June 2013 Archive

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013.

Apologies, but just a quick update today with just the pre-match tips.  Traders can infer that the players I recommend in these tips are the ones I'm 'on' during play.  I'm really up against it for time as I still haven't got ready for holiday and I leave first thing tomorrow morning!  Got to start packing in the 2 hours before the start of play today...

The website will be back to normal on Friday next week!

Tuesday's Pre-Match Tips:-

ATP Wimbledon:-

1.25pts Thiemo De Bakker to beat James Blake at 2.30 Marathon Bet

2pts Denis Kudla to beat James Duckworth at 1.45 5 Dimes

0.5pts Blaz Kavcic +2.5 sets to beat Jan-Lennard Struff at 1.47 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Ivan Dodig +1.5 sets to beat Philipp Kohlschreiber at 2.08 SBOBET

1.25pts Jimmy Wang to beat Wayne Odesnik at 1.62 Stan James

0.75pts Dmitry Tursunov +2.5 sets to beat Tommy Haas at 2.25 Paddy Power

0.75pts Denis Istomin to beat Andreas Seppi at 2.88 Stan James

1pt Michael Llodra to beat Jarkko Nieminen at 1.62 Paddy Power

0.5pts Andreas Haider-Maurer to beat Go Soeda at 3.10 Marathon Bet

1pt Teymuraz Gabashvili to beat Roberto Bautista-Agut at 2.40 Marathon Bet

0.5pts Simone Bolelli +2.5 sets to beat Grigor Dimitrov at 3.60 Paddy Power

1pt Alex Kuznetsov to beat Igor Sijsling at 4.80 Marathon Bet

2pts Daniel Brands to beat Daniel Gimeno-Traver at 1.23 Various Bookmakers

3pts Steve Johnson to beat Bobby Reynolds at 1.64 Marathon Bet

0.75pts Ricardas Berankis to beat Paul-Henri Mathieu at 1.74 Pinnacle Sports

1.25pts Feliciano Lopez to beat Gilles Simon at 1.73 Marathon Bet

0.75pts Martin Klizan +2.5 sets to beat Tomas Berdych at 2.88 Pinnacle Sports

WTA Wimbledon:-

0.5pts Anna Schmiedlova +6.5 games to beat Sam Stosur at 1.78 Pinnacle Sports

0.5pts Michaella Krajicek +6.5 games to beat Li Na at 1.75 Interwetten

0.5pts Mallory Burdette to beat Urszula Radwanska at 3.75 Marathon Bet

2.5pts Julia Goerges to beat Mariana Duque Marino at 1.44 Various Bookmakers

0.5pts Bethanie Mattek-Sands to beat Angelique Kerber at 3.01 Pinnacle Sports

2.5pts Irina Begu to beat Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor at 1.44 Ladbrokes

1pt Alison Riske to beat Romina Oprandi at 1.44 StanJames

0.5pts Nina Bratchikova to beat Annika Beck at 4.80 BetVictor

0.75pts Nina Bratchikova +1.5 sets to beat Annika Beck at 2.30 Paddy Power

1.25pts Tsvetana Pironkova to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova at 1.81 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Anna Tatishvili to beat Petra Martic at 3.60 SportingBet

1.25pts Anna Tatishvili +1.5 sets to beat Petra Martic at 1.93 SportingBet

1pt Klara Zakopalova to beat Daniela Hantuchova at 3.10 Various Bookmakers

1.25pts Klara Zakopalova +1.5 sets to beat Daniela Hantuchova at 1.73 Various Bookmakers

0.5pts Francesca Schiavone to beat Sabine Lisicki at 3.35 Marathon Bet

0.75pts Andrea Hlavackova +5.5 games to beat Elena Vesnina at 1.80 Bet365

BET OF THE DAY: Steve Johnson to beat Bobby Reynolds

TENNISRATINGS MULTIPLE: Denis Kudla, Steve Johnson, Julia Goerges and Irina Begu 4 fold

Monday, June 24th, 2013.

We are here!  Wimbledon starts in just under 2 hours and there's 64 matches to get our teeth into today.   It's taken me most of Friday and Sunday to prepare for the first round matches, the first week of Grand Slams are true killers!  If you haven't seen it yet, you may be interested in reading the tournament preview which I posted yesterday.

Monday's Pre-Match Tips:-

WTA Wimbledon:-

0.25pts Virginie Razzano +1.5 sets to beat Ana Ivanovic at 3.00 BoyleSports

1pt Eugenie Bouchard to beat Galina Voskoboeva at 2.11 Pinnacle Sports

0.75pts Karin Knapp to beat Lucie Hradecka at 2.48 Marathon Bet

1pt Lauren Davis +6 games to beat Lucie Safarova at 1.75 Pinnacle Sports

0.5pts Misaki Doi to beat Silvia Soler-Espinosa at 1.64 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Stefanie Voegele to beat Sorana Cirstea at 2.80 Various Bookmakers

1pt Stefanie Voegele +1.5 sets to beat Sorana Cirstea at 1.69 Pinnacle Sports

2.5pts Mirjana Lucic-Baroni to beat Sofia Arvidsson at 1.50 Ladbrokes

1pt Melanie Oudin to beat Michelle Larcher de Brito at 1.87 Marathon Bet

0.75pts Donna Vekic to beat Petra Cetkovska at 1.77 Pinnacle Sports

0.5pts Alexa Glatch +6 games to beat Christina McHale at 1.64 Pinnacle Sports

1.25pts Sloane Stephens to beat Jamie Hampton at 2.34 Pinnacle Sports

0.5pts Alla Tomljanovic to beat Bojana Jovanovski at 2.21 Pinnacle Sports

ATP Wimbledon:-

2.5pts Lukas Rosol to beat Julian Reister at 1.51 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Marc Gicquel to beat Vasek Pospisil at 2.34 Marathon Bet

0.5pts Marcos Baghdatis to beat Marin Cilic at 5.70 Marathon Bet

1.25pts Marcos Baghdatis +2.5 sets to beat Marin Cilic at 1.80 PaddyPower

2pts Guillaume Rufin to beat Marinko Matosevic at 2.25 Marathon Bet

2.5pts Adrian Mannarino to beat Pablo Andujar at 1.30 Various Bookmakers

1.25pts Lukas Lacko to beat Rajeev Ram at 2.20 BoyleSports/StanJames

1pt Xavier Malisse to beat Fernando Verdasco at 1.92 Marathon Bet

0.5pts Tobias Kamke +2.5 sets to beat Julien Benneteau at 1.54 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Edouard Roger-Vasselin +2.5 sets to beat Ernests Gulbis at 1.63 Pinnacle Sports

BET OF THE DAY:- Mannarino to beat Andujar

TENNISRATINGS MULTIPLE: Lucic, Rosol, Mannarino treble

Monday Match Previews:-

As I mentioned earlier, there are 64 matches today and the same tomorrow so the workload is high for traders!  It's physically impossible to preview every match so I had a choice between focusing on the matches which I feel have the biggest edge for us or the streamed matches with better liquidity.  It's a tough choice as liquidity will probably be very stretched, at least in the opening 2 days.  As there are a reasonable proportion of matches available to watch live I've gone with a combination of the two - live matches with the biggest edges.

Today's play starts at 11:30am UK time, and the two early live matches in the men's draw don't particularly stand out to me from a value perspective.  However Fabio Fognini's match against Jurgen Melzer features two low projected holds so opposing the player that leads could be a viable trading proposition.

Marin Cilic cannot be considered any value at 1.2 against Marcos Baghdatis, in my opinion.  The Cypriot veteran may not be in the best shape of his career, but as Andy Murray found out last year, Baghdatis can play on grass and his stats are actually better than the Croatian on the surface.  Cilic's stats are decent at best and his 28-13 win/loss record definitely flatters him, on that basis.  Many worried about Baghdatis after his loss to Berlocq last week but it was his birthday, and therefore I'm not sure he put 100% effort in.  He tested the in-form Ernests Gulbis the week before.  Baghdatis needs to start well to have a chance and therefore I will be laying Cilic from the start.  

The prices appear fair at around 1.4 on John Isner for his match against Evgeny Donskoy, who actually beat the American last week.  However we can gain an edge because both player's projected holds (as you might expect) are both over the 90% mark.  Not only that, both players' projected break point save percentages are high (this isn't necessarily the case with big servers) so an angle that I'm looking at for this match is to back the server when they are losing in their service game.  Some points are better than others for this, though, and the TennisRatings Trading Handbook discusses this strategy in depth.

Marinko Matosevic has a mediocre grass court record and very poor Grand Slam record and whilst his opponent,Guillaume Rufin, is nothing special, he does have a reasonable grass court record and took a set off Andreas Seppi at Eastbourne last week.  Therefore I really like the 2.25 about the Frenchman, and with Matosevic having a low projected hold, I will be looking at laying the Australian when leading by a break in this.

Xavier Malisse, as most are aware, loves playing on grass and will be looking to perform well in what could well be his last Wimbledon.  Today he faces Fernando Verdasco and I think the price a shade under evens is decent value on the Belgian, although I am concerned about potential fatigue if the match turns out to be a long one.  Both projected holds are a touch below ATP average so I will be laying Verdasco in the first few sets if he leads by a break.

Julien Benneteau is a little short for me at 1.32 against Tobias Kamke so with projected holds again a little on the low side, laying the Frenchman when a break up is a low risk proposition.  

That's also something I want to do on Victor Troicki in the all-Serbian clash against Janko Tipsarevic but I want Troicki's price to shorten considerably first.  His projected hold is low and whilst this match could be a potentially long one, I would be very surprised if Tipsarevic didn't come through in the end.

James Ward will enjoy the support from the home crowd but I do worry about his ability to finish off matches.  That stopped me recommending him as a pre-match play but I do think he is good value for trading purposes.  Today's opponentYen-Hsun Lu is very short, in my opinion, at 1.45 and I'm tempted to do a long-term lay from the start, even though that's a little too big for me to do that generally.  I'll lay Lu when leading, for sure.

They're the live men's matches that I feel we can definitely get a decent edge on - I think today is definitely a day where quality beats quantity!

Over in the women's competition, I feel Ana Ivanovic is very short at 1.17 but will probably get the win over Virginie Razzano.  The Serb tends to be very over-rated away from clay and is a player worth opposing in future rounds.

Sara Errani doesn't have a great record on grass but is 1.17 against Monica Puig, who has never played a WTA match on the surface.  I've not seen much from Puig in her 5 hard court matches in the last year to suggest she can compete at a high level away from clay but Errani does seem a little short.  I'll probably leave it alone but again, no value on the short priced favourite.

