Tennis is one of the most popular sports to bet on, thanks partly to the value on offer. However, a common mistake most players make is not to follow a specific system, which leads to considerable money loss. Even though many are available, how can you know it is the best tennis betting strategy for you?
This is where we step in. From backing an underdog to taking advantage of a handful of markets, such as handicaps and totals, we will examine all the top strategies. We will also provide tips on making the most of the bookmaker promotions and features, as well as which types of tournaments to avoid. Let’s get to it.
Βest tennis betting strategies
Answering the question ‘how to bet on tennis successfully’ is no easy task. Many indicators and variables can influence a result or a player’s performance. Nonetheless, below, you can find the top 3 tennis betting strategies that our expert team of punters has been trying out for years.
1: Break the Serve
Tennis is a sport in which outsiders rarely come out on top. This is due to the quality of the top players, which is true of both the men’s and women’s events. While the odds are appealing, the likelihood of Taylor Fritz beating Novak Djokovic, for example, is very low. There is just no point in backing the upset.
This is why betting on a player to break their opponent's serve is more attractive. When formulating a betting on tennis strategy, markets on breaking serve will be more solid, based on how much of an advantage a contestant has. In that regard, it is worth targeting women’s matches because female players break serve more often than their male counterparts.
For example, when Iga Swiatek takes on Karolina Pliskova at the French Open, backing Swiatek to break serve first is an excellent option. In men’s tournaments, the ratio for breaks of serve sits at 19.5%. Meanwhile, the ratio only decreases when players in the top rankings are competing. This is compared to 34.8% for women’s matches, with the ratio consistent regardless of position.
2: Outsider to win a set
When the top seeds are in action, they will prevail without losing a set in most cases. However, plenty of matches still end in 2-1 scorelines. Of course, men’s Grand Slam matches are played over the best of 5 sets, meaning there is potential for 3-1 and even 3-2 scorelines. Keep this in mind when creating a betting strategy for tennis.
When it comes to Grand Slams, the top players are hugely focused on winning and regularly make it through to the latter stages. Therefore, backing the underdog is not advised, given the small number of shocks. For this reason, many punters target less high-profile tournaments, such as the ATP 500 or ITF. Top players may not give 100% in certain events, given that their main focus is the Grand Slams.
For example, Djokovic lost the second set against the lowly-ranked Tomas Machac at the Dubai Tennis Championships. This is in comparison to Djokovic’s run to winning the Australian Open in 2023 when the Serb lost just a single set in the entire tournament. Such factors must be considered when creating a strategy, with set betting in tennis being increasingly popular.
3: Backing a favourite that is losing
Live tennis betting is hugely popular. Value can often be found, especially when it comes to backing favourites to rally and win. This is a common occurrence, with some players being known for their slow starts. For example, in the 2021 French Open men’s Final, Djokovic was two sets down to Stefanos Tsitsipas before eventually winning.
The odds of Djokovic winning pre-match would have been short, but his price at two sets down would have been far more attractive. You must strike while the iron is hot, with odds quickly shortening upon top players upping their game. Given the smaller number of upsets, this tennis betting strategy is better suited to the men’s game.
Key features of a winning betting on tennis strategy
There are several other factors for you to consider before following a particular system. However, not as many as with other sports, given that tennis is primarily played individually. The following are key points to consider when forming tennis betting strategies.
Injuries: Injuries can have a significant impact on results. For example, a player returning from a long-term absence will likely take time to return to top form. Meanwhile, a player nursing an ongoing injury may not be able to give their all.
Time off playing: Some players may have taken time away from the game for personal reasons. For example, some take a leave if they have a child. As such, it is unrealistic to expect them to play their best tennis immediately.
Playing Conditions: The weather conditions are also worth checking. Some playing styles are better suited to windy conditions. Meanwhile, some players will struggle in severe heat, at the US Open, for example.
