissing Roger Federer easily in the semifinals, Nadal was a strong 1.18 favourite to defeat Stan Wawrinka in the final of the 2014 Australian Open. At those odds, if a bettor placed a £10 bet on Nadal to win, they would win back a total of £11.80 – including the original £10 stake, making a profit of just £1.80.
As a probability, there was an 84.75% chance of a Nadal victory.
Despite playing the best tennis of his career and defeating defending champion Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals, Stan Wawrinka was a massive 5.60 underdog going into the final against Nadal. This was primarily based on his record of 12 straight defeats against the Spaniard in all meetings, in which Wawrinka had failed to even win a set.
However, some expert tipsters sensed an upset was on the cards. Sure Nadal was on a roll and playing great tennis, but so was Wawrinka. Sure Stan had never beaten Rafa, but he hadn’t beaten Djokovic in seven years and 14 matches before this event. Besides, he’d been getting closer to Nadal, losing their previous match in two tight sets 7-6, 7-6.
Also, Wawrinka’s power game was well suited to the super-fast hardcourts of Melbourne. While Nadal was an excellent all-court player, his game was still primarily that of a clay-courter, relying on dogged defensive play from the baseline.
A £10 pound bet on a Wawrinka win at odds of 5.60 would return a total of £56 including the original £10 pound stake, showing a £46 profit.
However, according to the odds there was only a 17.86% probability of a Wawrinka victory. It was a long shot, would it pay off?
In the end, Stan The Man won the 2014 Australian Open defeating Nadal in four sets, claiming his first Slam in the process.
Tennis offers more variables and more markets than almost any other sport, but if one wishes to maximise their profits and minimise their risks, they need to implement a tennis betting strategy based on a combination of scientific theory plus good old-fashioned discipline.
#1 Bet Only When There Is Value
Probably doesn't need to be said (again!) but it is paramount. Only bet when there is value. Any tennis betting strategy should equip you with the ability to identify tennis value bets. Any tennis betting system should breakdown each matchup and leave you will a select few contests where betting value is available.
With the number of tennis matches being played throughout the year on both the men's and women's circuit, it's best to focus on what you know best and specialise.
It's simply impossible to analyse every upcoming tennis match adequately (unless you're able to develop a sophisticated betting model). Many successful tennis bettors focus on one area, whether it's men's tennis or women's tennis, the Challenger circuit or only Grand Slam events.
Likewise, focus on tennis bet types and markets that you are more familiar and most comfortable with. Some bettors focus only on handicaps while others develop strategies for identifying value in both set and game totals.
Whichever tennis circuit you want to bet on and whichever bet types and markets you're most comfortable with, if you want to be successful betting on tennis, you need to be selective and focus on areas of expertise.
#3 Have Accounts With Multiple Bookmakers
Limiting yourself to only a few, or worse, a single bookmaker is only going to limit your chances in the long run. No, we're certainly not recommending you have account with a dozen different bookmakers. That may be considered excessive. But depending upon only one or two bookmakers for all your tennis betting is going to diminish your overall profits in the long run.
Well thinks about it this way. If you only have accounts with two bookmakers, you are firstly limiting yourself to a narrower range of tennis bet types and markets to wager on. But more importantly, you are limiting yourself to a narrower range of odds.
Let's say you want to bet on Andy Murray to win an upcoming Grand Slam match. You have accounts with two bookmakers:
- Bookmaker A has Murray at odds of 1.80
- Bookmaker B has Murray at odds of 1.82
Which bookmaker are you going to be with? Bookmaker B is the obvious answer. But let's imagine we have accounts four bookmakers:
- Bookmaker A has Murray at odds of 1.80
- Bookmaker B has Murray at odds of 1.82
- Bookmaker C has Murray at odds of 1.77
- Bookmaker D has Murray at odds of 1.86
Obviously we will want to bet with Bookmaker D.
While this is a simplistic example, it should be clear how managing a broader range of bookmaker accounts allows you for not only greater flexibility in the markets available to you, but more importantly, a greater range of odds to select from. It may seem like a slight difference, but in the long run, it all adds up.
Oh and by the way - you work too hard to risk losing your money to an online scam artist or fly-by-night operation. Always use a bookmaker reviewed by bettingexpert.
#4 Keep A Record
Betting on tennis involves identifying value and sound money management. An excellent way to maintain your discipline in both respects is keep a record of each of your tennis bets.
This record should include the date, tournament, bet type, bookmaker, your stake, your Odds, profit/loss and comments.
If you are failing to keep a record of your tennis betting, then you're putting your chances of being a long term profitable tennis bettor at severe risk. By keeping a detailed record of your tennis betting, you will be able to conduct regular reviews of your overall performance. Which bet types are you most consistently profitable on? Which tournaments are you losing money on? Not only that but when a losing streak arrives (and they happen to even the best tennis bettors) you will be able to look back readily observe how you pulled yourself out of losing streaks in the past.
We've done the hard work for you and created the bettingexpert Tennis Betting Spreadsheet, feel free to download or read more about it on the bottom of this page.
#5 Look For The Suspect Seed
Historically the pre-tournament favourites tend to come good in Grand Slam events both in the men’s and women’s events. If you do want to back the favourites, do so early when the odds are still reasonable.
However, while favourites have performed well in the major tournaments, from as far back as the days of Connors, Borg and McEnroe, King, Evert and Navratilova, it can be highly profitable to identify which of the favourites is likely to under perform against the expectations of their tournament seeding.
Rankings are based on a player’s achievements over the previous twelve months. As such a player may be seeded relatively highly in an event and yet be out of form and susceptible to an upset.