Lucie Safarova had a good run last week to the semi-finals but has a generally mediocre career record on grass.  She may also still be having nightmares after throwing away another dominant position over Jamie Hampton.  Today she faces Hampton's countrywoman, Lauren Davis, and I make this much closer than the odds suggest.  Laying Safarova at 1.20 with a view to getting bigger in play definitely appeals, as does opposing her when leading by a break.

I think Misaki Doi is a little value against the Spaniard, Silvia Soler-Espinosa, who has a very poor grass record and a very low projected hold.  I'll definitely oppose Soler-Espinosa's serve when possible.

Stefanie Voegele seems a nice price against Sorana Cirstea, who is often over-rated by the market.  Cirstea starts at about 1.54 and I make this much closer to evens.  Projected holds are both high though so our in-play options are limited.  As Voegele has a poor projected break point percentage, we can't even look at backing her when losing her service games.  Perhaps this is just best as a pre-match bet on Voegele.

Kirsten Flipkens may be a touch of value at 1.42 against Yulia Putintseva and when taking into account Putintseva's low projected hold, it may be worth opposing the Kazakh when a break up in this.  As I've mentioned before, Flipkens is immense when a set down so that's another worthwhile entry point.

Finally I'm looking at Jamie Hampton to provide a letdown from her final in Eastbourne last week.  She was destroyed by Elena Vesnina in the final on Saturday and may be a little tired.  Her opponent, Sloane Stephens, has only played 3 grass matches but if you take her hard court stats into account she's definitely some value at around 2.3.  

That's it for today - about 10 minutes until we start so let's hope for a profitable first day at Wimbledon.  More tomorrow!

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013.

Wimbledon is just around the corner!  Arguably the biggest Grand Slam tournament of them all starts tomorrow!

Unfortunately I will be in Cuba for over half of it, and I'm hoping there will be some form of TV coverage of it so at least I can watch some matches.  I'm not sure there will be though so I may well have a lot of catching up to do when I get back.  As I mentioned above, if you do want a trading handbook ready for Wimbledon you will need to order it by Tuesday evening UK time before I go away.

Wimbledon has quite a few prevalent stats that mean that it is, in my opinion, slightly easier to profit from it than other Grand Slam tournaments. 

Firstly, favourites, especially in the men's tournament, have an excellent record.  Over the last four years 77% of favourites have won their matches which is the highest of any Grand Slam (Slams average 75%).  The overall favourite win percentage on grass is 70% so you can see there is a fair difference between the stats for a normal tournament and Wimbledon.  In fact, Doha is the only tournament with a higher win percentage for favourites.  Therefore, unsurprisingly, backing men's underdogs, particularly those priced over 3.00 at Wimbledon, has a very poor return on investment generally, in the -20%'s over that sample.

Therefore, for pre-match betting purposes we need to be incredibly sure that a player priced over 3.00 is definite value before we back them.  For trading purposes it's also worthwhile bearing this in mind, as we could reasonably expect there to be more comebacks from favourites than usual.  

Last year, service holds were pretty much level with ATP mean (83.0% to 82.7%) and WTA mean (69.4% to 69.6%).  Therefore we can treat each match on it's own merits as regards to trading service games, and not worry about undue court speed.  It's worth noting however, that matches with the roof closed should favour the server slightly more as conditions will be quicker, and if this does happen it's always worth checking out a player's indoor record.   These conditions particularly favour Roger Federer and is, in my opinion, the only way the defending champion will be able to beat an elite player.

Federer defeated Andy Murray in last years final but I feel that win had a lot to do with the roof closing.  At the Olympics on grass, Murray gained revenge with a facile straight sets victory, only dropping 7 games in the process.  Further complicating the issue for Federer is the fact he has unluckily drawn Rafael Nadal in a potential quarter final.  

Actually the elite players (Djokovic, Murray, Federer and Nadal) have very similar grass court records.  Federer has the best record (especially for holding serve) but has declined a little in the last 12 months and definitely isn't as his peak.  When you adjust for improvement/decline over the last year, Novak Djokovic leads the stats but it's incredibly close - Federer is right on his heels and Nadal is close behind in third.  Murray is 4th but is only 2.6% behind Djokovic's combined serve/break stats score.  On that basis it's incredibly difficult to justify the slightly odds-against price for winning the tournament on the Serb, so the value definitely lies elsewhere.

In my opinion this is definite potential to be one of the most open men's tournaments of recent years.

That's not something that can be said for the women's tournament, where Serena Williams is justifiably the player to beat.  Currently she is a best price 1.47 to win the tournament and it would be a brave gambler to say that was no value.  She's won 3 of the last 4 tournaments here, losing to Marion Bartoli in 2011.  

With Maria Sharapova not even close to Williams' level when they play against each other, Agnieszka Radwanska a further level behind, and Petra Kvitova (the 2011 champion) not in the best form, it may be down to Victoria Azarenka to at least put some challenge in to probably the best women's player of all time.  I'm not sure she can, but the tournament will be better if she does.

Please check back tomorrow morning for my thoughts on some of Monday's 64 (!) matches.  With there being so many matches tomorrow (and on Tuesday) you will never get better value for a 1 Day (£5) TennisRatings Daily Spreadsheet.  If you are interested, or for more information, please visit the The TennisRatings Daily Spreadsheet link.

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013.

I've got my parents up from Kent so I won't be trading today - a family day!  Because of that just a quick website update.

I sent the spreadsheets out to subscribers last night at about 10pm UK time and at that point there was value on:-





Vesnina and Simon are the two players with significantly (3.5% below WTA mean and 7.3% below ATP mean) low projected holds, with only Hampton and Wawrinka having significantly above average projected holds.

I'll update tomorrow with a detailed statistical Wimbledon preview.  

Friday, June 21st, 2013.

Pre-Match Tips:-

WTA Eastbourne:-

1.25pts Jamie Hampton to beat Caroline Wozniacki at 2.56 Marathon Bet

1.5pts Yanina Wickmayer to beat Elena Vesnina at 2.42 Marathon Bet

WTA Hertogenbosch:-

1.25pts Simona Halep to beat Carla Suarez Navarro at 1.58 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Garbine Muguruza +1.5 sets to beat Kirsten Flipkens at 1.62 Paddy Power

ATP Eastbourne:-

1pt Ivan Dodig to beat Feliciano Lopez at 2.35 5 Dimes

1pt Andreas Seppi to beat Gilles Simon at 2.20 Various Bookmakers

ATP Hertogenbosch:-

1pt Guillermo Garcia-Lopez +1.5 sets to beat Stan Wawrinka at 2.05 BoyleSports

BET OF THE DAY:- Wickmayer to beat Vesnina

TENNISRATINGS MULTIPLE:- Wickmayer/Halep double

Friday Match Previews:-

Just the 8 matches today as we reach the semi-final stage in our four tournaments.  There's value in most of the matches and it's interesting to see, having sent out the betting/trading spreadsheets last night, that almost all the matches that I highlighted as value, have fallen in price between 9pm last night and 7:45am this morning.  So clearly the market agreed!

In the majority of today's matches, projected holds are close and around average.  This gives us less opportunity to work from a trading perspective, although if a player starts as clearly no value and has an average projected hold there will be opportunities to lay in-play still.

That's the situation with the two women's favourites in Eastbourne today.  

Both Caroline Wozniacki and Elena Vesnina are favourites but my model has made my projected holds very close and around average so there's clearly some value on Jamie Hampton and Yanina Wickmayer, at 2.56 and 2.42 respectively. I particularly like the approach of laying Vesnina in play at some point - she has the lower projected hold of the two favourites, so if she leads by a break I will try and oppose her.  You can take the same approach with Wozniacki but in my opinion the play has a higher expected value on Vesnina.

Over in Hertogenbosch, I was surprised to see Simona Halep at 1.64 last night and she's gone in to 1.58 this morning.  I make that value still against Carla Suarez Navarro, who cost us our bet of the day yesterday, coming back from 2-0 down in the final set to beat Tsvetana Pironkova, although the match was still good for trading purposes.  Suarez Navarro is one of only a few players today with low projected holds so I will be opposing her serve whenever realistically possible today.

In the final ladies match today, I believe Kirsten Flipkens warrants her status as favourite against Garbine Muguruza but is too short at around 1.6x.  The young Spaniard hasn't had much grass experience but has impressed this week.  If you factor in her hard court record into the equation it's not that much of a surprise and my stats make her value today.  Just be aware of Flipkens' incredible record when a set down in the last year.  

In the men's tournament in Eastbourne, I made the match between Ivan Dodig and Feliciano Lopez a coinflip so it's no surprise to see the Croatian shorten overnight.  He actually very slightly shades the projected holds, which are a touch above average.  It's tough to recommend much of a trading play here although opposing Lopez when leading probably has slightly positive expected value.

In the other men's semi final on the south coast, I actually made Andreas Seppi, with his excellent record here, favourite against Gilles Simon.  Both projected holds are low but the Italian marginally edges matters.  Seppi's price has gone in overnight, which is no surprise against Simon, who often drifts against top 30-35 opponents pre-match.  My free preview chapter for my Trading Handbook mentions that.  As usual in Simon matches when he is no value, I will be looking to oppose his serve whenever possible and especially when leading.

In the other semi finals in Hertogenbosch, Stan Wawrinka appears short at 1.3 against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.  Wawrinka destroyed GGL 6-1, 6-2 on clay in Casablanca in April but their grass records are much closer than their clay ones are, so I make the Spaniard a bit of value here.  You can lay Stan from the start or look to oppose him when leading in-play.  Just make sure, in this situation, if Garcia-Lopez breaks back, get out of the trade with your profit.  His projected hold is low as well.

Finally we have a clash between two grass court loving veterans in Xavier Malisse and Nicolas Mahut.  Malisse edges the projected holds slightly but it's close and if anything there's value on Mahut, although not enough to warrant a pre-match tip.  This matchup is pretty much 'average' for everything so it's hard to recommend a in-play position to take.  I'll probably leave this match alone.

As always, good luck in your bets and trades and there will be more tomorrow.

Thursday, June 20th, 2013.

