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Tennis Betting

Tennis is one of the most popular non-contact sport in the world, and one of the most popular sports in general. It is a very popular betting option as it is highly exciting and fairly unpredictable. Some of the most popular tennis tournaments, especially the Grand Slams attract huge crowds, and punters wager millions of pounds on these matches.

History of Tennis

Tennis originates from Birmingham and it was devised at some point between 1859 and 1965. The game was initially called ‘lawn tennis’ and it was derived from a game known as ‘real tennis’. The first tennis club was founded in 1872 and about a decade later the game was already exported to ‘the other side of the pond’. The rules of the game have not changed dramatically in the last century. In 1924 the International (Lawn) Tennis Federation was founded. In the 1970s the tiebreak was introduced and that’s the only notable change.

Tennis can be played on grass, clay or hard court. The hard court can be made of different materials such as deco turf and plexicushion. The game can be played in singles and in doubles and the points are known as games. Once a player wins a sufficient number of games (5, if the difference isn’t just one game) they win a set. Major tournaments for men are played in a ‘best of five’ format, whereas other tournaments are played in a ‘best of three’ format.

Tennis Betting Markets

There are multiple tennis betting markets that are available, especially if the match in question is part of a popular tournament. Match betting is the most basic betting market. Here you simply pick the player which you think is going to win the match. The odds for each player are set based on their current form, reputation, how their previous matchups ended and so on.

With handicap betting you are also betting on the winner, but here one player is given an imaginary advantage, usually the underdog. So, for the sake of the bet it is calculated that the match starts with the underdog’s lead by one or two sets. Thus, if you place a bet that the favourite is going to win and the underdog is given a two set advantage, then the favourite would have to actually win 3 to 0, for your bet to win. The handicap is usually expressed as –0.5, +1.5, or similar.

You may also bet on individual sets, like which player will win the first or the second set. And set handicap betting is also available, one player can be given a 2.5 advantage which means that if he reaches 4 games whereas the other player has not yet reached 5, he would win. You can also try to predict the correct score (2:1, 3:0, 2:0, etc.).

Over/under is one of the most popular and most straightforward tennis bets. Here you are betting on the total number of sets that will be played before the winner is decided. If the match is played in a best of 3 format, then it can be settled either in two or in three sets and therefore the limit for the over/under bet will be set at 2.5.

Bookmakers also offer in-play betting, where you can place wagers on a match that has already commenced. You can bet on the outcome of the match, where the offered odds would reflect what has happened in the match during that moment, but you can also place wagers that will be settled a lot faster, including bets on the current set or even the current game.

Tournament betting is also popular among tennis punters. Here you bet on the player that will win an upcoming tournament. Typically the odds are lowest for the player who is considered to be the favourite. In addition to tournament winner, you can also bet whether a player will reach the semi-finals or the quarter-finals.

Top Tournaments

Unlike other sports which are almost exclusively male-dominated, women’s tournaments gather huge crowds and a lot of attention. A lot of bets are placed on women’s tennis, which is not the case with women’s football, for example.

The four Grand Slam tournaments are the most popular betting options for tennis fans. The Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open are the four tournaments that consist the Grand Slam. The first one takes place in January, the French Open starts in May and ends in June, whereas Wimbledon starts in June and ends in July. The US Open starts in August and ends in September. That way, it is ensured that there is top-class tennis action throughout the year.

The team cups are also very popular, there are three major team cups. The Davis Cup is an international men’s cup, where different countries compete against each other. Both single and double matches are played. The Fed (Federation) Cup is a women’s cup and it is the equivalent of the Davis Cup. The Hopman Cup is a mixed-gender cup where both men and women participate.

The ATP World Tour is a list of standalone player tournaments that are organised by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). These tournaments aren’t as popular as the Grand Slam tournaments, but some of them do attract the best players and most these tournaments are offered by most, if not all bookmakers.

The Women's Tennis Association is also in charge of many women’s tournaments, and those too are offered for betting. 

Rules Regarding Forfeited Matches

It tennis it is more common than in other sports for one player to forfeit the match. Different bookies have different rules regarding classification of matches that have been forfeited. At some bookies the bet stands as soon as the first ball is served. So, if you bet on player A to win and player B forfeited the game after the first ball was served, you will win.

Other bookies will require a full set to be completed, whereas some will only recognise the bet if two sets are completed. At certain bookies a bet won’t stand unless a match is completed. If the bet doesn’t stand, all bets are void and you will be returned your original wager.


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