To the average punter, tennis betting may not be the most exciting of propositions, but in fact, tennis is one of the top sports used amongst professional bettors around the world. One of the main reasons as to the sports popularity is because of the availability of the sport. You can literally bet on tennis tournaments right around the year, with plenty of professional and even semi-professional matches all catered for by bookmakers.

What you’re going to find from betting on tennis is a hot bed of matches and also a sport that moves at a reasonable pace, allowing you to take advantage of things such as breaks of serve or even monitoring the momentum in a tennis match, which is one of the main things that pro bettors look out for when betting on tennis.

Grand Slam Tournaments

Australian Open

The Australian Open is the first of four majors that takes place in the tennis calendar each year. It’s been running since 1905 and is played on a hard court at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. One of the standout features of the tournament is that of the sheer number of people that attended each year, in fact it’s only beaten by that of the US Open, with hundreds of thousands attending throughout the two weeks of play.

The Australian Open includes Men’s, Women’s, Doubles and Mixed Doubles competitions throughout the two weeks in January that the tournament takes place. Interestingly, the Australian Open was one of the first of the major tournaments to offer up equal prize money form both men and women, at a cool $3.1million each. Winners of the doubles pull in significantly less at $575,000 and mixed doubles that of $142,000. The structure of each format is that of a knockout, where 128 players are entered into both men’s and women’s games, working their way through to final.

Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic are the two most successful players in the men’s game with 6 Australian Open titles each. Margaret Court has the most women’s titles with 11 in total. Interestingly the youngest winner and the oldest winner in the men’s game is that of the same person, Ken Rosewall, who won ages just 18 years and 2 months in 1953, then again aged 37 years and 8 months in 1972. The youngest winner of the women’s game is that of Martina Hingis, with the oldest being that of Thelma Coyne Long.

French Open

The French Open was first played in 1891 and played on a clay-court surface. The tournament usually starts at the back end of June and work through July, spanning roughly 2 weeks. Roland Garos I the host venue for the French Open, which is situated in Paris, France. The French Open is often referred to most of a purists event, due to the slow nature of the clay surface that they play on.

Like all majors, you’re going to be getting men’s, women’s, doubles and mixed doubles games at the French. But, also like many majors, the prize money is split equally between men and women, with the winners of the singles getting €1.8million and the doubles getting €450,000. For each discipline in the game, the format will be the same in terms of a knockout round being played from off, before working through to final.

Rafael Nadal is the most successful men’s single champion with 9 victories from 2005 through to 2014. Nadal also holds the record for most consecutive titles, with 5 from 2010 – 2014. Chris Evert has won the most ladies titles with 7 in total.

Wimbledon

Wimbledon is probably the most prestigious major of them all, and is also the oldest major. The tournament is held throughout the end of June, through to early July and last two weeks. Whilst the tennis is obviously going to be the main attraction, the tournament is just as famous for several idiosyncrasy’s such as strawberry’s and cream, royal attendance in the royal box, a strict dress code fort the royal (for example men must wear a tie), the condition of the whole tournament and of course, the inclement British weather.

Wimbledon is also famous for having a largest number of matches at one event. They include men’s, women’s, doubles, mixed doubles, but also a junior completion that runs alongside the main one. The format of matches is exactly the same as the other majors in that 128 start in a knockout format, with the men playing best of 5 sets and the women playing best of 3 sets. Prize money is split equally between men and women, with the winner of each singles title picking up a cheque worth £2,000,000.

There are two players who currently sit at the top of the men’s singles honours board, which are Pete Sampras and Roger Federer with 7 wins apiece. Federer also holds the record for most consecutive tiles with 5, alongside Bjorn Borg. In the women’s game, no player has won more than Martina Navratilova, with an astonishing 9 Wimbledon wins, 6 of those she won in a row from 1982-1987, which is also a record.

US Open

The US Open is the final major of the year. It’s held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. The tournament starts on the last Monday in August and runs for two weeks through September. It’s often thought of as one of the toughest tests for the tennis players, due to the heat and humidity that normally is around the New York area at that time of year. The first US open was in fact run in 1881, making it one of the oldest of the four majors.

As the tournament is essentially an ‘Open’ it means that players from around the world can try and qualify. Obviously there is both a men’s and women’s event, along with a mixed doubles and doubles as well. Prize money for the tournament is now split equally between men and women, with the winner of singles titles getting $1.9million, doubles $420,000 and mixed doubles $150,000. Again, the format for the tournament is the same as all the other majors in that 128 players from both men and women will play through a knockout format, working their through to the final, which is played on the final Sunday of the event (Women’s is on the Saturday).

There are three men who have won the US Open more times than any other player and they are Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, each winning on 5 separate occasions. What’s most impressive about Federer’s wins is that he did it for 5 years in a row from 2004 to 2008. Chris Evert and Serena Williams hold the most singles titles for women, with 6 titles apiece. Evert also has the most consecutive wins with 4 from 1975 to 1978.