Pre-Match Tips:-

WTA Eastbourne:-

3pts Jamie Hampton to beat Lucie Safarova at 1.85 Unibet

0.75pts Yanina Wickmayer +1.5 sets to beat Maria Kirilenko at 1.95 Pinnacle Sports

WTA Hertogenbosch:-

3pts Tsvetana Pironkova to beat Carla Suarez Navarro at 2.18 Pinnacle Sports

1.25pts Garbine Muguruza to beat Dominika Cibulkova at 2.46 Marathon Bet

1.25pts Lesia Tsurenko to beat Simona Halep at 4.14 Pinnacle Sports

1.25pts Lesia Tsurenko +1.5 sets to beat Simona Halep at 2.15 Pinnacle Sports

ATP Eastbourne:-

1pt Bernard Tomic to beat Gilles Simon at 1.83 5 Dimes

ATP Hertogenbosch:-

1pt Jeremy Chardy to beat Stan Wawrinka at 3.05 Marathon Bet

1.5pts Jeremy Chardy +1.5 sets to beat Stan Wawrinka at 1.73 BoyleSports

0.75pts Evgeny Donskoy +1.5 sets to beat Nicolas Mahut at 1.83 BoyleSports

0.5pts Roberto Bautista-Agut to beat Xavier Malisse at 4.05 5 Dimes

1pt Roberto Bautista-Agut +1.5 sets to beat Xavier Malisse at 2.15 BoyleSports

BET OF THE DAY: Tsvetana Pironkova

TENNISRATINGS MULTIPLE: Hampton/Pironkova double

Thursday Previews:-

We are at the quarter final stages of our tournaments today and with all players having had at least several grass matches to acclimatise before Wimbledon it's questionable whether some players will be trying their heart out in the latter stages.  This particularly will be applicable to the higher ranked players who will have aspirations of getting to the latter stages (Quarter Finals) of Wimbledon - Li Na and Stan Wawrinka are two that I can think of in that regard.  Certainly Wawrinka can be opposed today.

There seems to be some flaws in the market today and we should be able to put ourselves in a decent position to exploit those.

In the ladies tournament in Eastbourne, I feel Jamie Hampton is way too big at 1.85 against Lucie Safarova today.  Safarova, despite two wins this week, still has a losing 9-11 career record on grass holding 72.3% of the time (which is decent) and breaking 21.8% of the time (which is definitely not).  Hampton only has 6 career matches on the surface (4-2) but her stats make much better reading and, with her coming on leaps and bounds this year, she is definitely the value here.  Safarova has cost us this week and I'm going to oppose her in a big way today, with a low projected hold I will be opposing her serve whenever realistically possible.

The other ladies match in the South Coast that interests me is the clash between Maria Kirilenko and Yanina Wickmayer.  Kirilenko has vastly improved this season, judging from both her rise up the rankings and also from her stats, but Wickmayer has the better grass court record (26-13 to 20-17) with good stats and on that basis I feel Kirilenko is short at 1.36.  Furthermore, Wickmayer should be full of confidence after defeating the excellent grass courter Petra Kvitova and can cause a surprise here.  Kirilenko does have a high projected hold, however, so this would limit our in-play options a little.  Perhaps, with Wickmayer having a high projected break point save percentage, and the value being on her, a viable play would be to back her when facing break points.

Over in the Netherlands at Hertogenbosch, I'm very surprised to see Tsvetana Pironkova, with her excellent grass court record, as underdog against the predominant clay courter, Carla Suarez Navarro.  Navarro, until this week, had a poor 3-5 record on grass, so clearly is no fan of the surface, which is definitely not an accusation you can level at Pironkova, who thrives on it.  My model makes Pironkova a strong favourite, and gives Suarez Navarro a low projected hold percentage.  Therefore I will be opposing the Spaniard's serve on as many occasions as I can.

The match between Garbine Muguruza and Dominika Cibulkova is one that could contain a fair few breaks, with both ladies having low projected holds.  Cibulkova has struggled so far to get here this week, facing two Spanish clay courters in Lourdes Dominguez Lino and Anabel Medina Garrigues and coming back from deficits against those two, who are mediocre at best on grass.  Cibulkova has, at first glance, a decent grass court 16-9 record.  However when I looked into this closer, I feel those stats severely flatter her.  She has held 65.7% of the time and broken 36% - so this should give her just a marginally successful record on the surface, definitely not as high as a 64% winrate.

Muguruza has little grass experience but huge potential, and a decent hard/indoor record.  This match, in my opinion, should be much closer to evens and I will be looking to oppose Cibulkova's serve whenever possible.

Simona Halep has been in great form in the last couple of months but has played a lot of tennis (now 8 matches in 9 days) and with her having an ankle niggle, I can't resist opposing her at 1.30 against Lesia Tsurenko today.  Projected holds are both around the WTA mean and I feel the market has over-reacted on Halep's recent form here.  I'll lay from the start.

Finally in Holland, I make Urszula Radwanska slight value at 2.5 against Kirsten Flipkens.  Projected holds make this pretty much a coinflip and with Flipkens tending to struggle in the first set of matches before stepping up when a set down, I like opposing her serve in the first set.

Looking at the men's the prices appear to be pretty fair in most of the matches in Eastbourne apart from a little value onBernard Tomic against Gilles Simon.  Tomic is available at 1.83 when I make him a touch shorter - both projected holds are low (typical of a Simon match) and as most of the time, I'm looking to oppose Simon when a break up.

The matches between Ivan Dodig and Fabio Fognini, and Andreas Seppi and Radek Stepanek appear fairly accurately priced but have low projected holds.  A viable course of action would at least be to oppose the player leading in this.  

The first match in Hertogenbosch between Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Jan Hernych appears to have very slight value on the Czech at around 2.4, but projected holds are both very low for grass.  I'd expect more breaks than average here and opposing Garcia-Lopez's serve selectively, especially when leading, should yield dividends.

The remaining three quarter finals all feature favourites that I consider are too short.  

Stan Wawrinka has a poor grass court record in his career and has stumbled past weak opponents this week.  I feel he is very short at 1.5 against Jeremy Chardy, who has a decent record against top players and can cause a shock here.  Both projected holds are close and slightly above the ATP mean.

Nicolas Mahut enjoys the grass court season but is in decline and with Evgeny Donskoy impressing this week, winning twice as an underdog, and with his game seemingly suiting the surface despite his inexperience on it (2 career matches) I feel the Frenchman is short at 1.45 in a match where projected holds are both high.  You could look to back both players when losing in their service games (the TennisRatings Trading Handbook illustrates the best situations for this approach) due to this and also because their projected break point save percentages are high.

Xavier Malisse is another grass lover and has performed a dramatic u-turn from calls for his retirement a month or so ago to some good wins in the last fortnight.  Today he is 1.3 against Roberto Bautista-Agut, who has only played twice on the surface.  However if the Spaniard can translate his indoor/hard stats to grass, then he will represent value here and put pressure on the Malisse serve.  With both projected holds low, I will be opposing the Malisse serve whenever I feel the risk/reward ratio represents value.

As always, good luck in your bets and trades and there will be more tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013.

Pre-Match Tips:-

WTA Eastbourne:-

2.5pts Sam Stosur to beat Lucie Safarova at 1.62 Stan James

2.5pts Caroline Wozniacki to beat Laura Robson at 1.90 Stan James/Bet365

2pts Heather Watson to beat Elena Vesnina at 2.48 Marathon Bet

WTA Hertogenbosch:-

1pt Roberta Vinci to beat Simona Halep at 1.40 Coral

ATP Eastbourne:-

1pt Ivan Dodig +1.5 sets to beat Milos Raonic at 1.69 Pinnacle Sports

2pts Martin Klizan to beat Fabio Fognini at 2.03 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Juan Monaco +1.5 sets to beat Feliciano Lopez at 1.91 BoyleSports

2pts Bernard Tomic to beat Julien Benneteau at 2.34 Marathon Bet

ATP Hertogenbosch:-

2pts Evgeny Donksoy to beat Robin Haase at 2.63 Stan James

4pts Michael Llodra to beat Jan Hernych at 1.36 Stan James

0.5pts Andrey Kuznetsov to beat Nicolas Mahut at 3.25 Marathon Bet

0.5pts Andrey Kuznetsov +1.5 sets to beat Nicolas Mahut at 1.81 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Roberto Bautista-Agut to beat Carlos Berlocq at 2.34 Marathon Bet

0.75pts Yen-Hsun Lu +1.5 sets to beat Xavier Malisse at 1.80 BoyleSports

0.5pts Paolo Lorenzi +1.5 sets to beat Stan Wawrinka at 2.75 BoyleSports

1pt Daniel Brands to beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez at 1.83 SportingBet

BET OF THE DAY: Michael Llodra

TENNISRATINGS MULTIPLE:  Llodra, Stosur, Wozniacki treble.

Wednesday Previews:-

It's hard work for traders in the early parts of the week and there's another 29 matches to whet our appetite further today.  With it being the second round of our tournaments, thankfully many players with sample size issues have dropped out -  although I don't have a problem with that it makes it a lot easier for me to price up players with bigger samples.  Of course, that makes it easier for the market/bookmakers to do so as well, but they've still left plenty of value for us to take today.

There are three women's matches in Eastbourne today that interest me.

The first is Sam Stosur's clash with Lucie Safarova.  I opposed both players yesterday but Stosur was impressive in her victory over the favoured Nadia Petrova.  She starts this at around 1.6 and for me that's huge value based on the stats.  With Safarova having a slightly below average projected hold I will be opposing her when odds on and leading.

Laura Robson has a very mediocre career record on grass (5-11) so with Caroline Wozniacki better at 20-9, it's very nice to see the former number one priced just short of even money.  Of course, Robson can improve with age but her improvement this year and the decline of Wozniacki is priced in to my model price of 1.57. Looking at the bare career grass stats I think Wozniacki should be about the 1.25 region.  

Furthermore, considering that they were priced similarly on clay recently in the French Open (which Wozniacki won comfortably), which brings the two player's levels closer together, this appears to be great value.  Wozniacki's projected hold is high and Robson's a touch below average.  I'll look to oppose Robson in-play when leading by a break.

We did well from Elena Vesnina in the first round as she defeated Ana Ivanovic but today I think she is the wrong favourite (at 1.68) against Heather Watson.  I make Watson marginal favourite for this as she edges two slightly above average projected holds.  One thing in Vesnina's favour here is the high projected break point save percentage so backing her when facing break points could be an avenue to explore.

Just a couple of matches that interest me in the women's tournament in Hertogenbosch today.

If there's any value on the match between Garbine Muguruza and Lauren Davis it's definitely on the American at 2.75 as I make her a touch shorter than this.  The match interests me particularly because both players have low projected holds thus meaning we could expect to see more swings than average.  I think laying Muguruza when leading is a play with a high expected value and we could also consider a smaller stake on Davis if she is leading and trading much shorter.

Simona Halep cost me in-play recently when she defeated Roberta Vinci on clay in Rome.  However I'm backing the Italian to get revenge today as, despite her being happy on clay, her grass record is somewhat better than Halep's, who has only played 6 matches on the surface (2-4) in her career.  Vinci starts around the 1.4 mark and even at a low price, I feel that is some value.  Halep has a low projected hold so I will be looking to oppose her serve whenever reasonable.

The men's tournament in Hertogenbosch is definitely a lower calibre event than Eastbourne, but we can still derive plenty of value from the lower echelons of the rankings.  