Seeded players will always start as favourites over unseeded players with the bookies, but a little research will always reveal who’s actually playing well in a matchup and who’s not – regardless of seeding.
#6 Understand Serving and Returning
One of the most popular forms of tennis betting is in-play betting, where a bettor can wager upon a match game-by-game, often while watching the action on live streaming. To get the most out of this form of betting a basic knowledge of the intricacies of the serve and return in tennis is essential.
The serve in tennis is similar to a tee-shot in golf, a penalty or free kick in football or a place kick in rugby; it is the only time in the match when the immediate outcome is in the hands of an individual. If the server is of the calibre of a Roscoe Tanner, Goran Ivanisevic, Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick, or today’s biggest hitters Ivo Karlovic and John Isner, there’s an 80% probability the point will be theirs. However any weakness in a serve will become amplified during the course of a match, and it will become increasingly vulnerable as it reaches its pivotal stages toward the end of each set.
Tennis history is littered with almost as many legendary returners of the ball as great servers. 70s and 80s icon Jimmy Connors was long held as the greatest returner the game had ever seen until the advent of Andre Agassi in the late 1980s. Agassi was famously at the other end of a world-record 154 mph serve from Andy Roddick – yet managed to return it. However most experts now regard Novak Djokovic as an even greater returner of the serve than Agassi.
In the modern game Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, David Ferrer and Giles Simon are just some of the great returners on the tour.
Even the biggest servers in tennis will drop their serves at least once in a set. Currently the most consistent servers in the game are the 6’10” American John Isner and the 6’11” Croatian Ivo Karlovic. Both men start with a huge physical advantage over most of their rivals; if one takes into consideration they are making contact with the ball at something like 9 feet from the ground at the point of service impact, the ball will always clear the net and fire downward at an acute trajectory, leaving the server to focus on the quality of their delivery, it’s speed and accuracy. The result will be a high-bouncing ball delivered in excess of 140 mph – to either the forehand side, backhand side or into the body of the opponent.
However, the rank and file of the ATP are not 6’11” service machines nor Djokovic-esque returners. Serving and returning stats of every player on the ATP tour are listed on the ATP website under “All Match Stats” and they can certainly give you an indication – and a probability – of the likelihood of a player holding or dropping serve during the course of a set.
#7 Be Aware Of Playing Styles
Thanks to the likes of YouTube, one can find footage in seconds of pretty much any player on the tour, male or female. Watch both a service game and a return game of a player, and you can quickly asses what type of player they are; a big server, a serve-volleyer (rare these days), a baseliner, a strong returner, big forehand or backhand etc.
This is a useful tool, especially if you are unfamiliar with a player, or you want to see their playing style and how it would relate to a particular surface.
#8 Head-to-Head Matchups
Take a minute to log on to the ATP or WTA website and check out the head-to-head between the player you intend to back and their opponent. If they have faced each other previously, you will see how many times, the results and scorelines of the matches, and when they took place.
Again, this is a very useful tool in tennis betting, but matchups should never be taken at face value, and one should always check a rivalry closely.
For example, Player A is a clay-court maestro who has a 2-5 losing record against Player B, a big-serving hard-court specialist, and so based on their head-to-head you back Player B to win. Had you checked their head-to-head a little deeper, you would have seen that Player A’s two victories both came on clay, which is the surface they are about to play their match on.
#9 Assess Surfaces
When betting on a player, always take into account the surface on which the match is being played on and how good their record is on it. Top players like Djokovic, Federer and Nadal can win on any surface, hard, clay or grass. Andy Murray always had the tools to play well on clay, but only recently has he become a regular winner on the red-dirt. David Ferrer would seem to be the archetypal clay-courter – which indeed he is – but his tenacity and pugnaciousness have transferred well to all surfaces, and he has actually won more hardcourt events than clay.
In the women’s game, players like Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic and Garbine Muguruza can play and win on any surface.
Those player aside, most men and women on the tour prefer one surface over another, and have had far more success on their favourite surface. A quick look at a player’s recent activity will tell you their current form on a particular surface. A look at the titles they have won and finals they have reached will also reveal much about a player.
A perfect example is former world no.9 Nicolas Almagro of Spain. Almagro is one of the most talented players on the tour, blessed with a ferocious serve, a bomb of a forehand, tremendous speed about the court and a backhand to rival that of Stan Wawrinka.
And yet Almagro has only achieved success on clay. He has won 12 ATP titles and reached an additional 10 finals, but all on the red dirt. Therefore in a matchup against an opponent of comparative standing but on a hardcourt, the value bet would be to wager against him.
Indoors and Outdoors
Hardcourt events are played both indoors – mainly in Europe, and outdoors, mostly in North America. Clay court and grass court events are always played outdoors. Some players find it more difficult to win outdoor events, where their game is more exposed to the elements, i.e. windy conditions, extreme sunlight, heat etc. Goran Ivanisevic won 22 ATP titles, but only seven came outdoors. Goran’s game was built around his phenomenal left-handed serve, so the least involvement of the elements, the better for his delivery.
Others, like Rafael Nadal actively prefer playing outdoors, and have a comparatively and surprisingly poor indoor record (only one of Rafa’s 67 titles has come indoors.)
#10 Follow Tennis Betting Tips
A tremendous way of augmenting your tennis betting returns is to identify a tennis tipster that specialises in an area or betting market that you do not.
While following tennis tips can be a great way of building your betting bankroll, it's important that you research any tipster you are thinking about following. And when we say research, we mean that you should conduct a thorough investigation. There a dozens of tennis tipsters on the internet, with many making grand claims regarding their profitability. Most tipsters on the internet are not profitable and in some cases are looking to swindle you out of your hard earned money through excessive subscription charges.