Courts’ Surface: Tennis matches are played on hard, clay, grass and indoor courts for the most part. So, be sure to consider which playing style is better suited to the surface in question. For example, Rafa Nadal is almost unbeatable on clay, while big servers will enjoy playing on grass.
Playing Style: Similarly, styles vary between athletes. Some are big hitters, while others use their superior movements to overcome opponents. However, if a big server comes up against a player with poor returns, there will likely be only one winner.
Motivation: Motivation for victory is essential too. For example, top players will often have their minds on winning Grand Slams. As such, they may give less than 100% in the tournaments leading up to Wimbledon, the French Open etc. Meanwhile, with the ATP Finals, a player may have already qualified for the knockout stage with a match to spare. Thus, they may take their foot off the pedal.
Recent Form: How has a potential pick played of late? Have they buckled in pressure situations or hit a host of unforced errors? Current form is another good indicator of which player will win an upcoming match.
Head-to-Head: Look at past clashes between the players involved as well. While it is not crucial, as players go through ups and downs, some consistently get the better of a rival. For example, Djokovic has won 11 of his 13 matches against Tsitsipas to date.
Common mistakes that can impact profits
If you are already familiar with tennis wagering, you may be aware of the potential pitfalls. The following are the most common mistakes made with betting strategies for tennis, which can impact profits.
⏩ Understanding the markets: You must fully understand available tennis betting markets before placing bets. If you are new to tennis, the simpler the market, the better. The most success is achieved with match winner, total games and first set winner. It is also challenging to be an expert across all markets. So, stick to 2-3 that you have had success with.
⏩ Live betting: You may be better off forming a live tennis betting strategy. However, whether you take advantage of pre-match or live markets will ultimately depend on your objectives. Betting on in-play tennis markets to cover losses will often lead to further losses.
⏩ Not keeping an archive: Keeping track of your bets is critical. Doing so will clarify exactly where you have achieved success, as well as which markets you should avoid in the future.
Final tips for a winning tennis betting strategy
You can use a handful of bookmaker features to their advantage. However, some are often overlooked. So, when forming your betting strategy for tennis, keep the following tips in mind too:
Offers and promotions: Keep a close eye on the promotions available with your chosen bookies. When the terms and conditions are fair, you have a realistic chance of benefiting from free bets, cashback offers and other deals.
Features: Live streaming is certainly a useful feature. It can be used to check the progress of pre-match picks or monitor live odds; it is available with selected bookies. Bet Builder is another option that may be on offer. This makes it possible to customise your wager as you wish.
Services to look out for: When choosing a tennis bookmaker, try and find those offering the greatest variety of markets, as well as those with fast bet acceptance times. The latter is vital for placing live tennis bets, where timing is everything.
Open multiple accounts: There is nothing wrong with signing up with more than one bookie. Doing so will ensure you can always take advantage of the best odds. Meanwhile, you will also be able to claim multiple bonuses and daily promotions.
Where to try your tennis betting strategies
You should now have a clearer understanding of what makes a good strategy. Important things to consider are up-to-date statistics, helpful research and odds from leading bookies. The following are our top-ranked bookmakers:
Potentially, yes. However, you must have a good strategy in place to profit from tennis bets. There are no guarantees, but we advise only to bet what you can afford to lose.
Whether pre-match, live or outright markets, many profit from tennis betting. You must only bet on players that you have a good understanding of. Meanwhile, be sure to stick to your budget and strategy at all times.
The best tennis bookies offer the most appealing odds. Meanwhile, they may also feature services such as live streaming, cash out and bet builders. These features can be used to your advantage.
Very rarely. The top players are dominant, especially in men’s tennis. However, upsets occur, with those who can successfully back outsiders in an excellent position to make money.
Your strategy should take recent form, head-to-head records and motivation for victory into account. Meanwhile, before betting, look into the court surface, weather and injuries before confirming any bet.
It is difficult to give just one strategy. However, punters who bet on break of serve, the favourite to lose a set or the favourite coming back from behind to win are popular options.