An Assessment of Betting on Pre-Grand Slam Tournament Weeks
With there being a week to go before Wimbledon, our latest piece focuses on the performances of players in the week before Grand Slam events, and whether it is possible to build a strategy based on historical data. It’s a common accusation - players lack motivation, and often ‘tank’ matches in the week before a Grand Slam.
In theory, it’s a viable point of view. These pre-Slam events are almost always 250 level on the ATP Tour, and offer little in the way of ranking point or financial incentives compared to a decent performance in the upcoming Grand Slam, so it is completely feasible that a player may prioritise a Slam over their current tournament.
This is particularly true when it is factored in that a week’s arduous graft on a tennis court is likely to fatigue a player for the more important tournament. The question is, how do tennis betting fans exploit this mindset, if indeed, it is actually true?
I evaluated the performances of seeds in the events immediately prior to Grand Slams from 2016 onwards, and found some fascinating insights.
In the 17 tournaments played, the top seed won just six times, while a top four seed won nine times only. Backing the top four seeds blind in all of these events would almost certainly have an implied win percentage of over 50% based on bookmaker pricing, so we have something to go on here immediately.
Three unseeded players - Daniil Medvedev, Marton Fucsovics and Yuichi Sugita - triumphed in these events, while a 16th seed - Pablo Carreno-Busta - took the title in Winston Salem in 2016, and when looking at top four seed performance on the whole in these Grand Slam warm-up events, just 35.29% of top four seeds got to the last four.
Big Price, Non-Seeded Options Worth Betting
From an outright perspective, then, it appears that focusing on bigger-priced, non seeded options in these pre-Slam tournaments is the best strategy to keep in mind when wagering on one of the top tennis betting sites.
However, we also need to check out the results of the bigger name players in individual matches, in an attempt to assess whether this underperformance translated to a tennis betting strategy we can apply throughout the events.
I ran the numbers for all the matches from 2016 onwards in the tournaments a week before a Grand Slam, and generated the following data, with a hypothetical £100 stake applied for each match at closing prices:
|SP < 1.25||70||-79||-1.13|
Poor Returns Blind Backing Favourites
Blind-backing favourites in these Grand Slam warm-up events yielded a return of investment of -0.07%, bearing testament to the efficiency of the closing prices of the market - something that has been discussed on numerous occasions by many writers and analysts in the field of tennis trading.
However, there were poor returns for the very heavy favourites (SP <1.25) and in particular, marginal favourites (SP 1.75-1.99), and bettors keen to do some further research may want to plough through some further analysis to see if this trend continued in years prior to 2016.
Despite this, as is usually the case, the betting markets efficiency at closing prices dictates the best strategy here - treat every match on its merits and in an ideal world, take prices as early as possible. A blind-backing, or blanket, strategy, rarely works in betting, and the data generated in these pre-Slam warm up events is suitable illustration of this mantra.
Recommended Betting Sites
100% Welcome Bonus up to £50 Promo Code: TONY5018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply In order to activate this bonus on the personal TonyBet account, please, enter the bonus code TONY50 when a deposit is made and wager your deposit 10 times on betting markets with odds of at least 1.65 within 30 days. This offer is available to new players who made the first deposit. All players must be 18+ years old and of a required legal age to gamble. Odd/even, no action (bets made on both sides of the same bet), cancelled bets, replicated bets and bets that have had their odds equated to 1 are not included into the bonus wagering.
Bet £10, Get £30 in Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
Bet £10 Get £1018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+. New UK customers only. Min bet £10 to receive £10 Free Bet (placed and settled 35 days from registration). Min odds of 3/5. Free Bet credited at qualifying bet settlement and placed within 35 days. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly, www.begambleaware.org - Full Terms Apply
Get up to £100 in Free Bets + up to 100% in Boosts18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+, New customers only. Deposit + bet £20-£100. Must Deposit £50 and opt in for marketing preferences for Boosts. Boosts credited 24 hours after deposit. Full T&Cs apply. Begambleware.org
Open Account Offer - Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365
Bet £10, Get £1018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: €10, max €10 bonus, valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement.System bets no eligible. Click to see full T&Cs
EXCLUSIVE: Bet £15, Get £1018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit,: £10, max £10 free bet valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets not eligible. Neteller,Skrill and Paypal not eligible. T&Cs apply
Bet £10, Get £10 + 50 Extra Spins18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply New customer offer; Place first £10 bet on sports with 3 legs at odds of 1.3 or greater per leg; Free Bet and Extra Spins credited after the qualifying bet has settled; Free Multiple Bet must contain 3 legs at odds of 1.3 or greater per leg; Free Bet and Extra Spin stakes not returned; No wagering requirements on winnings; £200 max win; T&C’s apply; 18+
Bet £20, Get £1018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+ New Customers Only. Minimum Deposit and wagering on sport to activate the Free Bet is £20. Customers who deposit using Neteller, Paysafe, Skrill or Skril 1-Tap will not be eligible for any free bet offer.BeGambleaware.org
Bet £10, Get £20 in Free Bets18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply Qualifying bet must be min odds of 1/2 and cannot be placed in-play or cashed out. E.g. Place a £10bet at minimum odds of 1/2. When that bet has been settled, you will be given a free £5 fixed odds bet to use that day. New customers only. See full Ts&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware
Stay In The Loop With Free Bets, Insider Tips & More!
Live Betting. Sports Promos. Sent Weekly.