Evgeny Donskoy shocked John Isner in the last round and I'm very surprised to see him at such a big price against Robin Haase today.  The Russian can be backed at 2.63 and considering I made him marginal favourite, that's huge.  Whilst Donskoy has little grass experience, assuming he translates his average hard/indoor form to the surface then he should be a reasonable grass court player, and the Dutchman, with a 6-13 career record on the surface, clearly is not.  Haase has only broken 13.7% of the time in those 19 matches and with Donskoy having a fairly decent serve it's tough to see how he will break much here.  That means tiebreaks are likely...

Michael Llodra had possibly the easiest win of his career yesterday when he benefited from his hated rival Benoit Paire's retirement at 3-0 in the first set.  Today he is 1.36 against the veteran journeyman, Jan Hernych, who came from a break down in the final set to get past our tip, David Goffin, in the third set tiebreak.  That should ensure Llodra is the fresher player and with his excellent grass court record, we can expect him to record a fairly straightforward victory.  Hernych's projected hold is low but we must guard against backing Llodra when losing as his record for coming back is one of the worst on the ATP tour.

Daniel Brands looks value at 1.83 for his match with Guillermo Garcia-Lopez today.  I make him a little shorter and with the Spaniard having a low projected hold for this, I will be looking to oppose Garcia-Lopez when leading by a break here.

Carlos Berlocq has a horrific 4-10 record on grass and I feel the market has been way too influenced by his win over the potentially disinterested Marcos Baghdatis in the first round.  His opponent Roberto Bautista-Agut has only played one career match on grass on the main tour but is a competent player on hard/indoor and can be backed at 2.34 today.  Both player's projected holds are low, so breaks are likely.  I'm looking to oppose Berlocq when leading by a break in this.

Xavier Malisse loves grass but his opponent, Yen-Hsun Lu, isn't averse to the surface either and is a big price at 3.4 to take this.  I make Malisse favourite but the 1.4 on him is fairly short, in my opinion.  I'm looking to lay Malisse when leading in this.  

Over in Eastbourne, I'm interested to see how Milos Raonic comes back from his shocking display last week in Halle against Gael Monfils.  Today he faces the under-rated Ivan Dodig, who will take advantage should Raonic put in another below-par performance.  Projected holds are unsurprisingly high but much closer than the odds suggest.  Dodig could cause a shock here priced at 2.95.

Martin Klizan had an excellent win for us yesterday against Victor Troicki and can follow up today with another againstFabio Fognini, who has a very poor record on grass.  In fact, looking at his stats, the 8-9 win record he 'boasts' on the surface flatters him because he has only held 70.9% and broken 22.5% of the time.  Those stats would probably put him out of the top 100 on grass and I feel the price of just over evens on Klizan is great value today, in a clash of two players with low projected holds.  I will be looking to oppose Fognini's serve on various occasions today.

Feliciano Lopez had a strong serving performance yesterday against Jarkko Nieminen but although today's opponentJuan Monaco is not a fan of grass, I feel Lopez is too short at 1.38.  He is rightful favourite but not at this price.  He has a slightly above average projected hold so it's tough to recommend an in-play move, laying from the start has potential but it's a bit too chunky a price for my liking.  I guess that's the best option though.

Finally, I feel the market has the prices for the match between Julien Benneteau and Bernard Tomic the wrong way around.  Benneteau is definitely in slight decline, and if Tomic's head is right, he is great value at 2.34 to record an underdog win.  He edges two projected holds around the ATP mean, and I will be looking to oppose the Frenchman when a break up in this.  He tends to let leads slip fairly often.  

As always, I hope you enjoyed reading and good luck with your bets and trades today.  More tomorrow!

I've just updated the pre-match tips profit and loss (including Monday's Matches):-

Day's Profit:- +4.86pts

Tips Profit:- +34.72pts

Tips Total Stake:- 567.50pts

ROI:- 6.12%

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013.

A good day yesterday as we managed to pick a lot of underdogs that either traded a lot shorter or won the match.  Hopefully more of the same today!

There's a lot of value on today's card, quite a few matches are priced on name/reputation and the bookmakers perhaps have over-reacted on small sample sizes as well.  Knowing how to adjust various surfaces/Challengers/Qualifiers samples to main draw and relevant surfaces is clearly something that I've got an edge on them with. 

Tuesday's Pre-Match Tips:-

WTA Eastbourne:-

2pts Klara Zakopalova to beat Lucie Safarova at 2.5 Ladbrokes/Stan James

0.5pts Johanna Konta to beat Su-Wei Hsieh at 2.35 Marathon Bet

4pts Ekaterina Makarova to beat Olga Puchkova at 1.26 Pinnacle Sports

3pts Nadia Petrova to beat Sam Stosur at 1.91 Ladbrokes

0.75pts Yulia Beygelzimer +1.5 sets to beat Laura Robson at 2.17 Pinnacle Sports

WTA Hertogenbosch:-

0.5pts Kaia Kanepi to beat Roberta Vinci at 2.53 Pinnacle Sports

0.25pts Irina Begu to beat Tsvetana Pironkova at 3.30 Marathon Bet

0.5pts Irina Begu +1.5 sets to beat Tsvetana Pironkova at 1.92 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Kirsten Flipkens to beat Francesca Schiavone at 1.75 Pinnacle Sports

1.5pts Magdalena Rybarikova to beat Urszula Radwanska at 1.90 Pinnacle Sports

ATP Eastbourne:-

0.5pts James Ward to beat Bernard Tomic at 3.15 Marathon Bet

0.75pts James Ward +1.5 sets to beat Bernard Tomic at 1.77 Pinnacle Sports

0.75pts Feliciano Lopez to beat Jarkko Nieminen at 1.65 Marathon Bet

1pt Denis Istomin to beat Ivan Dodig at 2.06 Marathon Bet

1.5pts Martin Klizan to beat Victor Troicki at 3.50 Stan James

2pts Martin Klizan +1.5 sets to beat Victor Troicki at 1.91 BoyleSports

2.5pts Radek Stepanek to beat Marinko Matosevic at 1.53 Various Bookmakers

1.5pts Julien Benneteau to beat Kevin Anderson at 2.35 Marathon Bet

ATP Hertogenbosch:-

0.75pts Rogerio Dutra Silva to beat Marius Copil at 3.50 Various Bookmakers

0.75pts Rogerio Dutra Silva +1.5 sets to beat Marius Copil at 2.09 Pinnacle Sports

0.75pts Yen-Hsun Lu +1.5 sets to beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin at 1.69 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Ricardas Berankis to beat Nicolas Mahut at 2.68 Marathon Bet

2pts Ricardas Berankis +1.5 sets to beat Nicolas Mahut at 1.60 BoyleSports

2pts David Goffin to beat Jan Hernych at 2.13 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Stanislas Wawrinka to beat Igor Sijsling at 1.50 Stan James

BET OF THE DAY: Ekaterina Makarova to beat Olga Puchkova

TENNISRATINGS MULTIPLE:  Makarova and Petrova double

There's a lot of matches today so I'll focus on the matches that mainly interest me and be pretty concise with my thoughts.

In Eastbourne today, Klara Zakopalova should be favourite against Lucie Safarova.  Her record in the last 12 months is better and so is her career grass record.  Safarova starts at 1.67 which is way too short, I'm looking to lay her when a break up in this.

Olga Puchkova has a very low projected hold for her match with Ekaterina Makarova.  Makarova starts at 1.26 and that's very generous even at a short price.  I'm looking to get on Makarova when behind - if Puchkova starts well then virtually blanket laying her serve should work well.

Nadia Petrova (as I may have mentioned several times on twitter!) is very generously priced today for the clash with Sam Stosur.  Having won Hertogenbosch last year she has points to defend this week so will be motivated and has a much better grass record.  She is currently about 1.90 which is huge value.  Assuming this doesn't shorten too much I will also be laying Stosur when leading by a break in this too.

Laura Robson has a poor grass court record but is 1.30 against the qualifier, Yulia Beygelzimer.  The Ukrainian will benefit from competitive experience on the surface this week and I make this much closer.  I'll be laying Robson from the start and when leading by a break.  If she trains to 1.01, so be it. Projected holds are both low in this.

Over in the Netherlands, in Hertogenbosch, there's less value but the match that mainly interests me is the one betweenUrszula Radwanska and Magdalena Rybarikova.  We did well from Rybarikova last week and hopefully she can follow that up for us with a win here as I make her great value today.  I'm looking to oppose Radwanska when leading by a break in-play too, as her projected hold is pretty low.

In the men's at Eastbourne, James Ward seems value against Bernard Tomic.  Tomic hasn't impressed recently and still has a mediocre grass court record.  Ward has ability on the surface and performed well at Queens last week in his defeat to Dodig where he twice served for the match.  I'm not sure Ward will eventually win this but he's definitely value for trading purposes.  I'd be surprised if Tomic didn't trade higher than the 1.42 starting price.

Feliciano Lopez has a better grass record than the declining Jarkko Nieminen and can take their clash today at 1.65.  I make that a bit of value and with Nieminen having a low projected hold I also like opposing his serve in-play on selected occasions.

I've got the prices the wrong way around for the match between Denis Istomin and Ivan Dodig as Istomin slightly edges the projected holds which are around the ATP mean.  The market has Dodig as slight favourite but I disagree.  Istomin may not have much recent form but has a better grass court record in his career.

Victor Troicki is way too short at 1.4 against Martin Klizan.  I really think Klizan can spring a surprise here and he actually has the higher of two low projected holds for this.  I'm definitely going to oppose Troicki's serve from the start and see what happens here.

Radek Stepanek may be in slight decline but I'd be stunned if he didn't get past the limited Marinko Matosevic today.  The Czech has a solid grass court record, whereas the Australian player definitely does not.  1.53 is extremely generous as I made him 1.25. Matosevic has a very low projected hold so if he leads I will lay his serve on many occasions.

Kevin Anderson should have a game which translates well to grass but his record so far is mediocre.  His general desire to improve is high so he could improve on that record, but I can only go on what I have seen so far and I make his match with Julien Benneteau very even.  Therefore I like the 2.40 on the Frenchman, who edges two average projected holds.

Over in Hertogenbosch, I think (based on a limited sample size which is adjusted based on hard courts records) Rogerio Dutra Silva is value against Marius Copil.  Definitely 1.40 on the Romanian is short and I'll be laying his serve (which is decent but many people seem to over-rate) here, at least in the opening few games.

I made Michael Llodra, in normal circumstances, 1.25 against Benoit Paire but he has a hamstring injury that forced him to withdraw last week.  Tough to advise a pre-match bet on that basis but the 1.77 SP would be huge value if he is fully fit.  With it being live streamed I will look to get a decent price on him if he looks fully fit.

Nicolas Mahut loves grass but due to several injuries hasn't played much this season and looks to be in some decline.  Ricardas Berankis is often under-rated and is again today for their match, starting at a very generous 2.7. I'm looking to lay Mahut when leading in-play.

