Do you want to know how to bet on tennis and win? As much as we’d love to we cannot guarantee you perfect winning tennis bets. What we can do is help you understand what you should be looking for when betting on tennis, including advice on understanding the game, statistics and player abilities.
How to bet on Tennis: The basics
The markets available to bet on tennis are fairly simple to understand. On ProTipster we have tips available in six pre-game markets. These are:
- To win: Which player will win the match.
- Game handicap: This bet concerns the number of games each player will win in the match. One player is given a handicap and the punter has to decide if they will win more or less games than the other player with that handicap applied.
- First set winner: Which player will win the first set.
- Total number of games: This is an over/under market, where a line is given and a punter has to bet if there will be more or less games than that line.
- Second set winner: Which player will win the second set.
- Set Handicap: This bet concerns the number of sets each player will win in the match. A punter has to decide if a player will win a match by a clear number of sets or not.
There are also markets available in live betting. These are “player to win match” and “total number of games”.
How to bet on tennis: Understanding the game
One of the keys to learning how to bet on tennis is to understand how the different surfaces it is played upon affect the game. There are four types of surface used in professional tennis matches and they affect how players play in different ways.
Clay courts are courts made of crushed shale, stone or brick. They are the slowest type of court that professional tennis is played on but produces the highest bounce. Tennis matches played on clay courts take away a lot of the advantages of having a “big” serve, making it harder for players who base their play on service to win. They are common in Europe and Latin America and are used in the French Open (Roland-Garros).
Grass courts are courts consisting of grass grown on very hard-packed soil. They are the fastest courts available and bounce can vary based on how short and healthy the grass is. Grass courts favour serve-and-volley players who base their game on quick serves and fast volley returns. They were once the most popular kind of court but due to the high maintenance costs involved they are becoming rarer. The Wimbledon tournament is played on grass.
Hard courts are made of a uniform rigid material, often covered with an acrylic surface layer. This offers a greater consistency of bounce than grass does but are not quite as fast. The speed of the courts can be affected by the kind of material used, with additional sand added to the top acrylic layer causing a slower bounce. The US and Australian Opens are both played on hard courts.
In tennis terms, “carpet” means any type of removable covering. This is common in indoor arenas, which will store rolls of rubber backed court surfacing to be installed temporarily for tennis events. In outdoor courts, a short-piled form of artificial turf infilled with sand can be used in the same way. Carpet courts are faster than hard courts but with lower bounce. Carpet courts haven’t been used in the top tier of men’s tennis since 2009 but are used in ATP Challenger Tour events.
How to bet on Tennis: Player variables
As has already been mentioned, tennis players have different styles which affect how well they play against differing opponents and on differing surfaces. These should be taken into account before placing a bet. There are two chief types of strategy:
Baseline Tennis Players
An effective baseline player can overpower almost every opponent. However, it’s a strategy that is very difficult to execute as it requires a player to be able to consistently some difficult shots like down-the-line winners. If a baseline player makes an error, it almost certainly gifts the point to their opponent.
Fatigue, loss of focus and mis-hitting the ball will all contribute to errors and can be the downfall of a baseline player. However, if a player can execute good shots then they will potentially weaken their opponent’s confidence and boost their own, making it easier to win.
Baseline players can be divided into offensive and defensive players. Offensive players will take the initiative and look to dominate play, particularly on clay courts where the play is slower. Defensive players concentrate on consistently returning the ball and forcing their opponent into making mistakes either through precise shots or sheer frustration. A good example of an offensive baseline player is Rafael Nadal while Andy Murray is a good example of a defensive baseline player.
Serve and Volley Players
Serve and Volley players tend to play better on faster surfaces like grass. They concentrate on a powerful first serve and then seek to further attack by approaching the net at every opportunity putting pressure on their opponents to attempt difficult passing shots. This strategy works well against defensive baseline players. The quick bounce of grass courts gives them an advantage as it gives their opponents less time to react to their shot.
There are fewer pure serve-and-volley players on the modern tours but many players will use these kinds of tactics when on faster courts or as a surprise to break up a game. A good example is Roger Federer, who often used serve-and-volley tactics when playing Nadal to break up physically taxing rallies and games.
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