The Championships at Wimbledon – Monday 29th June live on BBC
With Wimbledon starting on Monday, I wanted to run through some of the unique dynamics that the world’s most prestigious Grand Slam event possesses. Knowledge of this will help both bettors and traders formulate a strategy for profit at SW19 in the coming fortnight.
Statistics make Wimbledon one of the fastest courts on the ATP Tour. With the event obviously played on grass, the quick pace of the surface dictates that all servers, good and bad, will almost always benefit and be able to hold serve easier. The three year 2012-2014 ATP grass court mean service hold percentage currently stands at 83.3%, with Wimbledon a little above this at 83.8%. On this basis it’s fair to assume that it’s not quite in the Queens Club envelope for pace, but it should play quite fast for a grass court, and very fast compared to the average hard or indoor hard court.
The effect of this is that sets will generally be tighter than average, with one service break or a tiebreak the most frequent decider of sets. Break points will be at a premium, so being clutch in key situations is crucial. With this in mind, it should be logical to assume that it will be more difficult for the elite to blow away opponents in the early rounds as easily as they might do on slower surfaces, and clay in particular.
Quite interestingly over a four year period 2011-2014, Wimbledon possesses a 3-0 win percentage 0.8% below the average, and a 2.9% edge on the mean for 3-1 score lines. 3-2 results were slightly over 2% below average.
This is probably due to the pace of the surface enabling ‘worse’ players taking at least a set in matches, and backing journeymen +2.5 sets on the set handicap against much better players, or a 3-1 correct score for the favourite could be the general way forward for set handicap and correct score betting. In-play, backing the favourite to win 3-1 if they lose the first set looks to have potential, as does backing them when they lose the first set.
At Wimbledon, a men’s player priced around the 1.30 mark will be looking to cover around a 5.5 game handicap line on the game handicap.
It is obvious that the trio at the top of both the rankings and the outright betting markets, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray boast by some distance the best win percentage as favourite on the surface, and their ability to win 3-0 or to cover -5.5 games is also strong, accompanied by both Kei Nishikori and surprisingly the big-serving Canadian, Milos Raonic. Certainly it would be these players that bettors can expect to get the job done with the minimum of fuss.
The other five players in the top ten had generally mediocre records for covering handicaps, particularly the -2.5 set handicap for a straight-set victory. In total, Messrs Wawrinka, Berdych, Ferrer, Cilic and Nadal have managed just 11 3-0 wins at Wimbledon when starting the match as favourite, from 38 matches. It would seem that these players are best to back to win 3-1 as opposed to 3-0, and I would strongly guard against backing these players to win in straight sets.
However, with the exception of Wawrinka and Nadal, all the other top ten players boasted win percentages over 75%, so they generally get the job done eventually.
Hopefully this article should give bettors some interesting handicap betting angles for Wimbledon which will enable a profitable third Grand Slam of 2015.
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