Updated Updated: November 29, 2019

Betting on Tennis: guide, tips and best online bookies

An in-depth understanding of the sport can wield numerous opportunities to make a steady profit while betting on tennis.

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Betting on tennis overview

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With over one billion fans worldwide, tennis is the world’s 4th most popular sport with a growing following. It is also the 4th most popular sports in terms of betting volume.

Tennis is also widely popular in the United Kingdom among players, fans or bettors. Throughout the years’ tennis has become a staple in the UK sports community. Modern-day tennis was in fact invented by a Londoner back in 1873.

Betting on tennis is entertaining, intense and when done right it can bring in some long term profit. Before you start betting your hard-earned money on the numerous tennis markets available at most bookies, take the time to familiarise yourself with all aspects of the sport.

If you’re not already familiar with tennis’s rules go to this section

Tennis Betting Markets

Tennis betting online is one of the most common sports to bet on in the UK. With over 120 tournaments disputed each year, tennis betting odds are available on every tennis match you can imagine, from top-ranked events like the Grand Slams to lowest-tier ones, the Futures Tour.

There are five main tennis betting markets:

  • Outright bet – where you choose the winner of a tournament, not of a single match. Each tournament has a different number of rounds, some have up to 7 individual matches to determine the winner.
  • Match Betting – the most popular and straightforward tennis betting market, where you pick the winner or loser of a match.
  • Spread betting – betting on tennis spread is the equivalent to handicap betting. There are two main areas for spread betting in tennis: games and sets. In a games handicap bet, a player is given a number of sets as an advantage to level the playing field. You then have to pick whether a player will win with a handicap game advantage or make up their disadvantage and still win.

For example: you pick Roger Federer with a -6.5 games handicap to beat Andy Murray with a +6.5 games handicap. If Federer wins the match 6-4, 6-3, 6-4, that gives a total game scoreline of 18-11 to Federer. Your bet is a winner because Federer won by more than 6 games difference. The same principle applies to set handicaps, where your selection has to win or lose within the handicap margin. If you back a player to win -1.5 sets against another player, it will be settled as a winner as long as your selection wins at a minimum of 2 sets difference.

For a practical example, if you bet on Simona Halep to win -1.5 set handicap against Kiki Bertens, you will win as long as Halep wins 2-0 in sets. If Bertens wins the match or loses but still wins a set, 1-2, your bet is then a losing selection.

  • Over/Under Betting – this market is very similar to the game/set handicap betting line. You bet on whether a match will go over or under a number of predetermined sets/games. For example, if you bet on under 3.5 sets and/or over 30.5 games in a Wimbledon matchup between Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka that ends 6-4 6-4 7-6, both your bets would be winners. One player won in 3 straight sets so it was under the 3.5 sets selection, but the match was tight enough to produce 33 games, so it was over 30.5 games betting line.
  1. In-Play betting – a growing market, in-play betting is popular in a fast-paced sport like tennis when momentum can shift within seconds. With games ending in a few minutes and some matches in less than an hour while others go on for at least 3 hours which momentum shifting on both sides, you have to be on the lookout for good value odds betting opportunities on games and sets.

Tennis Betting Strategy

If you want to know how to bet on tennis and win long-term profit, you have to follow some tennis betting tips:

●       Ranking – is a broad channel to get an idea of the top players in tennis and some outsiders. Use it to get some insight on the form of players.

●       Court surface and playing style – each tennis court surface has its characteristics that bring advantages or disadvantages to certain playing styles. It is important to look beyond the rankings and see which player has a playing style that’s a better fit for the court surface the match is being played on.

●       Head to head stats – regardless of their rankings, top players might find it difficult to win against a lower-ranked player with an unusual playing style.

For example, if player A, who is ranked number 3 in the world, plays against player B who is number 51 in the rankings, you would assume player A is a big favorite. But a closer look at their head to head stats reveals that they have previously met five times, with player B winning 4 out of those meetings. In this case, the value lies in odds against the bookies’ favorite winner pick.