The veteran Jan Hernych starts as 1.85 favourite against David Goffin, and whilst the talented Belgian doesn't have a good record so far in his limited amount of grass court matches, I feel he has room for improvement and even based on the stats I do have I make him slight favourite.  2.15 is good value on Goffin, therefore, and with Hernych having a low projected hold I will be laying him when a break up in this.

Finally Stan Wawrinka doesn't have a great grass court record but even so I make him value at 1.50 against Igor Sijsling.  Sijsling has a low projected hold so I will look to get bigger at some point on Stan assuming he looks interested today.

I hope you enjoyed reading and as always, good luck in your bets and trades.  More tomorrow!

Monday, June 17th, 2013.

Just the two venues this week for our four tournaments as we have action from the South Coast of the UK in Eastbourne, and in the Netherlands at Hertogenbosch.  Interestingly, both venues have below tour averages for service holds on grass so we could well see more breaks of serve than last week.  As the majority of the market is unlikely to be aware of this fact, opposing selected servers could be much more lucrative than last week - we should get the huge movements for breaks but with slightly more regularity.

We will have a new champion at ATP Eastbourne with last year's winner, Andy Roddick, having retired.  Andreas Seppi was the runner-up, and won in 2012.  He isn't in the best of form so will be looking to regain his best with points to defend.

In the women's event there, Tamira Paszek will have a lot of pressure on her this week as a defending champion in horrific form.  Even a return to her beloved grass hasn't yielded many dividends and an early exit here will see her plummet down the rankings.

In the Netherlands, at the interestingly named Topshelf Open, David Ferrer (who I felt last year was under-rated on grass) is the defending champion and he opens with a potential banana-skin against the grass-court specialist, Xavier Malisse.

Nadia Petrova is the defending champion in the women's event, but strangely has decided to play at Eastbourne this week. There's more points up for grabs there, but a much stronger field.

The markets appear to be too much in favour of those players that had a good clay court swing.  Particularly the likes of Suarez Navarro (who doesn't have a good record at all away from clay), Ivanovic and Fognini.  I do really rate Ivanovic on clay but away from it, I usually find she is over-rated.  To some extent you can include the more mediocre Gimeno-Traver and Putintseva in the player's with a decent clay season and too short on grass bracket as well.

As I mentioned last week, there's a fair few players with little grass court experience, particularly in the lower calibre women's event in Hertogenbosch.  Please be aware of those and keep stakes small accordingly.  

Monday's Pre-Match Tips:-

WTA Hertogenbosch:-

0.5pts Lauren Davis +1.5 sets to beat Andrea Hlavackova at 1.97 Pinnacle Sports

0.75pts Irena Begu to beat An-Sophie Mestach at 2.40 Various Bookmakers

1pt Stefanie Voegele to beat Yulia Putintseva at 2.16 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Ayumi Morita to beat Sofia Arvidsson at 1.63 Marathon Bet

0.75pts Johanna Larsson to beat Carla Suarez Navarro at 3.30 Marathon Bet

1.25pts Johanna Larsson +1.5 sets to beat Carla Suarez Navarro at 1.83 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Tsvetana Pironkova to beat Kristina Mladenovic at 2.20 Marathon Bet

5pts Magdalena Rybarikova to beat Arantxa Rus at 1.22 Various Bookmakers

WTA Eastbourne:-

0.75pts Elena Vesnina +5.5 games to beat Ana Ivanovic at 1.72 Bet365

0.5pts Bojana Jovanovski +1.5 sets to beat Maria Kirilenko at 2.22 Pinnacle Sports

ATP Eastbourne:-

1pt Grega Zemlja to beat Fabio Fognini at 2.26 Marathon Bet

2pts Ryan Harrison to beat Paul-Henri Mathieu at 1.76 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Fernando Verdasco to beat Alexandr Dolgopolov at 2.30 Marathon Bet

ATP Hertogenbosch:-

2.5pts Andrey Kuznetsov to beat Daniel Gimeno-Traver at 1.40 Various Bookmakers

BET OF THE DAY:- Magdalena Rybarikova to beat Arantxa Rus

TENNISRATINGS MULTIPLE:- A double on Rybarikova and Kuznetsov.  For bigger odds you could include Harrison in a treble.

I've got quite a few non-Tennis things on this morning so I don't have much time to write match previews today.  Apologies for that and normal service will be resumed tomorrow...

Sunday, June 16th, 2013.

I'm having a well earned day off today!  

Check back on Monday for previews for next week's tournaments in Eastbourne and Hertogenbosch.

Saturday, June 15th, 2013.

What a difference a day makes!  The pre-match tips were in great form yesterday with just the small handicap bet on Kudla and Schiavone (who threw away a set lead and a **3-0 lead in the final set tiebreak) losing.  There's not much on the horizon today with only 7 matches scheduled and no prices that look ridiculously wrong.  Therefore there's only a couple of small selections today.

Saturday's Pre-Match Tips:-

WTA Birmingha

0.5pts Magdalena Rybarikova to beat Donna Vekic at 1.87 Marathon Bet

ATP Halle:-

0.5pts Tommy Haas +1.5 sets to beat Roger Federer at 2.10 BoyleSports

0.75pts Richard Gasquet to beat Mikhail Youzhny at 1.51 Pinnacle Sports



Saturday Match Previews:-

There's not a lot of value about today as I feel the market is generally pretty accurate (unlike yesterday!).  

In Birmingham, we've done superbly out of both Magdalena Rybarikova and especially Donna Vekic this week and now they play each other in the semi-finals.  Vekic has impressed me greatly but Rybarikova has a great grass court record and on that basis I make her 1.76 for this.  Getting 1.87 is a bit of value in a clash where there may not be that many breaks - both ladies have a higher than average projected hold, with Rybarikova a fair bit higher.  This may be a match that comes down to a few key points and I feel Rybarikova's greater experience will help with that - plus as I've mentioned previously I'm extremely worried with Vekic's stats on break points (although that's from a fairly small sample).  

As far as trading goes it's a tough one with projected holds high - perhaps some in-game trades when the server is losing (those who have purchased the handbook will know the optimal points for those) and maybe laying Vekic when she is break point down could be options.

Over in Nurnburg, the stats make the final between Andrea Petkovic and Simona Halep basically even money the pair but of course we need to take into account Halep's ankle injury.  On that basis the prices making Petkovic 1.6 for this seem fair.  I'd definitely want to see how Halep is moving before getting into the market.  Projected holds are both low so laying either player a break up would appeal, especially Petkovic, assuming Halep has full fitness.  

Last year's final in Halle is this year's semi-final as the defending champion Tommy Haas faces Roger Federer.  The Swiss legend is favourite at 1.3 (it's a fair bit different to last year's 1.09) and I think that's a touch short even with it being a significantly bigger price than last year.  Haas has been in superb form all year and Federer has definitely dropped a little (the stats confirm this).  Federer has an old 10-4 head to head lead (plus two walkovers) but I'm not sure how much you can read into that.  Unsurprisingly, projected holds are high, especially Federer's, so there aren't that many options for us in-play.  Possibly a fairly long-term trade laying Federer at the start could be best, but it's not the shortest price for that type of trade and hence carries more risk.  

I feel there is a slight over-reaction to the form of Mikhail Youzhny this week for his match today against Richard Gasquet.  There is no doubt in my mind that the Frenchman is considerably the better grass court player, and their career records on the surface back that assertion up - Gasquet is 40-15 on the surface with Youzhny 33-17.  Gasquet holds much more (89.3% to 81.5%) and only breaks a touch less (22.4% to 25%) and with factoring in a considerable improvement in his mentality and results this year I make him about 1.4 for this.  You can get 1.51 currently so there's definitely some value there.  Youzhny has a fairly low projected hold so I'll look to lay him selectively when leading.

Lleyton Hewitt has rolled back the years at Queens Club this year and the Australian veteran takes on Marin Cilic, who he beat on grass at last year's Olympics.  Based on the projected holds there is slight value on Hewitt, but not enough to recommend a pre-match bet.  With him being a real fighter that never gives up, I quite like laying Cilic in-play when a break up (possibly a set up too) but definitely wouldn't recommend large stakes doing so.  

Finally I expect a tight match between Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, although I do feel the 1.44 price on Murray is pretty much spot on.  Murray leads the head to head 7-2 (3-0 since 2011) and should have too much for the Frenchman although I wouldn't rule out a surprise.  It's tough to call this as Tsonga has played a lot of tennis in a cramped schedule this week but has been in imperious form (apart from the Ferrer semi-final at Roland Garros) prior to this week.  I'll probably leave this alone.  Projected holds are both well above ATP average.

As always, I hope you enjoyed reading and good luck with your bets and trades.

Friday, June 14th, 2013.

Another pretty frustrating day yesterday with the definite theme of the week being an inability to win a third set costing us.  Surely that will change but again yesterday Hercog (from a break up twice), Mladenovic (from a set up), Jovanovski, Lucic and Querrey all lost in a deciding set for us.  This negative variance is just something that pre-match bettors have to live with.  As traders it's slightly easier in that respect.  In all those losses, all traded shorter than starting price and in most cases, significantly shorter.  

Friday's Pre-Match Tips:-

WTA Nurnburg:-

1pt Andrea Petkovic +1.5 sets to beat Jelena Jankovic at 1.90 188BET

WTA Birmingham:-

2.5pts Donna Vekic to beat Sorana Cirstea at 2.42 Marathon Bet

0.75pts Francesca Schiavone to beat Daniela Hantuchova at 2.47 Pinnacle Sports

1.75pts Magdalena Rybarikova to beat Madison Keys at 2.08 Marathon Bet

1.25pts Alison Riske to beat Sabine Lisicki at 3.70 Marathon Bet

1.5pts Alison Riske +1.5 sets to beat Sabine Lisicki at 2.15 Pinnacle Sports

ATP Queens:-

1pt Benjamin Becker +5 games to beat Andy Murray at 1.79 Pinnacle Sports

0.5pts Denis Kudla +1.5 sets to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at 3.50 BoyleSports

ATP Halle:-

0.5pts Gael Monfils +1.5 sets to beat Tommy Haas at 1.73 Pinnacle Sports

0.5pts Mikhail Youzhny to beat Philipp Kohlschreiber at 3.18 Pinnacle Sports

0.75pts Mikhail Youzhny +1.5 sets to beat Philipp Kohlschreiber at 1.78 Pinnacle Sports

Friday Match Previews:-

We are now down to the quarter final stage in this week's grass tournaments, and the semi final in our clay tournament in Nurnburg.

At Queens Club, the four top seeds have made it through and are strong favourites to succeed today.