But there are a select number of successful tennis tipsters delivering profitable tennis betting tips throughout the year. In fact some of bettingexpert's best tipsters focus their craft on tennis, both the ATP and WTA Tours.
This is the most popular form of tennis betting, where you bet on who will win a particular match within a tournament. Unlike football, the draw is not an option. A player either will or wont win their match.
Before placing your bet, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first of these is the recent form of the player. Have they been performing with dominance or have they been struggling to close out matches?
Likewise, it's important to keep in mind past matches between the two players. Some players might be considered of lesser talent in the tournament, but sometimes they have a playing style that troubles players that others consider to be of far greater ability. Possessing this kind of knowledge can help you find tremendous value, particularly in Set and Game handicap betting.
It's also important to take into account the surface that the match is being played on. Grass is the fastest surface making the ball bounce less and makes a players service game an even more important part of the match. The grass surface favours some players while other players have styles suitable for clay or hard court. Clay is the slowest of the ATP surfaces and hard court is considered the middle ground. Take these elements into consideration when placing bets and which surfaces favour a particular players style.
Since a draw is not a possibility in tennis, odds on favourites are often very low. Therefore some punters chose to accumulate bets in an attempt to find better odds, though this can be deceiving for several reasons. This strategy can be successful if you know your game, if not chances are you're simply compounding negative value. Make sure you assess value for each bet and check recent results for each player to be as informed as you can be.
This is simply to bet on the winner of a tournament. Normally bookmakers will offer each way bets; one third of the odds on the place of your favourite and the rest if your selection finishes first or second.
Always take into consideration that tennis tournaments use draws to determine which players will face one another throughout the tournament. Taking a look at the likely opposition for each player once the tournament draw is released, can help you determine which players might be worth some value. A great player may find themselves with a difficult draw while a less talented player might be fortunate enough to be drawn against inferior opponents, giving them the dream run deep into the tournament.
Tournament Winner Odds
Lastly, let's consider tournament winner odds and other tennis outright bets.
Here we can see that Serena Williams is the firm favourite to win the tournament at odds of 2.25. If we think she is a better chance to win the tournament than those odds would suggest (44.4%) then we should be on her as it's a value betting opportunity.
Tournament Each Way Betting
We can see that it's also possible to bet 'each way' on this tournament, with the each way terms displayed in the top left. In this instance, one bookmaker is offering each way terms of 1/2 the outright odds for players finishing 1st or 2nd.
What does this mean?
Backing a player each-way means you are essentially placing two bets - one bet on the player to win the tournament and second bet on that player to finish, in this case, at least runner up (reaching the final).
So as an example, if you bet £10 each on Simona Halep at odds of 10.0, you would be placing £10 on her to win the tournament at odds of 10.0 and a second bet of £10 for Halep to finish at least as runner up (lose the final) at 1/2 the outright winner odds.
Each way odds are calculated as:
((Each way terms) of (winner odds - 1)) +1
So in this example, our each way odds for Simona Halep would be:
=(1/2 of (10.0 - 1) +1
=(1/2 of 9.0) +1
=4.50 + 1
So our £20 each way on Simona Halep, is essentially two bets:
£10 on Halep to win the tournament at odds of 10.0
£10 on Halep to either win the tournament or finish runner up at odds of 5.50
So if Halep wins the final, you win both of your bets. However if Halep reaches the final but loses, you lose your outright winner bet but you would win your runner up bet.
When it comes to outright tournament betting, if you are looking to back a player to win a tournament – especially the favourite - try and do so before the action has begun. The odds will become less favourable once the event begins and the field starts to dissipate. Even when a player is as dominant as Djokovic currently is or as Federer and Nadal have been in the past, it’s still possible to get reasonable odd on them before the event kicks off.
You may also see a player who was previously unfancied suddenly hit a hot streak, and if that is the case you should jump on board as soon as you can. In 2007 former Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian had slumped to 25th in the world and was seemingly sliding into mediocrity. Then, from out of nowhere, he suddenly hit one of the greatest hot streaks seen in recent years, winning both the Madrid and Paris Masters Series events back-to-back, and defeating both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in each event!
Tennis outright bets don't begin and end with tournament winner odds. The following markets are also available:
Quarter Winner: Betting on a player to reach the semi finals.
To Reach Final: Betting on a player to play in the tournament final.
To bet on a given set score is the equivalent to betting on the final score in football. In tennis you bet on the score in sets. For example, Player A wins 3 sets, Player B wins 2. This can be a great way of finding value betting on tennis when you have a greater knowledge of both player's tendencies, especially if one player is a short-priced favorite but is known for slow starts in the early stages of a tournament.
Yet an often-used possibility is to bet on the winner of the first set. Again, spotting a slow starter (or fast-starter) may yield good value odds!
There are various ways of betting on individual sets. Most bookmakers provide you with the opportunity back a player to win the first, second or third sets individually. Below we can see an example of a 1st Set Winner market with odds listed at Ladbrokes for an upcoming match Raf Nadal and Andreas Seppi.
Set winner betting works the same as match winner betting, except that rather than betting on the outcome of a complete match, you are only betting on the outcome of an individual set. In this example, we can see that Nadal is at very short odds to win the opening set of the match.
You can also bet on a range of tennis match handicaps. The most common of these are Set handicaps and Game handicaps.
