The thin line between individual skill in Tennis

08/07/2016 | By | Reply More

If you have been active on Wimbledon these past two weeks you would have seen some great matches. But you should have also seen something else, maybe without realising it.

Often you see an outsider really battle away at a heavy odds on favourite, maybe even winning the first set, but despite this, their odds don’t seem to come in that much. Why is that?

What’s the point?

The first thing to note is there are a lot of points in Tennis. If one player wins and another loses, there is obviously a demonstrable difference between them and that can be averaged over the course of the match. What better way to average that advantage of one player over another than by points? When predicting the result of a Tennis match this is what you are attempting to do. This is essentially what Tennis Trader does, it works out the theoretical advantage, then projects it forward.

But it’s important to understand how this advantage can play out between two players. The key factor here is the difference in skill between the two players. I say skill, but at the highest level most players are relatively equal skilled at Tennis. It’s also the physiological and psychological factors that come into play. Every part of those differences has a critical part to play in the match, even tiny differences.

The thin line

Have a look at chart below and you can see just how important small percentages are in a Tennis match. I have compared two players and varied the advantage one has of winning a point against another. You can see the variance running along the x axis.  Tennis matches contain many points where this advantage can play out. Even if it is very slight, it gets significantly magnified over the entire match. So in a match where there is no advantage the chance of either player winning is evens, but tip the advantage 2% to one side and you can see the starting odds shift to 1.60. Shift it to 5% and the odds come right in, to less than 1.30.

Why Djokovic failed

But any advantage, no matter how small, gets magnified over the entire match. But also, a player with an advantage doesn’t mysteriously lose it immediately, it may still be there but needs time to play out. An opponent will ideally exploit this by putting the match beyond the favourite before they get the chance to respond or put this advantage to work. In the case of Djokovic this week, he let two sets slip, one precipitously and the rain delay never let him get his rhythm back.

Hopefully this post has explained just how thin the line is on Tennis and what it looks like.

Of course you can model this in advantage and pitch yourself well in front of the crowd, by using Tennis trader. Which is free with Bet Angel.

skill differential

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Category: Tennis, Trading strategies

About the Author ()

I left a good job in the consumer technology industry to go a trade on Betfair for a living way back in June 2000. I've been here ever since pushing very boundaries of what's possible on betting exchanges and loved every minute of it.

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