Tennis bets

Match betting

One of the things that a lot of punters like bout tennis betting is the fact that you cant have a draw in a match as there must be an outright winner to progress to the next round. This makes match betting a while lot easier in that you only need to decide between two players who you think will win the match.

When deciding which player you think will win, like any sports, you need to do your research on both players. We cant stress enough how important researching both players is because whilst one game may seem to really a suit player (surface, conditions, form etc.) their opponent could be just as good, if not better in all those areas and because of lack of research, you in turn go with the wrong bet.

We would start by looking at each players form leading up to the match. If it’s in the later rounds of the tournament then both players are going to have to won these matches to get to where they are now. If this is the case try and look at how they have faired in the stages of past tournaments. For example, you might be looking to back the winner of a quarter-final tie, if one player has never played a quarter final before, then they are likely going to be very nervous coming into the match.

For early round matches look to see how each player performs on each surface they are going to be playing on. For example, Rafael Nadal is arguably the best player to have ever played on clay, so backing against him is always going to be a really tough call. But, then he’s struggled on surface such as grass, so backing him at a tournament such as Wimbledon is again going to be tricky, simply because of the surface.

Handicap betting

Handicap betting is becoming much more popular in tennis betting and is often used on the total games won market. The total games is an accumulation of all games throughout the match that has been won. So, if Player A beat Player B 6-4, 6-4, then Player A would have 12 points (6+6) and Player B would have 8 points (4+4).

The handicap would then give one of the players an advantage over their opponent. Let’s say using the above example that Player A had a -4.5 game handicap, meaning that at the end 4.5 games are removed from their overall score to make a new handicap score. In this case it would then be 7.5 total games (12 – 4.5 handicap), meaning that Player B would won with this type of bet.

Set betting

Set betting is where you predict the exact score for each set. To be successful you will need to guess exactly how many games each player will win in the set. These types of bets are often fairly tough to call, but are very similar to that of predicting the correct score in a football match.

You can also combine these bets to predict in the correct score in each set of the match. Combined these types of bets will create huge odds and are very popular for bettors who bet low amounts looking to get the maximum return for their money.

First set winner

Here you are going to need to select who you think will win the first set of a match. It’s a pretty simple concept, but you it’s sometimes not always that easy to call. You can of course take on games where the like of the world number 1 plays the world number 527 or something silly in one of the majors, but the price will just be something absolutely ridiculous for these types of bets.

You need to be looking out for fairly close matches and then trying to work out which player is going to come flying out of the blocks in the first set. The player who serves first in these matches is always vital, so try and find someone with a big service game if possible, especially if they serve first.

Total games betting

The total games market is where you either select the total games from a single match or for a single player in that match. SO what usually happens is that a the bookmaker will set three brackets of games; the first might be less than 30, the middle might be 31- 45 and the final might be 46+ games. You can then pick whichever bracket you want for the total number of games in one match.

The best thing to shoot for with these games is if you are going for a low number then games where one player is a huge favourite. If you are shooting for high numbers then you want to pick games that are going to be ultra-competitive, as these are more likely to extend into extra sets, thus increasing the number of games.

Retirement

A retirement in a tennis match is not an uncommon event due to players getting injured. The number of games that they play and the intensity in which most play, especially in the midst of a major tournament, will put huge strain on players. It’s for this reason why bookmakers have contingency plans for when a player retires. But, you need to understand that not all bookmakers have the same plan, of which we have highlighted below.

Ball served

The first one is a ball to be served in a match. If this happens then all bets will immediately stand prior to the player being retired. If a retirement happens after just one ball has ben served then there will be no refunds or void bets as a result. It’s probably the poorest route for a bookmaker to take in terms of customer service, and luckily, very few bookmakers do still adopt these rules.

1 set complete

For a bet to stand, the first set must be completed. If a player retires before the first set has been completed then all bets will be void and your stake will be retuned.

2 sets complete

Same as above really, but the bet would need two sets to be complete for the bet to stand. So if they retire before this mark then bets will be void and stakes will be returned. If they retire after two sets, then all bets will remain.

Match completed

Some bookmakers will need the entire match to be completed for the bets to stand. Basically, if a payer retires at any time then a all bets will be deemed void and the stake retuned, unless that market has already been settled prior to the players withdrawal.

Betting rules

Below we have brought tougher some of the most asked tennis questions regarding rules. What we will say is that these rules are a guide and not all bookmakers have the same rules for each bet type, so for that reason it’s important to check with your bookmaker if you are unsure about something.

Set betting

If the game gets abandoned mid way through a set then all bets for that set and the remained of the match will be void. However, if bets have already been settled up to this point then these will stand.

Outright winner

The outright winner will be decided upon completion of the match. If a player withdraws straight after the match then the player who they beat will be awarded the next round spot. These players will also be awarded as the outright winner of the last match they played. Basically, it comes down to the player to progress to the next round.