Set handicap betting
In Set handicap betting, you bet on whether one player will win with the assistance of a Set handicap. This is somewhat similar to Asian Handicaps in football. For example, you can bet on a player to win with a -1.5 set handicap. Or on the other hand a player may be given a +1.5 set handicap.
Games handicap betting is similar except that it takes into consideration the total number of games played in the match. This can be a challenging form of betting as even a short-priced who is expected to win in straight sets, may struggle through each set. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of if you know that the playing style of a suspected inferior opponent, gives his much fancied opponent difficulties.
Set handicap betting is where one player is given a set advantage (for example +1.5 sets) and the other is given a set deficit (for example -1.5 sets). Below we can see an example of set handicap odds listed at Paddy Power for an upcoming match between Caroline Wozniacki and Svetlana Kuznetsova.
In this instance we see that Wozniacki is +1.5 sets at odds of 1.66. If you bet on Wozniacki at +1.5 sets, your bet is a winner so long as she wins the match or at the very least doesn't lose by more than 1.5 sets. Think of it this way - no matter the outcome of the match, so long as Wozniacki is within 1.5 sets of winning the match, your bet is a winner.
On the other hand, if you bet on Kuznetsova at -1.5 sets and odds of 2.10, your bet is a winner only if she wins by over 1.5 sets. If she wins by only 1 set or worse still, she loses the match, your bet is a loser.
Calculating whether or not your handicap bet is a winner is easy. You simply add (or subtract) the handicap from the final scoreline. If you had bet on Wozniacki at +1.5 sets, you simply add the 1.5 set handicap to her final scoreline. If on the other hand you had bet on Kuznetsova -1.5 sets, then we subtract 1.5 sets from her scoreline.
Games Handicap Betting
Tennis handicap betting doesn't begin and end with set handicaps. There are also games handicaps. This market works much like set handicaps, with a player given a games advantage (for example +5.5 games) and the other a games deficit (for example -5.5 games). Below we can see an example of a games handicap market with odds listed at Bet Victor for an upcoming match between Fernando Verdasco and Stan Wawrinka.
In this instance we see that Verdasco has a +5.5 game handicap. What does this mean? Well it means that if we bet on Verdasco +5.5 games at odds of 1.727, our bet is a winner so long as his total number of games won during the match is at the very least within 5 games of Wawrinka's games total.
So let's say Wawrinka finishes the match with a total of 22 games won, while Verdasco finishes the match with a total of 17 games. In this example your bet would be a winner because Verdasco's total number of games was within the 5.5 game handicap.
On the other hand, if you had bet on Wawrinka with the -5.5 games handicap at odds of 2.05, he must finish the match with at least 6 more total games won than Verdasco.
Games handicaps work just the same as set handicaps, except that we focus only on the number of games won through a match. Just as we did with set handicaps, we simply add or subtract the handicap. In this example, if we had bet on Verdasco at +5.5 games, we add 5.5 games to his total games won. If on the other hand we bet on Wawrinka at -5.5 games, we subtract 5.5 games from his total.
What makes games handicap betting a particularly intriguing market is that your player doesn't have to win the match for your bet to be a winner, even if he were the favourite. For example, let's say Verdasco wins the match 3 sets to 2, with a scoreline of 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 1-6, 6-4. In this example, Verdasco ended the match with a total of 22 games won while Wawrinka won a total of 28. With a games handicap of -5.5, even though he lost the match, Wawrinka still managed to cover his games handicap by exceeding his opponent's games total by 6..
As with handicap betting, Over/Under betting focuses on Set totals and Game totals. For example, you can bet on whether a match will end over or under 3.5 total sets. On the other hand you can be on whether a match will end over or under 30.5 games.
This can be a great way of betting if you have difficulty determining which player will win the match. In these cases it would be a good idea to bet the over in both total sets or total games. It doesn’t matter which player wins. If it's a close match, your bet on the over is likely to come up a winner.
Likewise if you expect a player of lesser overall talent to push a short-priced favourite, you can bet the over. Similarly, instead of betting on a short-priced favourite to win at very thin odds, you can bet on the match to finish in quick time receiving far more handsome odds. In cases such as this, it is wise to bet the under.
Over Under Odds
Tennis over unders is an increasingly popular form of betting, As was the case with tennis handicaps, there are two forms of tennis over unders - total sets and total games.
Total Sets Over Under
Let's begin with total sets.
In this instance you can bet on the total number of sets played in the match to be either over or under 3.5. Or in other words, the match to end with at most 3 sets played (under 3.5 sets) or the match to end with at least 4 sets played (over 3.5 sets).
Let’s say Andy Murray is playing Belgium’s David Goffin, the man he defeated to seal Britain’s Davis Cup win in 2015. Murray usually defeats Goffin relatively comfortably. Both men play a similar game, but Murray is a little better in all departments, plus a lot bigger. In this example we may believe that Murray will once again finish the match comfortably with the match being no longer than 3 sets. In this case we would be on Under 3.5 sets.
A related market, betting on the exact number of sets to be played in a given match, is offered by the majority of bookmakers.
Total Games Over Under
Tennis over under betting doesn't end with total sets. You can also bet on the total number of games to played through a match. Below we can see an example of a total games over under market with odds listed by Paddy Power for an upcoming match.
Here we have two options. We can either bet on the match finishing with Under 21.5 games played (at most 21 games) or we can bet on the match finishing with Over 21.5 games played (at least 22 games).
So let's say we are betting on a match between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber, with the match ending 6-1, 4-6, 6-2. In this example the match ended with a total of 25 games played. If we had bet Over 21.5 games, our bet would be a winner. However if we had bet Under 21.5 games, we would have lost our bet.