However, both Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga both played twice yesterday, and this will especially affect the Frenchman, priced at 1.11, who played 6 sets in a day.  Denis Kudla appears pretty comfortable on grass and could take advantage as a huge underdog against Tsonga.  There's a big ability difference for sure but I don't think Tsonga is value here.  I'm laying from the start.  Also the same goes for Murray against the grass courter Benjamin Becker, who is getting old and in decline but loves playing on the surface - I'll also lay the Scotsman from the start at 1.08.

The other two matches appear reasonably priced - there's possibly some value on Marin Cilic against Tomas Berdych but not enough to interest me, and I'm not overly interested in getting involved in the Juan Martin Del Potro v Lleyton Hewittclash as my model has the prices pretty much spot on.  

All four favourites have a high projected hold.

That can also be said for the four favourites in Halle...the two matches that interest me feature home player favourites that are too short for me.

It's hard to know what to make of Tommy Haas' win over Ernests Gulbis because he wasted an incredible 16 break points (1/17) but it's not the first time I've mentioned Haas' inability to convert break points as often as ATP average, and spreadsheet subscribers can confirm that from the stats on there.  I feel the veteran is a little short today against the in-form Frenchman, Gael Monfils, who appeals at 3.15 for the win.  With Haas having a high projected hold (so does Monfils) it's tough to recommend taking a bigger price in play though as once a player leads by a break in this scenario of two decent servers it's much less likely they will get broken back.

That's also the case for the match between the doubles partners Philipp Kohlschreiber and Mikhail Youzhny.  Yesterday they together defeated Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori but today face each other.  This should be a lot closer than the 1.45 on Kohlschreiber suggests - it's a little big for me to like a lay from the start but definite value on the Russian pre-match.

Moving over to the ladies, I feel the four favourites over in Birmingham are all too short.

Donna Vekic has impressed this week in her adopted country and I'm shocked to see her as underdog over the inconsistent Sorana Cirstea.  The Romanian still has a losing 12-13 career record on grass with below average stats, so she's definitely over-rated here when you look at the limited sample of Vekic's grass court stats, as well as Vekic's hard court stats too.  I'd be really shocked if Vekic didn't trade a lot shorter at least.

Another match where that is the case is the traditionally over-rated Sabine Lisicki against Alison Riske.  Lisicki could have won us the jackpot yesterday if she lost to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni but broke late in the third set to win - still a good match to trade though as Lisicki, as often is the case, slacked off after winning the first set.  Riske is priced at 3.7, but loves it here and this match should be much closer to evens based on the stats.  I'm taking the Riske on Alison again, not for the first time this week...

Madison Keys has impressed this week and has undoubted potential but the difference between this and Vekic's match with Cirstea is that she is facing an opponent with an excellent career grass court record (15-8) in Magdalena Rybarikova.  I make Rybarikova favourite at about 1.6-1.65 for this so the slight odds against prices definitely appeal.  Both women have a high projected hold though so don't expect many breaks.

Finally in the Midlands, I make Daniela Hantuchova slight favourite in the clash of the veterans against Francesca Schiavone.  Both women haven't overly impressed this week and could easily have gone out of the tournament already but the 1.67 on Hantuchova is too short, I make it about 1.9.  Projected holds are very close and slightly above WTA mean.  

Over in Nurnburg, I like the price of 3.55 on Andrea Petkovic against Jelena Jankovic, at least for trading purposes.  Projected holds are fairly close and around WTA mean (about 5% difference in the Serb's favour) so the 1.4 on Jankovic is clearly no value.  I'll look to oppose her in play, although it's worth noting both ladies should be strong at saving break points with a high projected save percentage.

I'm not too fussed on the match between Simona Halep and Lucie Safarova but I think if there is any value it's on the Romanian at around 1.67.  Laying Safarova at shorter than SP should prove to have a decent expectation long-term.

Twitter followers may have noticed that I'm running a competition where I am giving away one copy of my new TennisRatings Tennis Trader's Handbook.  If you haven't entered, get involved!  All you need to do is retweet one of my tweets that I have mentioned the competition in on Twitter - I will be tweeting about it at several points throughout the day between now and Sunday, when the competition ends.  You can also search for the tweet in my tweet history if you want to retweet an old tweet about it.  Mrs.TennisRatings will be doing the draw on Sunday evening so get your entry in before then!

As always, I hope you enjoyed reading and good luck with your bets and trades.

Thursday, June 13th, 2013.

Today's Pre-Match Tips:-


Tips Total Profit:- +18.52pts

Tips Total Stake:- 513.00pts

ROI:- 3.61%

WTA Nurnburg:-

1pt Galina Voskoboeva +1.5 sets to beat Simona Halep at 2.18 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Polona Hercog to beat Lucie Safarova at 3.30 Marathon Bet

1.5pts Polona Hercog +1.5 sets to beat Lucie Safarova at 1.87 Pinnacle Sports

WTA Birmingham:-

1pt Kristina Mladenovic to beat Daniela Hantuchova at 3.11 Pinnacle Sports

1.5pts Kristina Mladenovic +1.5 sets to beat Daniela Hantuchova at 1.81 Pinnacle Sports

1.25pts Bojana Jovanovski to beat Sorana Cirstea at 2.26 Marathon Bet

2pts Donna Vekic to beat Maria Sanchez at 1.53 Various Bookmakers

1.5pts Magdalena Rybarikova to beat Kirsten Flipkens at 2.32 Marathon Bet

1pt Marina Erakovic to beat Francesca Schiavone at 1.57 Various Bookmakers

0.75pts Mirjana Lucic-Baroni to beat Sabine Lisicki at 4.05 Pinnacle Sports

1.25pts Mirjana Lucic-Baroni +1.5 sets to beat Sabine Lisicki at 2.10 BoyleSports

ATP Queens:-

1.25pts Sam Querrey to beat Lleyton Hewitt at 2.16 Marathon Bet

0.5pts Grega Zemlja +1.5 sets to beat Tomas Berdych at 4.10 BoyleSports

1.75pts Denis Kudla to beat Kenny De Schepper at 2.37 Marathon Bet

0.5pts Dan Evans +1.5 sets to beat Juan Martin Del Potro at 3.60 BoyleSports

ATP Halle:-

0.5pts Leonardo Mayer to beat Florian Mayer at 4.34 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Leonardo Mayer +1.5 sets to beat Florian Mayer at 2.28 Pinnacle Sports

0.75pts Ernests Gulbis +1.5 sets to beat Tommy Haas at 1.68 Pinnacle Sports

BET OF THE DAY:- Donna Vekic to beat Maria Sanchez

TENNISRATINGS MULTIPLE:- Donna Vekic & Polona Hercog (+1.5 sets) double

Thursday Match Previews:-

With rain causing trouble this week to the schedules, there's a good chance that some players may be forced to play twice in a day today - at Queens Club, Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga both are in that bracket and you have to wonder how motivated Tsonga will be to play two matches in a day after getting to the French Open semi-final last week.  I've pasted my preview below for his rescheduled match with Edouard Roger-Vasselin from yesterday.

I'm laying Jo-Wilfried Tsonga from the start against Edouard Roger-Vasselin.  1.13 is too short on him in this all-French encounter with projected holds both above surface average.  Roger-Vasselin is a player that has improved a lot lately and isn't without a chance against a player that may not be too bothered this week after getting to the semi-finals at Roland Garros last week.

Also at Queens, Lleyton Hewitt caused a shock to some (not me) by defeating Grigor Dimitrov and he faces Sam Querrey today.  The opening prices seemed fair so a severe shortening of Hewitt from 2.1 to 1.8 appears to be a severe over-reaction.  I worry about Querrey being as clutch on the big points but he has the marginally higher projected hold (both are above average) and hence the 2.2 seems value.

I also like the price of 2.3 on Denis Kudla for his match against Kenny De Schepper today.  Kudla has had the tougher route so far, shocking Benoit Paire in the last round.  De Schepper was very fortunate as his match against Kevin Anderson was cancelled after the South African withdrew, and he got a lucky loser, the non-singles ranked doubles player Rohan Bopanna (basically a bye).  De Schepper's fearsome serve means he will be favoured by many but Kudla has much the better return game and if he can get a fair few of the Frenchman's serves back in play he will have a good chance of out-rallying De Schepper.  Despite De Schepper's big serve, projected holds are low for this so I like the chances of a few swings in this match.

Dan Evans had an excellent win for himself (and us) over Jarkko Nieminen yesterday and today he is up against Juan Martin Del Potro.  The Argentine doesn't look close to his best right now and I like laying him from the start at 1.11 today.  It's a low risk move and if Evans is going to have a chance, he needs to start well.  

Over in Halle, we have a battle of the Mayer's as Florian Mayer takes on Leonardo Mayer.  Florian is the much more accomplished grass player (24-13 in career compared to 5-8) but actually the stats from those matches aren't that dissimilar - actually Leonardo holds 1.4% more (84.6% to 83.2%) and breaks just 5% less (18.4% to 13.4%) so Florian may be a little flattered by such a high win percentage on grass.  There's definitely no value on him at 1.3 and that's another lay from the start for me.

I'm expecting very few breaks in the match between Tommy Haas and Ernests Gulbis but I think Haas is a touch short at 1.52.  I make him about 1.65 and I think there's a bit of value on Gulbis +1.5 sets at around 1.68.  All four of their matches have gone the distance so that, along with the fairly close, high, projected holds, mean this appeals.  

There are a few wrong prices, in my opinion, in Birmingham, and we start with the traditionally short Daniela Hantuchova against Kristina Mladenovic.  Hantuchova has much more experience on grass but is in real decline with some shocking results and performances this year.  Mladenovic hasn't played much on grass but has a much better hard court record lately than Hantuchova and this should be able to translate itself to grass.  The 2.9 about her definitely seems value to me.

The market appears to really rate Sorana Cirstea on grass but I don't see it myself.  She's very inconsistent and has a losing 11-13 record on the surface, with her opponent Bojana Jovanovski similar at 5-6.  However Jovanovski has marginally the better stats in the sample as well as significantly improved stats generally this season and I make her the slight favourite.  2.25 looks good on her.

Donna Vekic has looked impressive this week and my model makes her value at 1.56 today against Maria Sanchez.  Sanchez also has a very low projected hold so I will be looking to oppose her if she leads this at various points.  

Kirsten Flipkens just about edged a tight 3 setter against Alja Tomljanovic yesterday and her opponent, Magdalena Rybarikova, did the same against Mathilde Johansson.  Rybarikova managed a few more hours rest and I make her slight favourite for this, so the 2.35 looks good.  Flipkens tends not to do things easily and is a great fighter with a superb comeback record so may be worth taking if a set down, depending on the prices.

Francesca Schiavone has stumbled her way past less illustrious opponents this week but today faces a real test againstMarina Erakovic who has an excellent grass record and generally loves fast surfaces.  There's been a big steam on the New Zealander, and she is still value at around 1.6, and she has a high projected hold over 80% for this match.

