ATP In-Game Tennis Trading

11/06/2015 | By | Reply More

Many Thanks to Dan Weston who was the guest poster for this article, visit Dan’s excellent Tennis ratings site for lots of useful Tennis stats.

Several weeks ago, we discussed point by point trading in the WTA, primarily looking at laying the player a break up and taking money out during a service game.  As mentioned before, this allows more risk-averse traders to clear some or all liability at various in-game scorelines, and these were grouped into two brackets:-

  • Small price movements: 1 Point Receiver Leads (no break point).  This would be 0-15 and 15-30.
  • Larger price movements: 2+ Point Receiver Leads, or 1 point break point leads.  This would be 0-30, 0-40, 15-40, 30-40 or 40-A.

 Typically, the price movement at 30-40 or 40-A will be bigger than at 0-15 or 15-30 due to the fact that it creates a break point opportunity for the receiver, whereas this is not the case at 0-15 or 15-30, which is why I have placed those scorelines in the second bracket.

 As with the WTA, I thought it would be pretty interesting to see how frequently these winning trade positions were hit during the average ATP match (with no game selection) in various sets.  The following table shows the percentage small and larger price movements were achieved from a break down in the ATP, between 1st March and 30th April, 2015:-

ATP 1/3/15 to 30/4/15   Player Break Down     Player Break Down      
    Got to only     Got to at least      
    0-15/15-30     0-30/15-40/30-40/40-A      
  Total Situations Situations Yes No Yes 2 Pts/BP % 1 Point at least % Diff
Set 1









Set 2 S&B









Set 3


















Firstly, I want to remind readers of the conclusions drawn in the WTA…

A one point lead (smaller price movement) was achieved quite consistently throughout the sets, with set two, unsurprisingly, slightly lower than sets one or three.  Set one achieved the most success, with 78.4% of break leads going to at least 0-15 or 15-30.  69.7% achieved a bigger price movement, so only 8.7% of smaller price movements did not make it to the bigger price movement. This difference was almost doubled in set 2, from a set and break deficit, with a 15.3% difference between the smaller price movement percentage (74.0%) and the larger price movement percentage of 58.7%.

In this sample in the ATP, some dynamics were similar to the WTA and others different, which tends to be typical in most areas of trading analysis.  Again, a one point lead was achieved quite consistently regardless of the set, and a set and break lead in set two was – unsurprisingly considering it is the most dominant match position – the lowest percentage.

However, it wasn’t set one that had the most successful for upward price movement from laying the break leader in the ATP, it was set three, generating 73.6% of winning trades for one point movement, and 59.1% for a 2 point/break point movement.  Given this, laying the ATP break leader (particularly with game selection) in set three, looks to be a very solid prospect. Despite this different dynamic, similarity between the ATP and WTA was also achieved by looking at the difference between smaller and bigger scoreline movements, where again set two had the biggest difference (18.6%), over 4% bigger than set one (14.0%) and set three (14.5%). 

How does this affect the way we trade ATP matches?

As with the WTA, we can use this information to help work out optimal exit points.  We would want to clear a bigger percentage of liability from a small movement when laying a set and break leader in set two, than in sets one and three, a very similar situation to the WTA.  Given this knowledge, we’d be keener to hold a bigger liability when a smaller movement is achieved in sets one and three, knowing that it converts to a bigger movement more often.

Furthermore, as mentioned above, laying the break leader in set three in the ATP looks to be a very solid prospect, and with decent game selection (picking out players who are vulnerable on serve or when a break up), I’d expect smaller point movements to be achieved over 80%, and larger ones at 65% at minimum.

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Category: Tennis, Trading strategies

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