There are any number of tennis tournaments that you can bet on. Whether it be the men's tour (ATP) or the women's tour (WTA), there are dozens of tennis matches being played around the world on any one day, giving the shrewd tennis bettor the ability to identify tennis value bets, day in day out.
Men’s Professional Tennis
There are three tiers to men’s professional tennis; the ATP tour which is the top tier, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ITF Futures tour, with each playing an important role in keeping the tennis machine rolling.
The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is the governing body of the men’s professional game. Although the ATP is an independent organisation it is ultimately answerable to the sport’s world governing body, the ITF (International Tennis Federation). The ITF retains control of and supervises the Grand Slam events, the Davis Cup and Federation Cup as well as the Olympic tennis event. Think of the ATP as the Premiership and the ITF as FIFA and you’ll get a basic understanding of how the relationship works.
The ATP was formed in 1972 by a consortium that included legendary player Jack Kramer. Back then there were several governing bodies in pro tennis including the WCT (World Championship Tennis) and the Grand Prix tennis circuit, but by 1990 all had merged with the ATP.
ATP World Top 10
Players on both the ATP and WTA tours are ranked in accordance with points they have accumulated over a twelve month period. The amount of points available is relevant to the status of an event. For example, the winner of an ATP 250 event will gain 250 pts, while the winner of a Slam event like Wimbledon will gain 2000 pts. Players also gain points for wherever they finish in an event, from runner-up right down to a first round exit.
The player ranked no.1 in the world is the player who has gained the most points in the previous twelve month period, and the rest of the world rankings function correspondingly.
Points gained at an event are retained for exactly twelve months, and will then be taken off the player’s points total. The expression “defending a lot of points” comes from a player’s need to do as well in an event as they did twelve months earlier to maintain their position in the world rankings.
It’s not unusual in tennis for a player who performed exceptionally well at a slam event the previous year and then suffers an early exit from that same slam event twelve months later to see their world ranking drop dramatically.
ATP Tour Events
|4 Grand Slams||Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open.|
|9 Masters Series 1000||Events include Miami, Indian Wells, Monte Carlo and Cincinnati.|
|13 ATP 500 Series||Events include Dubai, Queens Club, China|
|39 ATP 250 Series||Event include Qatar, Brisbane, Nottingham, .|
|1 ATP Finals||London World Tour Finals, .|
ATP Challenger Tour
The ATP Challenger Tour is the second tier of men's professional tennis. Players ranked outside the world’s top-80 and former juniors making their way in the game frequent this tour. Success on the Challenger Tour will earn a player enough ranking points to either enter the qualifying draw or the main draw of an ATP tour event.
It is not unusual to see familiar faces playing on this tour, and over the years many big names in tennis have dipped in and out of the Challenger Tour due to a drop in rankings including Andre Agassi, Goran Ivanisevic, Lleyton Hewitt, Richard Gasquet, Marcos Baghdatis and Bernard Tomic.
ITF Futures Tour
While it may lack the glamour of the main tours, the ITF Futures Tour is the bread-and-butter of both the men’s and women’s professional games. There are an incredible 600+ men’s Futures Tour events and also 500+ women’s Futures Tour events played in 77 countries around the world between January and July.
Women’s Professional Tennis
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) is the top tier of women’s tennis, much like the ATP is in the men’s game. The WTA was founded in 1973 by Billie Jean King, who was the biggest star in women’s tennis at that time, and remains arguably its most important and influential figure ever.
Prior to the establishment of the WTA, female pros played on the Virginia Slims and Women’s Grand Prix tours, with both being absorbed into Billie Jean King’s fledgling organisation. The WTA would go from strength-to-strength and it has subsequently grown into the strongest women’s professional sporting governing body in the world.
WTA World Top 10
While women’s tennis has gone through its highs and lows in terms of global popularity (as has the men’s game), is has always outstripped any other female professional sport in terms of profile and the income it generates. Its top players enjoy a level of fame that is far in excess of female athletes in other fields. Mia Hamm and Marta are legends of women’s soccer, and Annika Sörenstam may well be the Tiger Woods of women’s golf, but their profiles are incomparable to those of a Martina Navratilova or a Steffi Graff, a Monica Seles, a Serena or Venus Williams, a Maria Sharapova and even an Anna Kournikova.
WTA Tour Events
|4 Grand Slams||Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open.|
|Premier Mandatory Tournaments||Events include Miami, Indian Wells, Madrid and Beijing.|
|Premier Five||Events include Doha/Dubai, Roma, Montreal/Toronto, Cincinnati and Wuhan.|
|WTA Finals||London WTA Tour Championships.|
|International Tournaments||32 events|
|WTA 125k Series||7 events|
Between the ATP, WTA, Challenger Tour and ITF Futures events, there are matches played worldwide from January to November. Even in the closed season there are several exhibition events played, like the annual Mubadala World Tennis Championships which takes place in late December in Dubai and features several of the sport’s biggest names.
Developing a tennis betting strategy or a tennis betting system can take time and persistence. But regardless of your overall approach, one fundamental rule applies to tennis betting as it does to any other sport:
Only bet when there is value.
Searching for tennis value bets means searching for an instance where your believe the outcome is more likely than what the odds on offer may suggest. For example, let’s say Novak Djokovic is about to play Rafael Nadal. These two have played each other more times than any other rivalry in the open era. Of late, Djokovic has been winning their matchups in ever more emphatic fashion. The bookies will make Djokovic a favourite to defeat Nadal, with the best odds on offer 1.50.
In terms of the implied probability, these odds suggest Djokovic is a 66.67% chance to win the match. We've done our research and believe Djokovic is actually a 75% chance to win the match. Do we have a value bet?
