Tennis Betting Guide

Tennis

Though the rules of tennis haven’t changed much since the 1890s, the popularity of the sport has grown incredibly in terms of participation, the number of spectators, and of course the money involved. With numerous professional tournaments for much of the year, in locations all over the globe, tennis has never been more popular and is increasingly being seen as a great sport on which to bet.

The four Grand Slams – the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open – are the most prestigious tournaments of the tennis season, though many events run by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) – for men – and Women's Tennis Association (WTA) – women, obviously – are held in high regard by players and fans alike and attract a lot of interest from bookmakers and punters.

How To Bet On Tennis

As with many sports in which two players or teams compete against one another, many of the bets available to place on tennis are simple to understand. There has been a big increase in the number of bets available in recent years, especially on Grand Slams – both individual matches and on the overall outcomes. Here we shall outline some of the more popular among them.

Tennis Bets

  • Match winner – Backing a player to win a specified match. As with many sports there is no option for a draw (they will literally keep playing until either player wins), making this as simple and as popular a bet as you can find in tennis.
  • Handicap betting – With so few players dominating tennis, especially in the men’s game where the Big Four tend to win everything at present, there are often apparent mis-matches in the early rounds of tournaments. When betting on a handicap market, the underdog is given an advantage of a specified number of games (usually given as a half-game value) and the favourite is disadvantaged by the same number. Both players are then available to back at just under evens. For instance, when Martin Klizan played Rafael Nadal at the French Open, the former was given a +9.5 and Nadal a -9.5 game handicap.
  • Set betting – This allows you to bet on how a match will finish in terms of the final score in sets. In a match in which a player must win three sets to triumph overall there are therefore six options: 3-0, 3-1 or 3-2 to either player.
  • Total sets or games – These markets allow you to back the total number of sets or games that will be completed in a specific match, either under or over a particular number, or picking an exact number or a range.
  • Outright tournament bets – As well as backing the outright winner of a particular tournament, you also have numerous other options. These include – but are by no means limited to – backing a player to make the final, to back someone to win their quarter or half of the draw, backing the winner excluding certain players (for instance, winner without Nadal and Djokovic) or backing the top player from a particular country.

Tennis Betting Rules

There are various betting rules associated specifically with tennis that are worth being familiar with prior to betting your house on Andy Murray to win the next three Wimbledon tournaments (don’t actually do that, by the way!). Firstly it is not uncommon for a player to withdraw from a match due to injury, and while bookies may vary on this, generally match bets will be settled based on the declared winner, that is the one who didn’t withdraw (or suffer a disqualification).

If a player withdraws or is disqualified bets involving the total number of sets or games may well be voided, though this will depend on the specifics of a bet. For instance, if 29 games have been played before a player limps out, any bets placed on over or under 28.5 games will be settled, but those on over or under 29.5 games will be voided.

As usual it is important to check the specific rules with your chosen bookie – especially if you are going in with big stakes – as some bets will be voided if, for instance, the first set is not completed for whatever reason.

Tennis Betting Strategy

When betting on tennis there are some simple rules to follow, in the men’s game at least: 1. don’t bet against Nadal at the French Open; 2. don’t bet on anyone playing against the Big Four, ever. Of course, as time goes by there are sure to be other players who challenge the dominance of the usual suspects, and picking these out before they make the full breakthrough to the big time could be your ticket to riches.

Studying the form of the younger players further down the rankings, in both the men’s and women’s games, could lead you to a great chunk of value when they are drawn against a previously fine player who is reaching the end of their peak. This might not necessarily mean the day Federer loses in the first round at Wimbledon to a wildcard rookie, but rather when a player who has been clinging on to a top-10 ranking for a couple of seasons faces a young, energetic, hungry competitor who has been showing signs of vast improvement in the months leading up the tournament. Research, as ever, is the key.

There are, though, certain patterns that you can look out for. For example, some players, and Andy Murray was especially guilty of this until very recently, will often win their matches but rarely without conceding a set. As such, he will offer good value in the 3-1 set betting, as many will automatically assume he should win 3-0 against massively inferior opponents. Other things to look out for are slow starters – does a player regularly lose the first set but still come back to win? There are lots of similar traits and trends that can help you make money from betting on tennis but as said, you have to put in the time to find them.

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