Finally in the Midlands we have a very short Sabine Lisicki at 1.3 against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.  Both players love grass but there's definitely value on the Croatian who, in a match which should be tight as projected holds are both high, should be much closer to even money according to my model. I'm laying Lisicki from the start, and definitely when a set up as her record, for a high profile player, in this situation is horrific.

Just the four matches on the clay in Nurnburg and you can probably make a case for all four favourites being too short in the betting.

I particularly like opposing Lucie Safarova and Simona Halep.

Halep is currently a player where the 'Roberto Martinez' effect definitely applies (it's in the trading handbook!) although her clay stats are definitely decent.  But she is now often too short and against a competent player on the surface in Galina Voskoboeva the 1.35 about her today definitely falls into that category.  I'll lay her at the start and when a break up in this.

Safarova is up against Polona Hercog who herself loves the dirt and I'm surprised to see Safarova as short as 1.45 for this.    Projected holds are close and high, and it's definitely worth noting that Safarova has a very low projected break point save percentage of 12% below WTA mean.

I also think Andrea Petkovic and Jelena Jankovic are a little short but I expect them to win eventually against Annika Beck and Lourdes Dominguez Lino.  With both underdogs much stronger on the return game than serving, their projected holds are both low at under 50%.

As always, good luck in your bets and trades and there will be more tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013.

It was another frustrating day where a couple of results could have given us excellent profit.  It's the nature of pre-match betting variance but as I made decent money trading because of the general flaws in the odds I'm more than happy with my analysis and feel it's only a matter of time before I win a third set or especially a third set tiebreak!   I'll update the profit and loss after yesterday's rescheduled matches and today's tips get played.

Today's Pre-Match Tips:-

WTA Birmingham:-

0.5pts Alla Kudryavtseva to beat Heather Watson at 3.00 Marathon Bet

0.75pts Alla Kudryavtseva +1.5 sets to beat Heather Watson at 1.81 Pinnacle Sports

2.25pts Andrea Hlavackova to beat Bojana Jovanovski at 2.52 Pinnacle Sports

2.5pts Andrea Hlavackova +1.5 sets to beat Bojana Jovanovski at 1.60 Unibet

0.75pts Mirjana Lucic-Baroni to beat Yanina Wickmayer at 2.53 SBOBET

0.5pts Marina Erakovic to beat Ekaterina Makarova at 2.12 32 Red

0.5pts Krystina Pliskova to beat Sabine Lisicki at 6.02 Pinnacle Sports

0.5pts Krystina Pliskova +1.5 sets to beat Sabine Lisicki at 2.80 BoyleSports

1pt Nadiya Kichenok to beat Francesca Schiavone at 3.75 Various Bookmakers

1pt Nadiya Kichenok +1.5 sets to beat Francesca Schiavone at 2.08 SportingBet

1pt Kirsten Flipkens to beat Alja Tomljanovic at 1.67 Various Bookmakers

WTA Nurnburg:-

0.5pts Mandy Minella to beat Lourdes Dominguez Lino at 3.56 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Mandy Minella +1.5 sets to beat Lourdes Dominguez Lino at 2.08 SportingBet

0.5pts Galina Voskoboeva to beat Alize Cornet at 2.92 Marathon Bet

0.5pts Galina Voskoboeva +1.5 sets to beat Alize Cornet at 1.71 SBOBET

0.5pts Karin Knapp to beat Annika Beck at 2.15 BetVictor

ATP Halle:-

1.5pts Kei Nishikori to beat Mikhail Youzhny at 1.85 Pinnacle Sports

0.5pts Jan Hernych +1.5 sets to beat Gael Monfils at 2.88 BoyleSports

1.25pts Mirza Basic to beat Mischa Zverev at 2.88 Marathon Bet

1.25pts Mirza Basic +1.5 sets to beat Mischa Zverev at 1.66 Pinnacle Sports

ATP Queens:-

1pt Dan Evans to beat Jarkko Nieminen at 4.10 Marathon Bet

1pt Dan Evans +1.5 sets to beat Jarkko Nieminen at 2.15 BoyleSports

0.5pts Thiemo De Bakker +1.5 sets to beat Tomas Berdych at 3.25 BoyleSports

0.5pts Kenny De Schepper to beat Kevin Anderson at 3.95 Marathon Bet

1pt Kenny De Schepper +1.5 sets to beat Kevin Anderson at 2.15 Pinnacle Sports

4pts Michael Llodra to beat Marinko Matosevic at 1.36 Various Bookmakers

0.5pts Nicolas Mahut to beat Andy Murray at 7.07 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Nicolas Mahut +1.5 sets to beat Andy Murray at 2.88 BoyleSports

2.25pts Lukas Rosol to beat Benjamin Becker at 2.36 Pinnacle Sports

0.5pts Edouard Roger-Vasselin to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at 7.60 Marathon Bet

0.75pts Edouard Roger-Vasselin +1.5 sets to beat Jo-Wilfreid Tsonga at 3.20 BoyleSports

BET OF THE DAY:  Michael Llodra to beat Marinko Matosevic at 1.36

TENNIS RATINGS MULTIPLE:  Michael Llodra & Andrea Hlavackova (+1.5 sets) double

Wednesday Match Previews:-

As with Monday and Tuesday there's a ton of matches so I'll be fairly concise again with my thoughts.  There's a lot of matches today where the favourite is way too short.  Matches on grass are often pretty close due to the court speed and if projected holds are both high I can't justify the sub 1.25 prices on quite a few today - Lisicki (I'm not sure you can ever justify that for her) and Murray especially fall into that category.

In Halle today there are just four matches and I like the price on Kei Nishikori to beat Mikhail Youzhny in the opener.  Last year the Japanese had much better grass court stats, holding 4% less but breaking 10% more.  He just simply is the better all round player and 1.82 appeals.  I'll look to lay Youzhny when leading as his projected hold is low.

Gael Monfils is in superb form and routed Milos Raonic yesterday.  Today he faces the journeyman Jan Hernych but I think he is a bit low at 1.20.  A small lay from the start for me.

Mirza Basic must be pinching himself as he got a last minute lucky loser spot and then defeated the more illustrious Jerzy Janowicz yesterday.  Today he is up against Mischa Zverev and I feel the price on Zverev at 1.59 is very short.  I actually make Basic a very marginal favourite for this, although projected holds are both low.  I'll look to lay Zverev's serve when I can.

Over at Queens Club there are a few rescheduled matches following the rain yesterday.  I've pasted those previews below...

Marin Cilic seems over-rated for his all-Croatian clash with Ivan Dodig.  Cilic's defeat in April in Munich to Dodig sticks in the memory because it was one of my biggest losses this year.  Dodig has to be one of the most improved players on tour this year and with him being strong mentally too, will go into this with confidence.  Grass stats are close so I like the 3.5 about Dodig pre-match.

Santiago Giraldo has a very poor recent record away from clay and I think he will struggle against Alexandr Dolgopolov.  The Columbian did manage a win on Monday over the limited Jesse Levine but is against a potentially better opponent today.  I say potentially because you often don't know what you're going to get with Dolgopolov.  But if he plays anywhere close to his best the 1.68 pre-match will look extremely generous.  Dolgopolov has a very high projected hold for this.

A great match in prospect is Lleyton Hewitt against Grigor Dimitrov.  Both came through tight 3 setters when strong favourites yesterday.  Hewitt, at his peak, was a fearsome grass courter but has obviously declined somewhat.  Dimitrov, for me, still has a lot to prove on grass.  He barely boasts a positive win/loss record on the surface and that's even flattered by his serve/return stats so far too.  Obviously he has the potential to improve that but based on the stats the Australian veteran is nice value at 2.65.

Other matches of interest in London today include the home player Dan Evans against Jarkko Nieminen.  Stats indicate the Finnish veteran is in slight decline although he has picked up some decent scalps this year.  I feel the talented young Brit could shock him and definitely deserves more respect than the 4.00 price on him.  I'm laying Nieminen from the start, and will do so again if he leads by a break.  Projected holds are low.

Many would think Kevin Anderson would have a decent record on grass with his game surely suited to the surface.  However whilst he has improved his game a fair bit in the last 18 months his grass record is mediocre.  He held 83% and broke 11% in 5 matches last season and has a losing 10-12 record in his career.  His opponent, Kenny De Schepperdoes have a decent surface record and a mammoth serve to rival the South African's.  No surprise to see projected holds around the 90% area and there's no doubt Anderson is too short based on them.  I'm laying him from the start.

Michael Llodra has a superb grass court record and Marinko Matosevic definitely does not.  Llodra disposed of Pablo Andujar in facile fashion yesterday and I'd expect similar today.  1.36 on the Frenchman on this surface is a gift. Take it.

Benjamin Becker is another that loves the grass but is in severe decline, with his stats in the last 12 months showing he has dropped 4.7% from his average career service hold percentage and 0.5% from his career breaking opponents percentage. His grass court reputation has ensured he is the wrong favourite against the generally improving Lukas Rosoland I make the Czech 1.89, and he is available at around 2.40.  

I'm also laying Jo-Wilfried Tsonga from the start against Edouard Roger-Vasselin.  1.13 is too short on him in this all-French encounter with projected holds both above surface average.  Roger-Vasselin is another that has improved a lot lately and isn't without a chance against a player that may not be too bothered this week after getting to the semi-finals at Roland Garros last week.

Over in the women's tournament in BirminghamHeather Watson enjoys the support from the crowd but doesn't have a great grass court record.  Based on that, I feel Alla Kudryavtseva is value at 3.00.

Andrea Hlavackova should be favourite with a much better career surface record (8-6) than her opponent Bojana Jovanovski (4-6), holding a huge 18% more often and breaking only 4% less.  So why, after a straight sets win yesterday, she is around 2.5 is very strange.  Projected holds are both high for this but the edge is definitely with Hlavackova.

Sabine Lisicki can never be relied on at the best of times and I think I'd have issues backing her at 1.19 against any professional tennis player.  Today she is that against the lesser Pliskova sister, Krystina Pliskova, but with Pliskova possessing a decent serve she should be able to keep this pretty close and perhaps even cause an upset.  I'm laying Lisicki from the off, and again if she takes the first set.  She is not a good leader in matches.

I did well laying Francesca Schiavone from the start yesterday and Anna Tatishvili almost caused a shock result, losing in a third set tiebreak.  I don't know a lot about Nadiya Kichenok but her stats are decent enough and with Schiavone in decline and her success almost exclusively on clay these days I'm taking  the same approach again.  I'll lay her a break up as well.

The clay tournament in Nurnburg is still catching up from the rain delays and there are some rescheduled matches, including this which I previewed yesterday between Min and Halep.