What Is A Tennis Value Bet?
It cannot be understated enough. The key to long term tennis betting success is to bet only when there is value in the odds. But how do we calculate betting value? It’s a very simple calculation:
|Value||=||(Decimal Odds * Your Assessed Probability) - 1|
So let’s continue with our previous example. Djokovic is at odds of 1.50 to defeat Nadal. We’ve done our research and have decided that in our estimation there’s a 75% chance this player will win the match. Are the odds of 1.50 for Djokovic to win offering us any value?
|Value||=||(1.50 * 0.75) - 1|
|Value||=||1.125 - 1|
Whenever the value is greater than 0, we have a value bet. So given the odds of 1.50 and our assessed probability of 75%, there is 12.5% value in the odds on offer of 1.50 for Djokovic to win the match over Nadal. This is a great value bet.
The trick to beating the bookmakers long term is in making more accurate assessments of a given outcome’s probability than those that the bookmakers odds would suggest. If you can do this consistently, you will be a long term profitable tennis bettor.
In our example we assessed that Djokovic has a 75% chance of winning the match, while the bookmaker odds of 1.50 reflected a probability of 66.67%. It is a value bet for us because we believe the chances of Djokovic winning the match are greater than the probability represented by the bookmaker’s odds.
This is a highly specific form of betting in which the odds are always generally quite high but the probability of success far less so. You are literally attempting to see into the future and pick the actual final scoreline of a set, or indeed a completed match.
Match Correct Score
Below we can see an example of a correct score betting market with odds listed by Coral for an upcoming match between Andy Murray and Lukas Rosol.
With correct score betting we are attempting to predict the final scoreline for a given match. The example above is for a five set Grand Slam match. We can predict either of the players to win and select the exact scoreline come completion of the match. Here we can see that Andy Murray is the clear favourite, with odds of just 1.22 for him to win the match without dropping a set, 3 sets to 0.
If you do your research and see that there is a high likelihood of a certain scoreline in matches between two players, then correct score betting can prove to be profitable. For example, the five matches between big-serving beanpoles Ivo Karlovic and John Isner have featured no less than nine 7-6 sets out of twelve played! That said, the bookies would probably do you no favors on a repeat of that scoreline when they next meet.
Set Correct Score
Correct score tennis betting doesn't begin and end with the final scoreline. It's also possible to bet on the correct score in individual sets. Below we can see an example of 1st Set Correct Score with odds listed by Coral for the same upcoming match between Andy Murray and Lukas Rosol.
As we can see, it's possible to bet on every possible combination of 1st set scorelines, with Murray winning the opening set 6-3 the shortest odds at 4.00, while the odds of Rosol winning 6-0 is at the unlikely odds of 101.0.
Betting On Tennis In-Play
Tennis In-play betting has become hugely popular among the tennis betting fraternity, and with good reason. Simply put, using one’s knowledge of the game coupled with an understanding of fundamental betting theory, it's possibly to turn a profit within minutes of logging on to a live match by betting on the outcome of individual games as well as sets.
Bookmakers allow you to bet in play on a broad range of markets, giving you the opportunity to trade on pre-match bets so as to lock in a certain profit or if events should conspire against you, to minimise your losses.
There is a great depth of in play markets available, such as the ability to bet on the scoreline of an individual game (for example 40-15),
Other Popular Tennis Bets
While we have discussed the most popular tennis bet types, there are a number of related betting markets available, particularly on major events such as the tennis Grand Slams. These include:
Winning Margin: This is based on the number of games won through a match and can be either a range of an exact figure.
Individual player totals: The number of games or sets won by an individual player during the match.
Will There Be A Tie Break: Betting on whether or not a particular set or the match as a whole will see at least one tie break.
Correct Score After A Given Number Of Games: Betting on what the set score will be after a certain number of games has been played.
To Not Win A Set: Betting on whether or not a player will win at the very least a single set.
If you need tennis betting tips, predictions or betting advice, bettingexpert is the no.1 sports betting advice website in the world, bar none. Other websites may claim this distinction, but only bettingexpert has the traffic and the Alexa ranking to back such a claim. So for all of your tennis bets today and your tennis betting tips in general, be sure to always bettingexpert.
Top Tennis Tips
Any tennis betting tips provided by an expert tennis tipster affiliated with bettingexpert will be of the highest quality and the result of astute judgement by a keen student of both the sport of tennis and sports betting.
To get the latest top tips for your ATP betting and WTA betting, (tennis betting tips free to all users of bettingexpert.com) simply head to bettingexpert's tennis betting tips page. There you will find the best tennis betting tips for today and every day of the tennis season. You will discover how to bet on tennis and win regularly, and you won’t be stifled by any tennis bet rules and restrictions you may otherwise find imposed on other websites.
bettingexpert's Best Tennis Tipsters
So who are bettingexpert's most successful tennis tipsters? Below you can see our top 10 tennis tipsters of the previous 12 months. As you can see there are insanely profitable tipsters posting dozens of tennis tips every week of the year.
Tennis Betting Tips at bettingexpert
Get all your tennis betting tips, every day on the bettingexpert Tennis Tips page.
Keeping a record of your tennis betting is crucial to being a long term profitable tennis bettor. Only through keeping track of each of your bets can you see where you are going right, and in which situations you are showing poor discipline and making errors of judgement. To assist you with this, we've developed the bettingexpert Tennis betting spreadsheet. It's free and you can download it now.
