Tennis

Tennis Betting: Looking Beyond the Grand Slams

2018-02-27
888sport's guide to betting on tennis all-year round

Grand Slam tournaments are the four pillars of the tennis calendar and understandably, attract the majority of attention from the media.

The Australian Open gets things underway in January with the French Open following four months later. Wimbledon, the oldest of the Grand Slams, is seen as the pinnacle of the sport and tends to signify summer and long nights with the US Open capping things off at the end of September.

For Tennis fans and punters, all four of these tend to evoke excitement and anticipation with many glued to the screen throughout the competition but the season doesn't just revolve around this high-profile foursome.

A number of competitive events are priced up and take place on a daily basis and they offer a great chance to find value and bet on familiar players as they partake in tournaments all around the world.

 

ATP World Tour - 1000 Masters Events

The ATP and WTA ranking systems aren't solely compiled on results in Grand Slams and there are nine tournaments which have been spread out across the course of the season which can earn the players useful points as they bid to move up the standings.

These can also be useful for players who are hoping to avoid entering Grand Slam tournaments unseeded which can often result in picking up a difficult first-round opponent.

The 1000 Masters Events include the Indian Wells, Miami Open, Italian Open, Shanghai Masters and the Monte-Carlo Masters. They run from March through to November and they are both hugely enjoyable spectacles and fascinating betting propositions.

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High-ranked players enter these competitions as they cannot afford to lose ground on those around them and in 2017, French Open favourite Rafa Nadal clinched the Madrid Open and the Monte-Carlo Masters, whilst the ageless Roger Federer was successful at Indian Wells and in Miami.

Despite this, bettors are generally advised to look beyond the top players as this can often be a profitable way to play with Jack Sock, Grigor Dimitrov and Alexander Zverev all wrapping up titles in 2017.

Some players thrive at these tournaments but routinely fall short at Grand Slams and these are the kind of competitors to have on your side in Miami, Shanghai and Toronto. 1000 Masters Events have served up some top class matches over the years and with many of the top ten involved, they are a great way of enjoying the sport outside of the Grand Slams.

 

ATP World Tour - 500 Series

The 500 Series are also extremely popular with many household names taking part, and they are a great way to earn ranking points as well as work on fitness and match-sharpness.

There are 13 of these on the calendar including the Barcelona Open, Queens and the Dubai Tennis Championships with the latter a particular favourite of Andy Murray. The Rotterdam Open gets things underway in early February and tennis bettors always enjoy these tournaments as there are plenty of matches to enjoy on a daily basis and they come around fairly often.

500 ranking points will be awarded to the winner of each Championship and that can make a huge difference to any player vying for a place at the ATP Finals and can significantly boosting confidence ahead of Grand Slams.

It is mandatory for leading players to enter at least four of these tournaments each year and that results in some top-class action on the court. Crowds of up to 15,000 turn out for these events and it's the perfect opportunity for punters to assess how many of the top players are adapting to the climate and court conditions.

For example, players who prevail at the Queen's Club Championship are generally acclimatised to the British weather and fast-playing grass courts by the time they arrive at Wimbledon. In 2008, Rafa Nadal won both tournaments, with Lleyton Hewitt also managing the double five years previous.

 

End-of-Season Finals

Both the ATP and WTA have an end-of-season event, which brings the curtain down on another enjoyable and prosperous year of tennis.

The ATP Finals, which are held at the O2 in London always provide plenty of entertainment and involve the top eight players in the rankings, unless injury or illness dictates otherwise. Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic in a memorable 2016 Final and there have been some truly terrific matches played at the event during its short history.

Some players are suffering from fatigue by this stage of the season, especially after the aforementioned ATP 1000 series events and the US Open, and this allows punters to find value backing against players who don't quite have the stamina to make it through to the final.

The Road to Singapore is the WTA equivalent, with the top eight players competing in a round-robin format. It is considered the fifth most prestigious and valuable event on the calendar after the Grand Slams and throughout the year, competitors strive to accumulate enough points in order to secure their participation.

Players must also have competed in 53 tournaments throughout the year to gain qualification for the event which results in some of the finest female tennis players travelling the world and attending competitions which ordinarily, they may have been tempted to overlook. 

 

WTA Premier Tournaments

Valuable points are also on offer at the WTA Premier Mandatory Tournaments which take place throughout the season.

There are four in total and these offer a staggering 1000 ranking points to the winner and always attract a top calibre of competitor. They include Indian Wells, Miami and Beijing, where prize money can exceed $4 million for the winner.

Every player is desperate to succeed at these events and back in 2013, Serena Williams won three of the four with Maria Sharapova denying her a full house.

 

Team Events

Tennis is regarded as a solo sport but team events such as the Davis Cup and the Fed Cup take place throughout the year and offer a different angle.

They are also thoroughly entertaining. Not every player opts to represent their country but the majority of competitors are patriotic and endeavour to perform for their home nation. In March 2016, Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori went to five sets when playing for over four hours and this was perfect for both in-play bettors and captivated viewers.

The Davis Cup truly mattered to both players. This premier team event is always mightily competitive and as it is regularly staged over the course of a weekend consisting of five different match-ups resulting in plenty of opportunities to enjoy and bet on the games.

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The Fed Cup is the zenith of international team tennis for WTA players and with just 16 nations qualifying for the elite World Group, it can become extremely competitive and many memorable encounters have been played out over the years.

Ties are staged over the course of two days offering viewers and bettors even more tennis to enjoy. The USA are the most successful team of all time in this competition and very few players have historically opted out of competing for their country unless injury prevents them from taking part.

Tennis is a sport that thrives all year round and there are an incredible number of tournaments to enjoy. Players are required to travel around the world to compete in these events and this can occasionally be draining both physically and emotionally but those who are focussed and determined to move up the standings can benefit from having the option of playing every week.

Following all of the action is hugely beneficial, especially when it comes to betting on Grand Slams, as it is essential to know which players are lacking fitness and who is likely to arrive in peak condition.

It is not just a sport that should be enjoyed four times a year, there are top-class matches being contested on an almost daily basis with players aiming to clock up as many points as possible across various continents. There are always betting opportunities available and with the big events evenly spread out across the calendar, there is rarely a dull moment in the world of tennis.

 

*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*