Handicapping Tennis:

While evaluating tennis matchups and picking winners, commonly refereed to as handicapping, is more of an art than a science, there are some points we wanted to make to help you get started and have a significant advantage over many casual bettors.

Player Quality - The most obvious category to consider when evaluating players in a match is their overall quality. Players ranked higher in the rankings and with a good amount of tournament experience, and wins, is always an important factor to consider.

Player Trend - A slightly less easy factor to determine and equally as important is how the players performance is trending. Is the player at the top of their game, moving up in the rankings and producing better results? Or are they fading late in the year, or in the twilight of their career?

Matchup History - It’s important to consider how players have matched up in the past when evaluating a future match. It’s very important to lookup past match results between the two players, both for results and also specific statistics (how often did players break serve, who won tiebreakers, etc). It’s also helpful to take a look at what opponents the players had in common recently, and how they performed against them.

Player Health - Another important factor to know before you place a bet on a match is how the players are fairing health wise. Is either player battling injury? Or possibly suffering from fatigue after a tough match or series of matches?

Court Surface - Tennis is played on several different court surfaces, most notably hard courts, grass courts, and clay courts. These surfaces play very differently, and some players may excel on one surface and be much weaker on another. So it’s important to know what surface a match is being played on, and how that will affect the players performances.

Match Quality/Pressure - It’s important to consider the circumstances of a match from the players perspective as well. Will the match potentially be a blowout? Is one player playing in their first big match against a top player? If the match is expected to be intense, how have the players dealt with that in similar matches before.

Crowd Support - It’s a good idea to know in advance if crowd support could be a motivating factor in a match. Usually local players have the support of the crowd, and it helps. Also, players that perform especially well at a tournament (think Roger Federer at Wimbledon, or Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros) will get a boost from the crowd. And, of course, big underdogs who are playing well in a tournament are always a crowd favorite. It’s not as important of a factor as some of the others, but it can make the difference in extremely close matches.

Weather/Temperature - Always a good idea check the weather before wagering on a tennis match. Sometimes it can effect the results drastically if the temperatures are extreme. And, if nothing else, it’s always good to know if there is a chance of rain and a match not being played until a later time or date.

xx A note on Challengers/Doubles

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