●       In-play – you have to be on the tip of your toes to profit from momentum swings in games or sets of a tennis match.

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Tennis Value Odds and Bets

Where to bet in the UK is a matter of preference as most bookmakers cover every tennis match throughout a season. It is important to read each bookie’s tennis betting rules, especially regarding when a player retires from the match.

To increase your chances of making a long-term profit from betting on tennis, you have to be on the lookout for value bets. You should only bet when there is value in the odds and that applies not only to tennis but to betting overall.

A value bet is when you believe an outcome is more likely than the odds suggest. These bets are best placed before the start of a tournament or part of in-play betting due to the momentum shifts during a match.

Having a staking plan is also fundamental to long term tennis betting success. Ration your bankroll depending on your level of confidence behind a bet. Avoid going all-in on a bet or doubling your stake to make up for a loss.

Did you hear about enhanced odds ?

Don’t forget to take a look at the boosted odds offered by UK bookies. These offers can increase your earns if you manage to make the right bet.

Learn everything about tennis before betting on it

If you are not very familiar with tennis, we recommend you to read this section. There are some elements you need to take into consideration when you are going to bet on a tennis match.

Professional tennis has two main governing bodies

The professional tennis scene is quite enormous and very exciting. The men and women playing as professionals at the top-level provide us with some of the most exciting and vibrating sports moments.

ATP – the Association of Tennis Professionals

This is the principal governing body for men tennis players. The ATP includes 68 tournaments each year divided as follows:

  • 4 Grand Slams – Wimbledon, French Open, Australian Open, US Open. The winner of these receives 2000 ranking points.
  • 9 Masters 1000 events – winning players receive 1000 ranking points
  • 13 ATP World Tour 500 events – with winners receiving 500 points
  • 40 ATP World Tour 250 events – 250 ranking points for each winner
  • 1 ATP Finals – dispute between the top 8th ranked players in the world with the winner receiving 1500 ranking points
  • 1 ATP NextGen Finals – the U21 equivalent of football, this tennis tournament is disputed by the world’s top 8 ranked players age 21 years old or younger. There are no ranking points awarded to the winner.

WTA – the Women’s Tennis Association

This association is the main organizing in women’s professional tennis. Each year, it includes 57 tournaments divided as follows:

  • 4 Grand Slams – identical to men’s tennis, the winner of Wimbledon, French Open, Australian Open and US Open receives 2000 ranking points
  • 4 Premier 1000 events – the winner is awarded 1000 ranking points
  • 5 Premier 900 events – winner receives 900 points
  • 12 Premier 470 events – 470 ranking points up for grabs
  • 31 WTA International events – the winners of these tournaments each receive 280 ranking points
  • WTA Finals – dispute between the world’s top 8 women, the winner receives 1500 ranking points.

Tennis Rankings

Tennis players accumulate ranking points during a 52-week period. The points they earn depend on their performances at various tournaments. All tennis players participating in an ATP or WTA tournament receive points. For example, the ranking points distribution in a Grand Slam is:

●       1st round – a player who loses in the first round of a Grand Slam receives 10 points just for being on the court.

●       2nd round – a tennis player making it through the first round but getting eliminated in their second match will receive 45 points.

●       3rd round – 90 points to a player who gets eliminated in their third game in a Grand Slam

●       4th round – you might see a pattern develop here, a tennis player eliminated in their 4th match of a Grand Slam walks away with 180 ranking points.

●       Quarterfinalists – keep doubling the points up. A Grand Slam quarter-finalist receives 360 points

●       Semi-finalist – 720 ranking points to the players making it to the semi-finals no matter their next results

●       Runner-up – losing a Grand Slam final awards a tennis player 1200 ranking points

●       Grand Slam winner – 2000 points awarded to the winner of the Grand Slam

Tennis players’ rankings are used when the draws for the Grand Slams take place. ATP or WTA seeds their top 32 players and each seed goes into a particular position on the drawing table. This is done to avoid major clashes until the later stages of the tournament. For example, nobody wants a Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal clash in the first round of a Grand Slam.

