The Guide to Tennis Betting - Form and FitnessSubscribe to RSS Feed
Last time, we have looked at various playing styles. Also, we have examined how they affect the match-ups between players and how that affects our betting considerations. This time, we are going to consider the form and fitness of tennis players. Of course, this is something that affects the match-ups by a solid margin. Therefore, it is necessary to consider these two things during every pre-match analysis.
Form is something that most tipsters automatically consider during their pre-match analysis. Form is also something that plays a role in basically every single sport. However, there are some important considerations in tennis. First of all, you must not consider the win-loss ration alone. Look at who the opponents were. A 10-0 record is not very impressive if the opponents were all quite poor. A 7-3 record, for example, might be worth much more if the the opponents all came from the top 50.
Secondly, you should probably not consider the form the players are in at all when there is some kind of a break involved. This is especially important when a new season starts. A lot happens during the off-season and there is no reason to think that the form from the previous season is going to continue in the new one.
Finally, the one thing many people forget is the role different surfaces play. We can often see that players can have problems when they have to adapt to a different surface. This is especially important in the case of specialists. Clay specialists might have great records on clay, but it quite probable that they will be pretty average when they start playing on hard courts. In these cases, form is not that important, although it should not be completely ignored.
The fitness element is also very important in tennis. The players often have to play long and tiring matches in very tough conditions. It is therefore obvious that the fitness element often decides the final outcome of a match. One (although pretty extreme) example of this was John Isner at the Wimbledon last year. His match against Mahut was surely spectacular. However, it also offered an excellent opportunity for experienced tennis tipsters. It was pretty obvious that John Isner was not the fittest player on the circuit. And that long match was surely going to affect his physical condition. His next opponent was Thiemo de Bakker, a talented (although a little bit inexperienced) Dutch player. The odds opened with de Bakker being only a slight favorite (he had to play a long match too, but it was much shorter than the Mahut-Isner match and he also had much more time to recover and prepare), but the tipsters quickly pushed them down to a very low level. And they were right in their assessment. John Isner came on the court, but he was so tired that he could barely serve. Thiemo won in straight sets and knowledgeable tipsters made easy money.
Of course, this was a truly extreme example, but I think you can now understand what is it all about. It is often worth backing the underdog if the opponent had a tough schedule before the match. Also, it is often a good idea to go against a player that has just won a tournament. This may seem a little counter-intuitive, because the player is obviously in great form. However, tournament wins take a lot of energy and as a result, players usually find it hard to concentrate again. So keep that mind and be very careful if you are considering backing someone who has won a tournament a few days before the match.
As in all sports, injuries play a huge role in our betting considerations. The most important (and also quite obvious) thing is the fact that a player that is returning from a long-term injury is not going to play anywhere near his best level in the first few matches. Missing match practice is usually the most important reason. Returning players lack confidence, consistency and (very often) lack fitness. Consider the case of Juan Martin Del Potro. He is obviously a very talented player that has surprised everyone by winning the US Open in a spectacular fashion. However, he suffered an injury and could return only after a long time. He lost his first matches against players that would be huge underdogs if Del Potro was fully fit (and some experienced tipsters took advantage and backed the underdogs at nice odds). And although he is now returning to some solid form again, it is clear that he is still not anywhere his best. That was obvious, for example, in his match against Marcos Baghdatis in the Australian Open. Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule, but they are fairly rare (usually when the injury was relatively minor).
All in all, we must always analyse the form and the fitness situation of both players. We should not, however, overestimate the significance of these two factors. While they are very important indicators, they are by no means the only thing we need to consider. So keep this in mind during your betting ventures and I am pretty sure that your results are going to improve significantly. As always, you are invited to discuss the topic (and tennis betting in general) in our forums. In the next part of this betting guide, we are going to look at some of the other important factors that should affect our betting considerations.
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