It's easy to use. Simply enter the tennis tournament you are betting on, the date, the bet description, your stake, the odds and the bookmaker you placed the bet with. Once the event has been completed, select either Win, Loss or Refund from the Result options and the spreadsheet will calculate your profit or loss plus your running profit/loss and your overall golf betting ROI.
Wimbledon is the single biggest sports betting event on the tennis calendar, an excuse for top bookmakers like William Hill, Stan James and Paddy Power to go into overdrive with Special Offers, Free Bets and Enhanced Odds.
Wimbledon Tournament Format And Seeding
The Wimbledon schedule features a 128-player main draw for both the men’s and women’s singles events. For many years, Wimbledon relied on its own seeding committee but from 1975 it has adhered to the rankings provided by the ATP for the men’s draw and the WTA for the women, while retaining the right to alter them slightly in their own accordance, often seeding players who have historically performed well on grass a place or two higher than their official world ranking. For example, when defending champions Pete Sampras and Roger Federer had surrendered their world no.1 spots however temporarily to Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal respectively, they were still top seeds at Wimbledon. Originally the top-16 ranked players were seeded, but that figure was raised to the top-32 in 2001 across all four slams.
The object of a seeding system in tennis is to keep the best players in the tournament for as long as possible in order of their ranking. Therefore, a player ranked in the top four cannot face a player ranked inside the world’s top-ten until the last-16 of the tournament, a player in the top-eight until the quarterfinals, and a fellow top-four player until the semis.
Doubles and Junior Events
The doubles competitions (men’s, women’s and mixed) all have 64 pairs in the draw, so while they contain the same amount of players in total, they play one round less. The top-16 doubles pairings are seeded. While the doubles events lack the coverage that the singles gets, doubles matches are often hugely entertaining and feature star pairings like the Bryan twin brothers Bob and Mike, the most successful doubles team in history, with 16 majors including three at Wimbledon. Andy Murray’s brother Jaime is also an exceptional doubles player who has been ranked no.1 in the world.
The boys and girls junior events are for players aged 18 and under, and feature 64-player draws. The juniors gives fans a peak into the future of tennis, and over the years players like Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Pat Cash, Stefan Edberg and Roger Federer have won the boys event, while in recent seasons the girls juniors has featured names like former world no.1 Caroline Wozniacki, Wimbledon finalists Agnieszka Radwańska and Eugenie Bouchard and top British prospect Laura Robson lifting the winners trophy.
Watch Out for Upsets
The great news for sports bettors is that even with the help of the Wimbledon seeding committee, there are still upsets-a-plenty at Wimbledon, especially in the first week. Historically Court 2 was known as the “Graveyard of the Champions” and over the years Wimbledon champions such as Serena Williams, Martina Hingis, Virginia Wade, Pete Sampras, Pat Cash, Richard Krajicek, Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe all bit the dust in the opening week there.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal has suffered several upset defeats, none more dramatic than his second round loss to world no.100 Lucas Rosol in 2012. In 2014 Rafa was again stunned when he lost to 19-year old Aussie Nick Kyrgios in four thrilling sets in the fourth round. Kyrgios was ranked no.144, but unlike Rosol, he has lived up to the hype that win suggested and become a top-20 player.
Both Rosol and Kyrgios are tall players (6’5” and 6’4” respectively) who serve big and go for their shots, and while the courts at Wimbledon are not as fast as they were in the mid-90s, these kind of players can still spring upsets, especially against baseliners who like to play from the back of the court.
Wimbledon Value Bets
The most important thing when it comes to betting, is to only place bets in instances where you have identified betting value. What is betting value? A value opportunity is when you consider the chances of a given outcome to be greater than the probability implied by the bookmaker's odds.
Determining betting value requires a simple calculation:
|Value||=||(Decimal Odds * Your Assessed Probability) - 1|
So as an example, if we are offered odds of 1.75 (with an implied probability of 57.1%) for Andy Murray to win a Wimbledon match and we consider the likelihood of that outcome to be 65%, then we have a value betting opportunity because our assessed likelihood is greater than that implied in the bookmaker's odds.
Past Record In Slams/Wimbledon
In the 26 seasons between 1990 and 2015, only eleven players have won the Wimbledon Men’s Singles trophy, less than any other slam during that time period.
It takes a certain type of player to win a slam, Wimbledon in particular. Luckily for sports bettors, players rarely have one-off great seasons at Wimbledon. Winners often win more than one trophy, and even those that don’t win tend to go deep in the tournament in successive seasons, making them good options for Match Betting.
If you like a particular player in a bet, ask yourself these questions; what is their previous record in slams? How have they performed at Wimbledon? A quick check on the ATP or WTA websites will provide you with the answers you need.
How Does A Player Perform On Grass?
In general Wimbledon winners – particularly the men – fit a distinct profile. If we stick to post-1968 and the open era, great champions include Rod Laver, John Newcombe, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. All six of these players possess excellent serves and are exceptional volleyers. Because grass is a fast surface, it lends itself to fast servers, and because of the irregularity of the bounce and comparative strangeness of the surface, removing a rally from the equation by virtue of a point-winning volley is always a good option to have.
However the conundrum is that one of Wimbledon’s greatest ever champions – Bjorn Borg – and some of its more recent winners – Nadal, Murray and Djokovic, are baseliners. These players all have solid serves and can volley when required, but prefer to play their tennis from the back of the court. Andre Agassi, winner in 1992 and runner-up in 1999 was another baseliner who in theory should have struggled at Wimbledon but in practice was a contender whenever he played there.
