Tennis Betting Introduction

An introduction to Tennis

Tennis is one the most exciting sports in the world with some of the greatest players of all time having graced the courts in recent years. There is plenty of action going all year round in this elegant sport and there is a wide array of markets for punters to consider when it comes to tennis betting, on both sportsbooks and exchanges.

The trio of Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic are widely recognised as having taken the men’s game to another level over the past 10 to 15 years. The ‘big three’ have thrilled tennis fans around the globe with their fine play and sportsmanship, continuing the legacy of the great names of the past, such as Rod Laver, Pete Sampras, Björn Borg, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl.

Likewise the Williams sisters Serena and Venus have been a credit to women’s tennis in the modern era, building on the prestige of the sport which saw Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, 

Chris Evert, Billie Jean King and Monica Seles entertain the world with their remarkable talent in decades gone by. 

Much of the activity in tennis betting centres around the Grand Slams, the sport’s biggest tournaments, which take place every year: the Australian Open, the French Open (Roland-Garros), Wimbledon and the US Open. The Grand Slams are overseen by the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of world tennis. 

The ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals), meanwhile, run the sport’s elite level activity beyond the Grand Slams in the ATP Tour, which includes the ATP Tour Masters 1000, ATP World Tour 500 series, and ATP World Tour 250 series. You can also bet on tennis every four years at the Olympics and annually in prestigious events such as the Davis Cup (for men) and the Fed Cup (for women).

Serena Williams & Andy Murray in action at Wimbledon

Betting Tips for Tennis

If you are looking for tennis betting tips be sure to do your research and follow the advice in our article on how to identify a good tipster (add link). Building up a solid tennis betting strategy takes time and you need to ensure you learn as much as you can about the sport, the current crop of top professionals and their respective levels of form throughout the season. 

You should also consider factors such as injuries, fatigue, head-to-head records, detailed information on player performance and player records at specific tournaments. Professional tennis is played on hard courts, clay courts and grass courts, with some players much preferring one surface to another, which is also important to consider and will be factored into the specific tennis betting odds you will find from bookmakers.

Tennis matches are either best of three or best of five sets, with a set being won by a player who reaches six games first, with a two game lead (where advantage set rules are being used), otherwise they continue playing until a player wins the set by two games. However, where tie-break set rules are being used, if the set goes to 6-6 the players will play a tie-break game to decide who takes the set.

You can look into the rules of the tournament you are betting on to see if there are any particular rules you should know about, though often you can work that out from the odds you see on your sportsbook or exchange of choice.


Betting Markets and In-Play Betting

Typical markets for tennis betting online for given match can include Player A or Player B to win the match, Player A or Player B to win at least one set, Both Players to win a Set (Yes/No), Correct score/result in terms of sets, Player A or Player B to win set 1, set 2 or set 3 and so on. 

When it comes to your in-play tennis betting strategy you can bet on markets such as Player A or B to win specific points within games, win specific games in sets, win the next game and who will win the current or next set. It is crucial to keep in mind who is serving and the relative strengths of each player when serving or receiving, their strengths when playing backhands, forehands, volleys or long rallies.

Make sure you have a good, fast, reliable connection whenever you are betting in-play, whether you are at home on wi-fi or on the move and using a bookmaker’s app on your mobile. If you are watching and betting on tennis at home it’s wise to have at least a couple of screens available so that you can follow the action and place bets quickly when you need to on another screen. If you are actually watching and betting on tennis live in person at a tournament be sure to adhere to the etiquette when it comes to mobile phone use. You definitely do not want to be asked to leave Centre Court during the Wimbledon final due to your phone going off whilst you place a live bet on who is going to win the next game! 


Other Tennis Betting Markets

Handicap betting is another feature of tennis betting, allowing you to back a player to win a match with a -1.5 set disadvantage for example. So in that case your selected player needs to win by two clear sets (2-0, 3-0 or 3-1) for your bet to be successful. You can also find odds for games handicaps with players given a games advantage of say +5.5 or a games deficit of say -5.5. Here if you back a player to win with a +5.5 advantage, they could lose the match but as long as their losing deficit in terms of games overall was less than 5.5 you still win the bet.

Outright winner and each way tournament betting can also be entertaining – and profitable if you know where to spot the value. Picking an outright winner is tough, anything can happen on the day in the final, whereas an each-way bet means as long as your selection makes it into the final your wager has been successful.

You can also find interesting ‘specials’ whilst tennis betting online with the biggest bookmakers, such as Novak Djokovic to win more career Grand Slam Singles titles than Rafal Nadal and Roger Federer or which player will be top of the ATP Singles ranking at the end of a given calendar year.