When trading on Wimbledon you should consider how the grass courts impact the result and determine specific game patterns. We investigate their effect and how you can use this data as part of your Wimbledon tennis trading strategy.
Understanding tennis court surface differences
Tennis, unlike other sports, is played over three differing surfaces - hard, grass and clay. It’s paramount for bettors to understand the characteristics of each court type.
Before betting, you should understand how the court will play and which type of player it favours. Having more knowledge than other bettors can present you with trading opportunities on players who are undervalued by the market.
What we know about grass courts
Grass courts are considered to be more unpredictable due to their natural surface type. Because of this they produce less friction than other courts creating:
- Lower bounce
- Fast speed off the surface
With the tennis season moving from clay - the slowest court - to grass, bettors should know how this lower bounce and increase in speed impacts the players and your tennis betting strategy.
Analysing court speed
To analyse the court speed, a good method is to look at the data for the number of aces, service points won and return points won.
The three-year aces per game ATP average is 0.5 - just one ace served every two games. However, the court type has a big impact on the number of aces served.
Assessing the ATP Top 10
With grass court characteristics identified, we should now analyse which players are likely to create the most lucrative trading opportunities.
The table below compares the three-year (201, ‘16 and ‘17) grass court mean averages for the current ATP top 10, and three notable big servers and one grass court specialist outside of the ranking. Please note Del Potro, Nadal and Goffin all missed one of the last three years at Wimbledon.
Based on these stats there are a few players that should prove more difficult to break than the average player. Eight-time winner Federer goes without saying, but other players of note include Cilic, beaten in last year’s final by Federer after winning Queen’s Club, where he overcame three-time Wimbledon winner Djokovic in the final.
Djokovic himself, who is gradually working his way back from elbow injuries and has the highest break percentage of all the players listed over the last three years, is also one to look out for.
Meanwhile, Milos Raonic serves over one ace per game, although he has the third-lowest break percentage of the players listed. His strong service game along with Kevin Anderson, who has an even lower break percentage but also averages over one ace per game, could both make for good trading opportunities with a higher possibility of tie-break sets in their matches.
One more player who stands out on the numbers and has been steadily rising in the ranks over the last two years is David Goffin. In spite of the fact that his service hold percentage is the lowest of all the players listed, his break opponent percentage is the fourth highest at 25.35%. This is huge in terms of grass break percentage and a potentially great angle into trading his matches as breaks of serve are more likely to occur, causing the price swings traders love in live tennis matches.
Trading on big servers
Now we know grass courts favour big servers, and their average hold percentage is increased. This could create in-play trading opportunities on matches involving these players, especially when faced against poor returners. For instance, if a big server goes down 0-30 in a crucial point of the set, this could create a low-risk opportunity to trade on them.
It’s also worth noting that the market prices should take big-serving grass court specialists into account, so a potential trading avenue could be to look for players that are overvalued. One such example could be John Isner, who averages over one and a half aces per game, but has the lowest break percentage of the top 10 players listed and has never made it past the third round.
Other Wimbledon betting factors
You should also consider fatigue when betting on Wimbledon as matches expand to best-of-five compared to best-of-three in normal ATP tennis tournaments - understand how this increases the favourite’s chances of winning.
This means to reach the final, players need to play seven matches in a fortnight, and given grass courts creates longer set matches than any other surface, you need good fitness and recovery levels to optimise your chances of winning.
The weather at Wimbledon will have an effect on every aspect of tennis. Hotter weather creates more aces, as the ball moves through the air quicker, while it also causes more fatigue. You should always consider the weather and its likely implications on a match when trading the market.
Whatever you trade on you should always look for the best odds to improve your long-term profitability.
Find out why Smarkets offer the best tennis odds compared to bookmakers and other betting exchanges charging 5% commission - the difference in profit can have a huge impact on whether or not you are profitable in the long run.
Apply this to betting
The differences in tennis court surface suit certain playing styles over others. Tennis bettors should take into consideration the specific dynamics of the surface, and how that affects outcomes. Then, when you find value, bet with the best odds - which is what Smarkets offers with our industry-low flat 2% commission.