The bottom line is, if a player is good enough - and just as importantly - if they enjoy the whole Wimbledon grass court experience, they will be in with a shot at lifting the trophy. While Federer, Djokovic, Murray and Nadal will be top contenders at Wimbledon for the foreseeable future, double-slam winner Stan Wawrinka, hard-hitting Frenchman Jo Wilfried Tsonga and the supremely talented but erratic Grigor Dimitrov all have the skills to take the title. Young players to look out for include Nick Kyrgios, Bernard Tomic, Jack Sock and teen sensations Borna Coric, Alexander Zverev and Taylor Fritz.
Which Seeds Are Vulnerable On Grass?
Historically, great clay-court players rarely transfer their skill-set to grass. As surfaces go, clay and grass are at extreme opposites, with one favoring the super-fit baseline retriever, and the other more suited to the super-fast serve-volleyer. While the two greatest clay-court players in history – Bjorn Borg and Rafael Nadal – adapted amazingly well to grass, a whole host of other great clay-courters over the decades like Manolo Orantes, Guillermo Vilas, Thomas Muster, Gustavo Kuerten, Juan Carlos Ferrer and more recently Nicolas Almagro and David Ferrer have struggled to make an impact at Wimbledon.
The disparity is less so among the women, and most top female players adapt equally well to both clay and grass. All of the great women players of the open era have won both the French Open and Wimbledon, including Margaret Court, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams.
While the modern tennis player is adept on all surfaces, they are naturally inclined to favor one over another. For many years, the country with the most players ranked in the top-100 of the ATP rankings is Spain. Spanish, Italian and South American players are taught the game on clay courts, and spend their formative years on the red dirt. This means that since the open era there has been eleven winners from Spain, Italy and Latin America at Roland Garros, but those combined nations have produced only one Wimbledon champion – Rafael Nadal.
Therefore if a seeded player from Spain, Italy or Latin America comes up against a big-serving underdog in the opening week of Wimbledon, an upset might well be on the cards!
Check Head-to-Head Matchups
When wagering on Wimbledon, one of the easiest ways to get a handle on a tennis bet - whether you are looking at a Match Bet, Handicap, Correct Score or Set Betting - is to check the head-to-head of the two players or the two doubles teams involved. To do this you need to log onto the ATP or WTA website, enter the name of one of the players in the match, and when their profile page appears, scroll down to the head-to-head option, then add the name of the second player. If the players have met before you will see all of the results, scorelines and stats of their matches, when and where they took place and what surfaces those matches were played on. You can see at a glance who has got the better of their encounters, if they were hard-fought or easy matches, average games per set etc.
If there are some corresponding grass-court fixtures between them you can get an insight into how a match between these two at Wimbledon might go. If there are no grass meetings but they have played on another fast surface like a hard court, use that as a reference. If you are still in doubt, check bettingexpert’s tennis tipsters for advice.
Best Tennis Stats Sites
If you're looking for tennis stats to help your Wimbledon tennis betting analysis, here's our top five sites for tennis betting stats:
There are few annual sporting events that rival Wimbledon for the amount of betting traffic it generates during its two week run. Wimbledon is big business for all of the major European bookmakers, and the good news is, as they are all vying for your attention, there will be an abundance of Free Bets, Special Offers and Enhanced Odds wagers to take advantage of.
Before opening your Wimbledon betting campaign, you’ll need to select a bookmaker that’s up to the task. Here are a few suggestions of what to look for.
Tennis Betting Markets
For Wimbledon you need a bookmaker that’s already geared toward Wimbledon tennis betting, and has an excellent selection of tennis betting markets that they can easily expand on during Wimbledon fortnight. Most of the top UK based bookmakers like Paddy Power do a first rate job covering tennis, but by using an odds comparison site, you may find even more tennis markets covered by rivals such as Bet Victor.
Always use a reputable online bookmaker. For Wimbledon betting, use the top European based bookmakers (William Hill, Paddy Power, Betfair, Ladbrokes, Bet Victor etc.) who are legally licensed in their own countries. If in any doubt, stick to the top bookmakers listed on bettingexpert and you won’t go wrong.
Quality of Odds
The odds in a bet determine how much you will win from a successful wager, so be sure to choose a bookmaker that consistently provides odds that are among the very best available.
Because games in a tennis match last on average 3-5 minutes, In-Play betting during a tennis match is a lot of fun, and with a basic knowledge of the sport and the players on the court – can be highly lucrative.
Because of the speed of the grass courts at Wimbledon, service breaks happen less often than they do on clay for example, so you can bet with consistency on the server, which will only add to the tension when you go for broke and back a player to make that decisive set-winning break of serve!
Wimbledon Special Offers & Free Bets
Wimbledon is a very big deal in the annual sports betting calendar, and there are always a ton of Special Offers, Enhanced Odds and Free Bets to be had during Wimbledon fortnight. If you are already affiliated with an online bookmaker, you may have to align yourself with several more, as these offers don’t come around as often as they do in a football season for example, and should be capitalized on.
Expect to see online bookies adverts asking you to “Sign up for £20 and get £50 in Free Wimbledon Bets!” or “Sign up to our Mobile App today and get a £50 Free Wimbledon Bet!“ If Murray is playing Federer, Nadal or Djokovic, you will see “Get Enhanced Odds of 10/1 on Murray Beating Djokovic” etc. On finals day, you will even get enhanced odds on the Wimbledon odds-on winner selection.
If these bets, odds and offers are with reputable bookmakers it’s a no-brainer that you cash in on as many of them as you can. After all, it’s free money, and with bettingexpert’s Wimbledon tipsters help, you will most likely be winning a lot more of it!
For the latest Wimbledon bookmaker offers, check the bettingexpert Free Bets page.