Tennis Trading Advice – Danger of Chasing an in-form player..


What to do when your tennis player looks out of form from the start.

Situation: You have backed a player who beat a very decent player the day before and his odds have been reflected on the market accordingly. However, from the very first point he looks dodgy!

Ok let’s consider an example with one of my favourite players at the moment, Grigor Dmitrov.

It’s the first round of the tournament, and Dmitrov whose odds are 4.5 is facing Tsonga on clay. The match result is hugely in favour of Dmitrov who has thrashed Tsonga with a score line of 6-1 6-2.

Our opponent for this example is Nicolas Almagro, who has beaten Garcia Lopez on the same day, in a very fluctuating match where Garcia Lopez had 5 match points and lost (just assume it if you are a huge Garcia Lopez fan!)

The next day, Dmitrov is facing Almagro and he is the favourite @1.85.

More and more traders are trading heavily on Dmitrov while the market is getting priced before the match, on Betfair website. The Betfair graph indicates that the Dmitrov price went down from 2 to 1.85 which gives you further reason to back in his favour.

You have decided to go with Dmitrov and feel entirely confident his odds has to go down at some point. The stake here is 100 units.

The match starts with Dmitrov serving and results in the following:

0-15 – Dmitrov odds move from 1.85 to 1.9

0-30 – Odds move from 1.9 to 2

0-40 – Almagro becomes favourite with 1.95 (Dmitrov price hit 2.05).

1 – 0 to Almagro – Almagro becomes favourite at around 1.85 (Dmitrov price – 2.15)

Now its early days of course, so you let the trade go on a bit.

The worst happens and Almagro not only holds the game to love but then takes the next two games to lead 4-0 to make him the favourite @1.3. All this time, you have left the market open.

What should you have done ?

Here’s my answer:

Let’s look at the Maths here first,

From 1.85 to 1.9 you are losing around 2.5 units. (Backed 100@1.85, laid 97@ 1.9)

From 1.85 to the break of game when the price is 2.15 on Dmitrov, you’ve lost around 14 units. (Backed 100@ 1.85, laid 85.5 units @2.16 = 14.5 unit loss) 

(What we are seeing here is, for every 10 decimal point that goes away from us, we are losing about 5 units of stake. This is very important to know especially for ‘flip of a coin’ matches in Tennis Trading in general).

Now on to the answer…

While it is OK to leave Dmitrov for a -15 loss, it is not OK to leave the trade open after Almagro has reached 2-0. Yes, indeed it’s true that a lot of players come back after 2-0 lead but the most important stat we have from the above example is that Dmitrov got broken to love in the first game. Basically he’s looking out of sorts completely straight away unlike his match in Tsonga. That is a big hint to trade out early!

If you had traded out at a loss of 10 -15 units, it may be still possible to reduce that loss if you back Almagro at a later stage in the match. For example, sometime in the second set.

The moral of the story is, before you come to trading any match, DO NOT be biased towards any player in relation to Tennis Trading. It will cost you more than you will win!

Dmitrov going from 1.85 to 3 here would have cost you 38 unit loss as we can see from the below calculation:

Backed 100 on Dmitrov@ 1.85, laid 62 @3


-39 units

Thanks for reading!

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