Week 10 of the Tennis season sees one of my favourite events of the season, Indian Wells. With action in the WTA commencing on Wednesday, and ATP starting Thursday, this 10/11 day tournament has a huge 96 player draw and provides high expectation trading conditions over the next fortnight.
I've written a detailed preview of contenders for Pinnacle Sports, so when this is online I will add the link here.
Week Ten Trading Overview (only matches where point by point data is available):-
The table above illustrates the percentage of situations that 'trained' in these events in 2014.
As I mentioned in the previous previews, I've had some questions about trains on Twitter so I'll clarify this a little better - a train would be a situation where there is no upward price swing from a given position. Therefore in these instances, a set one winner train in set two would indicate that they took a set and break lead in set two and retained this lead without being broken back. A non-train would include the player that lost the first set breaking first in set two, or recovering a set and break deficit, or even recovering one break when a set and double break down.
Likewise, a set three train in this instance would be a player that has broken first and retains this lead throughout the deciding set.
We can see above that the train percentages for both the ATP and WTA events are very low, particularly in the ATP where the data shows a train percentage of around 8% below mean in the second set. On this basis, looking at laying players at low prices who are a set up, and a set and break up, would appear to be an excellent trading avenue.
Court speed is slow, with the three year ATP average at Indian Wells having 77.3% of service holds, 2.6% down on the ATP hard court average. The effect of this is that there are likely to be more breaks of serve than average and many in-set swings. With conditions so slow, I'm also interested in seeing how some clay courters fare at big prices in the opening few days against hard court journeymen.
Traders that like low-priced lay opportunities may be interested that in the 73 ATP matches that I could get point by point data from, 11 players lost a set and break lead to go back on serve in set 2. Of these, 5 still won set 2, 4 won set 3 and 2 lost the match. The two players that both lost from a set and break up, Jiri Vesely and Lukas Rosol, both did so at the hands of one man - Andy Murray.
WTA players relinquished a set and break lead even more frequently, doing so 18 times in total from the 70 matches I could get point by point data from. Champion Flavia Pennetta did so twice. Nine of these set and break leaders won the second set eventually, with 5 winning the third set and four losing the decider.
Conditions combine to give a potentially superb trading tournament in California, and laying players at very low prices when a set and break up, particularly those who are red in the daily ATP/WTA spreadsheets, looks like a superb proposition in the next 10-11 days.
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