Clay Courts – When it’s good to see red!

Betfair tennis trading – The French Open at Roland Garros

Tennis markets are pretty big on sports exchanges and the grand slams bring huge liquidity to the tennis markets. When you trade on horse racing markets there is loads of money before the off and a bit in play. On Tennis markets, there is a bit before the off but most volume is traded in-play.

Next up, it’s the French Open. It’s a tournament that is played on a distinctive red clay court, and if you want to do some Betfair trading, then it’s important to understand the significance of the surface at this venue. Rafael Nadal has long been the king of clay and his price this year no doubt suggests he may push the envelope again. The women’s tournament is a little more open.

Betfair trading – Getting a ‘good return’ on Clay

Research by the ATP showed that the average length of a point on the grass of Wimbledon was just 2.7 seconds versus 8.2 seconds on Clay, points finish quickly at Wimbledon but take nearly three times as long at Roland Garros. To understand why this is the case, we need to examine the return of serve.

In the men’s game, points won on return reached around 40% when playing on clay, but only 34.7% on grass. Basically, it’s harder to return a serve on grass, as a good server is quite likely to win a point. For the women’s game, things are less obvious, Clay sees a 46.4% return on serve, versus 42% on grass. So there is still a bias, but not so much.

However, the higher return percentage for women is a significant factor here. This makes it easier for women players to break serve and that will create much more variability in terms of volatility, which is exactly what a Betfair trader wants. So, if you want to open a position to trade out at the French Open, a competitive women’s match would appear to fit the bill.

Clay comebacks

It’s also more likely on this surface, that a favourite who loses the first set stands a better chance of coming back into the match. If you dig into the stats of the four grand slams you also see that if the favourite wins the first set at the French Open, you get the highest percentage chance of the outsider leading at some point in the rest of the match. It’s still quite a small percentage at 30%, but it’s still a variation generated by the clay.

Figuring out what a competitive match is is easy, just look at the odds. As the starting price of the favourite approaches 2.0 the match is, obviously more competitive. Because there are only two outcomes on Tennis then the other player must also be near, but slightly over, 2.0 indicating the market can’t split them. More competitive matches produce a significantly better chance of trading out for a profit as the result will swing significantly as each player battles it out for those crucial points.

One important note here on how you trade Tennis is to consider whether you should hedge or not when you complete a trade. If you trade in and out of a Tennis match you often find it is better to not hedge as you go along but to keep your position as a free bet. As a player comes back into contention you can reuse the free bet to either hedge at a lower value or take a new position. It’s worth considering this given the nature of a Tennis match.

Bet Angel is perfect for Tennis trading

Sometimes Betfair trading software can feel a bit ‘samey’. They all have one click betting, a ladder interface and so on, like most Betfair trading tools. Bet Angel Professional is radically different, deliberaltey, when it comes to what you can do if you a Betfair tennis trader.

Tennis trader

Successful tennis trading strategies are all about finding the right entry and exit point. Typically in Tennis, you are looking for the chance of a break or a break back of some sort. Get that and the odds will move significantly and you can cash out for a profit.

Point Bet Angel’s Tennis trader tool at the market and it will project forward the score and odds to allow you to understand what needs to happen in a market to reach your target odds. From there you can watch the match and decide if will play out that way and trade appropriately. Of course, anything can and will happen in a Tennis match, but understanding what impact that is going to have is useful knowledge when trading. Tennis trader allows you to do that in advance of the Tennis match starting.

Rather than attempt to explain in the blog, it’s worth heading on over to the Bet Angel Academy. There we have a dedicated Tennis trading course that will teach you not only about Tennis but also about Bet Angel’s specialist tools.

Real time tennis scores

Another feature of Bet Angel is the ability to display real time live streaming tennis scores from a large variety of tennis matches. You can display these in a number of places, such as the one click betting screen, the ladder interface or on watch lists via Guardian.

The real time scores will update in a flash and if you load all your Tennis markets into Guardian then you will be able to display them all at one on a watch list. This will allow you to keep up to date on all the matches in the early part of a tournament.

Bet Angel can show Tennis scores real time

Tennis trading automation

In recent years we have really been ramping up the ability to trade Tennis automation on Bet Angel. You can trade Tennis automatically if you wish, but a lot of people use it to get Bet Angel to hunt for their favourite set-ups. Typically you may have a favourite entry point to a market and using Bet Angel you can scan hundreds of markets incredibly quickly to hunt for that specific opportunity.

For the full list of Betfair automation templates on Tennis, visit the forum: –

If you want Bet Angel to scan the markets and alert you, check out this peice of automation: –


The French open is interesting because it is played on a clay court. Clay court tennis will generate more breaks of serve and therefore more variable markets and many opportunities if you are trading. There are more profitable opportunities than you would expect to see at Wimbledon, which is the next Grand Slam on the roster.

Make sure to use all the specialist features in Bet Angel to the full, as they will give you a number of ways to frame an opportunity and automation can spot and highlight them for you. Remember to use practice mode while you test any features you may not have used before.

So the red clay of the French open can herald some good trading fodder, maybe they should paint it green?

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