Tennis rankings are also crucial for determining the contenders in the ATP and WTA Finals. Only the top 8 ranked men and women tennis players participate in the finals.

Tennis Court Surfaces

Tennis is played on different surface types that in one way or another influence the speed and bounce of the ball. Some surfaces favor a certain type of player and disadvantage other players. It is important to understand the characteristics of each surface and how players perform on each court. This is more in-depth research to help you find value odds that are sometimes overlooked by looking at the tennis rankings alone.

There are four main tennis court surface types:

  1. Carpet surface – the least common surface, used for indoor tennis courts. It is a fast surface with low bouncing balls. It is a removable tennis court surface that can be made from rubber or artificial turf. Carpet courts have been banned from profession tennis by the ATP in 2009. The WTA only has one tournament on the carpet surface, in Quebec City.
  2. Clay surface – made of crushed stones or bricks, clay courts are usually deep red or green. The most symbolic such surface is the French Open, played every spring at Roland Garros. Clay courts are considered to be the slowest surface with high-bouncing balls. They suit baseline players.
  3. Grass courts – these used to be the most common surfaces until the 1970s. A grass court is the fastest surface with the unpredictable bounce of the ball. Factors like how recently was the grass mowed or how many other matches were played on it can affect the bounce and skidding of the tennis ball. It is used every summer at the Wimbledon Grand Slam.
  4. Hard courts – this surface is the most common and is used in both indoor and outdoor courts. These courts are normally made from asphalt or concrete with a padding layer, covered with a paint and sand mixture. Hard courts are classified somewhere in the middle between grass and clay courts. They are fast, not too fast but not slow either, and more predictable than grass courts. This surface suits a wider range of player styles. It is the surface used in the Australian Open and the US Open.

Tennis Playing Styles

There are 4 primary playing styles in tennis. Understanding each style coupled with the type of court surface is vital knowledge in determining the right tennis betting strategy.

  1. Aggressive Baseliner – this player likes to be in control and dictate the flow of the play. They have a powerful forehand or backhand which they rely on to hit winners from the baseline are or behind it.. An aggressive baseliner does not like coming to the net and has a big serve. Hard courts are considered the best surface for this playing style, although it can also excel on grass and clay. Examples: Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova.
  2. Serve-and-volleyer – this type of player likes to come to the net at almost every opportunity. Following the service, they rush to the net and use fine touches such as volleys or drop volleys to hit winners. When receiving the serve, they often chip the ball back and rush to the net. The serve-and-volley player benefits from fast courts like grass or hard courts. Because this playing style is harder to master and requires a lot of finesse, it is considered to be a dying play style in tennis. Examples: Michael Llodra and Carla Suarez-Navarro.
  3. Counter-puncher – also known as the retriever or defensive baseliner, this player prefers to keep the ball in play and relies on the opponent to make a mistake. A counter-puncher doesn’t go for high-risk winners, preferring to execute consistent, well-placed shots that make it difficult for the opponent to hit the ball aggressively. This playing style requires physical endurance and mental strength. This playing style usually excels on slow courts, like clay. Examples: Andy Murray and Caroline Wozniacki.
  4. All-court player – like the name implies an all-court player is comfortable with the other playing styles. Also known as all-rounders, these players incorporate the best bits and pieces of the other playing styles into their game. They can adjust more easily to different court surfaces and switch their game throughout a match. Because of this versatility, an all-court player fares well on each type of tennis court. Examples: Roger Federer and Petra Kvitova.


Some operators offer tennis live streaming through their website. Simply take a look at our guide to sports live streaming to see how to access this feature.

It’s easy to bet on tennis as you have only two opponents (4 maximum when it is a team match). You have plenty of options to bet on tennis. You can either bet on the final result (winnner/loser) or bet on different actions of the game such as the next player to score. In any case it is recommanded to look at the statistics of the players before you bet.

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