It’s a surface that few tennis clubs in the world maintain: grass. If you’re looking to build an edge predicting the play of others you’ll need to understand the dynamics of the surface. Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and for savvy sports bettors that review the following tips, it can also be the most profitable. In the game of risk and reward the best guess is always an educated guess. Pay attention and study the following indicators before placing your bets and you just might find that your predictions ring true more often than not.
June and July are the only times during the year that you will see grass events listed on the WTA and ATP calendars. With grass being a very expensive surface to maintain most tennis clubs choose not to have them. What makes the grass court season especially tricky is the amount of time that players have after the French Open to prepare for Wimbledon.
Before the 2015 season players only had two weeks to prepare for play at the All England Club in London, but his year an extra week was added giving players more time to adjust to the surface conditions. In these three weeks there are seven events between men and women that players have the chance to practice their match play on. For the men there are three ATP 250 events and two ATP 500 events. For the women there are two WTA International events and two WTA Premier events.
Sports bettors need to observe and take note of which players show consistency in either winning or running deep in these events. These tournaments will be key to figuring out which players have the best chance to do well come Wimbledon. Be mindful that the WTA International and the ATP 250 events will have easier fields to go through than the WTA Premier and ATP 500 events. Therefore, make sure you take into account the difficulty level of a tournament’s competition when rating players.
The next item up for review is a player’s court sense. It’s a metric that can’t be saved into one statistic. Instead, to truly measure a player’s court sense it will involve reviewing player’s matches in real time. You can also get hints from analyzing match stats such as first serve percentage, net points won, winners, and unforced errors, but it’s very hard to judge the game flow of a match from these stats alone.
On grass, time on individual points is almost chopped in half when compared to other surfaces. As a result, you need to be looking for players whose style of play is commanding. Do they often put their opponent out of position with difficult shots? Do they hit effective approach shots that set them up for winner? Is there at least one big weapon in their arsenal that allows them to close out a point quickly? If the answer to these questions is yes then you’re looking at a player who just might have the ability to carve out points well and win matches on grass.
Serve and Return Game
There’s no other venue in the world where a big serve and a top notch return game is as effective as it is in London.
Back in the old days it was sometimes good enough just to have a commanding serve to go far in Wimbledon, but today’s racquet and string technology has provided balance for the savvy returner too. Should a player have both of these as weapons in their game and they are surely to be a favorite at the All England Club.
Grass courts are the fastest courts in the world and when players have a high-speed serve or a strong ability to place the ball wherever they like, their service games almost become unbreakable. However, remember with today’s racquet and string technology it’s still not enough. That leads us to the return game of a player. Here you need to look at how good a player’s break point percentage is. Even if the player might not capitalize on breaking another player’s serve too often, as long as the player is getting many opportunities to do so it will hint at a strong returner.
Moreover, a good return game won’t only be reflected through return of serve, but also through return of heavy groundstrokes. Player’s with the ability to hit well utilizing a short back swing are highly probable to have stellar return games. This makes a player that much closer to becoming flawless on any grass court. That being the case be sure to stay away from players that have a habit of taking large back swings before they hit their groundstrokes.
Again thanks to the game’s evolving equipment technologies you don’t see much of a net game from players anymore on this surface, because nowadays the ball can be returned much more efficiently than in the past.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that players have ceased to come into the net entirely, it just means that a serve and volley game is not as effective as it used to be at Wimbledon. Player’s with strong shots still come to net to close out a point and when that happens you would do well to choose players that win a high percentage of points when they do come to net.
Usually at Wimbledon when players come to the net the point will only last a few more seconds because the grass awards sliced net shots. When you play on grass the ball does not bounce like it does on other surfaces. As a matter of fact the ball tends to skid, which means any sliced shots that are taken will remain low and hard to return. Since a net game breeds a perfect environment for sliced shots a player equipped with a successful net game should easily find themselves closing out points.
After you’ve gone through all of the above you’re left with just analyzing the tournament draw. This is where you should be scoping out the rest of the competition seeing which players have the potential to advance easier than others. You’ll need to analyze player’s head-to-head records against others so you can predict who has the best chance to make it to the final.
If you’re diligent sometimes you can spot a player who’s ranked 4-8 who might luckily be positioned in a part of the draw that should result in them having a clear path to the semis or even the finals. Also, be sure to stay aware of a player’s health and fitness, as Wimbledon is known to often fall victim to rain delays that could see the tournament matches running back to back in the first or second half of the event.
Lastly, do yourself a favor and be sure to always be on the look out for sports books that offer futures bets all the way through the quarterfinals. As the event progresses the odds on players will change and this could help you either hedge an earlier futures bet you placed or double down.