Grace Min is 1-9 in the last 12 months in WTA so the 1.26 about Simona Halep, who has played well lately, looks value. I'll be looking to oppose Min, with a very low projected hold, whenever leading and I can get over 1.50 on Halep.

Lourdes Dominguez Lino loves the clay but her record isn't incredible, and I don't see why she should be 1.37 against a competent player in Mandy Minella.  I'm laying Lino from the start.   Projected holds are both low and I will definitely be laying the Spaniard in her first few service games.

Karin Knapp and Annika Beck have projected holds which are exactly the same and slightly below 50% which is well below WTA average.  Therefore the 2.15 on Knapp is some value although I'd be shocked if a blanket approach of laying either player on serve didn't prove lucrative.

Finally, Alize Cornet has played well lately but is always capable of a poor display.  Stats make her favourite but no value at 1.52 against Galina Voskoboeva today.  I'll be laying Cornet when she leads in this.

As always, I hope you enjoyed reading and good luck in your bets and trades today.  More tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013.

A mixed start to the grass court season on the pre-match tips front.  Excellent underdog wins for Lucic, Vekic and Bedene were marred by James Ward's inability to serve for the set successfully in the 2nd and 3rd sets, and favourite defeats for Oudin, Cetkovska and Brands.  We move on with a lot of tips today - there appears to be a bit of value about as the bookies have made a few mistakes due to sample size and relating too much to clay form on a completely different surface.

WTA Nurnburg:-

1.5pts Alexandra Cadantu to beat Julia Goerges at 3.35 Marathon Bet

1.5pts Alexandra Cadantu +1.5 sets to beat Julia Goerges at 1.80 Various Bookmakers

2pts Simona Halep -5.5 games to beat Grace Min at 2.04 Marathon Bet

3pts Jelena Jankovic -6.5 games to beat Arantxa Rus at 1.96 Marathon Bet

WTA Birmingham:-

2pts Andrea Hlavackova to beat Olga Puchkova at 1.41 Pinnacle Sports

1.5pts Yanina Wickmayer to beat Yulia Putintseva at 1.62 Marathon Bet

1.5pts Kristina Mladenovic -4.5 games to beat Tara Moore at 1.68 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Casey Dellacqua to beat Daniela Hantuchova at 2.85 Unibet

0.75pts Anna Tatishvili to beat Francesca Schiavone at 3.80 Marathon Bet

1.5pts Anna Tatishvili +1.5 sets to beat Francesca Schiavone at 1.97 SBOBET

0.75pts Melinda Czink to beat Heather Watson at 2.42 Marathon Bet

0.75pts Madison Keys to beat Jamie Hampton at 2.50 Marathon Bet

0.75pts Donna Vekic to beat Urzsula Radwanska at 2.88 BoyleSports

1.25pts Donna Vekic +1.5 sets to beat Urzsula Radwanska at 1.73 BoyleSports

ATP Halle:-

1pt Lukasz Kubot to beat Tobias Kamke at 1.96 Marathon Bet

1.25pts Milos Raonic to beat Gael Monfils at 1.56 Pinnacle Sports

1.5pts Jimmy Wang to beat Cedrik-Marcel Stebe at 2.50 William Hill/Stan James

1.5pts Marcos Baghdatis to beat Ernests Gulbis at 2.67 Pinnacle Sports

2pts Marcos Baghdatis +1.5 sets to beat Ernests Gulbis at 1.67 BoyleSports

1.75pts Leonardo Mayer to beat Jan-Lennard Struff at 2.20 Marathon Bet

ATP Queens:-

0.25pts Aljaz Bedene to beat Sam Querrey at 4.70 Marathon Bet

0.75pts Aljaz Bedene +1.5 sets to beat Sam Querrey at 2.27 Pinnacle Sports

0.5pts Ricardas Berankis to beat Feliciano Lopez at 2.94 Pinnacle Sports

0.75pts Ricardas Berankis +1.5 sets to beat Feliciano Lopez at 1.69 Pinnacle Sports

0.5pts Xavier Malisse to beat Juan Martin Del Potro at 4.33 Marathon Bet

0.75pts Xavier Malisse +1.5 sets to beat Juan Martin Del Potro at 2.10 BoyleSports/PaddyPower

2.5pts Grega Zemlja -4.5 games to beat Kyle Edmund at 1.85 Marathon Bet

1pt Lleyton Hewitt to beat Grigor Dimitrov at 2.62 Various Bookmakers

1.5pts Lleyton Hewitt +1.5 sets to beat Grigor Dimitrov at 1.65 Pinnacle Sports

3pts Michael Llodra to beat Pablo Andujar at 1.17 Ladbrokes

0.75pts Ivan Dodig to beat Marin Cilic at 3.25 Ladbrokes

1pt Ivan Dodig +1.5 sets to beat Marin Cilic at 1.74 Pinnacle Sports

2.5pts Alexandr Dolgopolov to beat Santiago Giraldo at 1.68 Pinnacle Sports

BET OF THE DAY:- Jelena Jankovic -6.5 games to beat Arantxa Rus at 1.96

TENNISRATINGS MULTIPLE:- Halep, Jankovic, Zemlja and Llodra all to win.  Pays 1.74 with Pinnacle Sports.

Tuesday Match Previews:-

With there being 52 matches today, I am going to have to be pretty concise with my thoughts.  It's like the first week of a Grand Slam all over again...

After rain washed out yesterday's play in Nurnburg, we have a 9:30am UK time start today.  The rescheduled matches for yesterday are first, so I've pasted my previews of the matches that interest me below:-

The prices between Mariana Duque Marino and Lourdes Dominguez Lino look very fair with Lino very marginal favourite.  Projected holds are both very low and I'd be very surprised if an almost blanket approach of laying both ladies' serve blindly didn't pay dividends.

Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor appears very short at 1.50 against Teliana Pereira, who has appeared to improve into a reasonably competent clay courter this year.  Certainly Pereira boasts the stronger serve of the two ladies so I'll definitely be looking to oppose Torro-Flor when a break up.  Opposing her serve full stop could also be worthwhile.

I'd be shocked if Pauline Parmentier can beat Alize Cornet in the all-French clash, although we've seen before with Cornet that she can have an absolute stinker of a match and lose to much worse opposition.  The 1.17 pre-match is too short for me but I'll be looking to oppose Parmentier should this increase significantly.

There are a few other matches of interest in Nurnburg as well.  

Julia Cohen with possibly the worst serve on the WTA Tour faces a player I must admit I've not heard much of, Tereza Smitkova.  The stats I do have make Smitkova a fair price at about 1.55.  Smitkova's return stats aren't the best so be careful with laying the Cohen serve as much as I usually like to!

There's no way Julia Goerges should be 1.4 for this match against Alexandra Cadantu, even in Germany.  She has had way too many poor defeats on clay lately and is 8-10 for the last 12 months on the surface.  Cadantu loves clay and boasts a better 8-8 record - this should be much closer to evens.  I'll be laying Goerges at short prices when leading and probably if she takes the first set bearing in mind her poor record when leading.

Grace Min is 1-9 in the last 12 months in WTA so the 1.26 about Simona Halep, who has played well lately, looks value. I'll be looking to oppose Min, with a very low projected hold, whenever leading and I can get over 1.50 on Halep.

It's very rare I say a much longer price should be 1.01, as is often cliched, but I truly believe I've found a match today between Jelena Jankovic and Arantxa Rus, that I can say that about.  Projected holds are an incredible 76.8% vs 32.6%, which is one of the biggest differences I've seen for a while (usually only Serena Williams would have such a big difference in the first or second round of an event).  Rus is capable of breaking Jankovic but with one of the worst serves in the WTA she will really struggle to hold.  Hopefully Rus manages an early break and we can get even bigger than the 1.1 starting price.

Over in Birmingham, I like the look of Andrea Hlavackova against Olga Puchkova.  Hlavackova has a decent grass record, 7-6, holding 81.8% of her service games and breaking 25.2% of the time.  Those stats would make her a top 25-30 grass court player so against an opponent that is 1-5 on grass in her career, holding just 35.8% of the time, 1.41 is very generous.  I'll lay Puchkova (as expected, she has a very low projected hold) pretty much any time she is ahead in this.

The temperamental Yulia Putintseva has never played a WTA match on grass so it's a big ask for her to beat Yanina Wickmayer, who boasts a 23-12 career record on the surface.  Even when she is not in the best form, 1.67 on the Belgian is an attractive price and I'll also look for bigger in play if Putintseva leads.

I don't think Tara Moore will get past Kristina Mladenovic, who has a very high projected hold for this.  I'll be looking to oppose Moore when leading, although I don't expect to have the chance.

Daniela Hantuchova has a decent grass record (32-18) but is in real decline.  Her name means she is almost an auto lay for the majority of her matches and again she is no value here.  Just to give you an example of her decline - her career all surfaces hold percentage is 68.7%, break percentage is 35.8%.  In 2013, its 65.7% and 29.5%.  That 3.0 and 6.3% difference is probably the difference between 30 and about 80 in the world.

Anyway, she plays Casey Dellacqua who is nothing special at all but is competent enough for the 2.8 on her to be value.  Projected holds are fairly high so I'd expect a tight match.

Another veteran in a bit of a decline is Francesca Schiavone, who apart from on clay hasn't impressed me at all this year.  I don't really rate Anna Tatishvili but Schiavone shouldn't be 1.36 for this by any means.  Tatishvili claims to love grass although she only has 7 career WTA matches on it.  Perhaps at the age of 23 she has some improvement in her.  I'm laying Schiavone from the start.

Donna Vekic will get a lot of crowd support and I feel she is value against Urszula Radwanska although as I mentioned yesterday I worry about her with break points, both saving and converting.  She has a lot of improving to do in that respect.  I make this match pretty even so the 2.86 on Vekic definitely appeals.

Over in the mens, we start at 11am in Halle, and the home player Tobias Kamke faces Lukasz Kubot, who has much more impressive stats but worse recent form.   I make Kubot small value at a shade under evens although both players have a low projected hold.  Laying Kamke when a break up definitely has a positive long term expected value.

I fail to see how Gael Monfils will get much joy on the serve of Milos Raonic on a quick grass court and I feel the Canadian represents value at 1.56.  Tiebreaks would appear to be the Frenchman's best hope.  

Jimmy Wang's qualifying stats (admittedly against very poor opponents) were impressive and he pushed Fernando Verdasco close in a very tight 3 setter at Wimbledon last year.  He should be more accustomed to grass than Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, whose career appears to have gone downhill lately, having dropped 90 places in little more than a year.  The 2.6 on the Chinese Taipei player seems value.  Projected holds are low and I'll look to oppose Stebe when in front.

Jan-Lennart Struff seems to be the wrong favourite against Leonardo Mayer, who I make about 1.8 for this.  Hopefully Mayer's back issues should be much improved and he narrowly lost against Andreas Seppi at Roland Garros.  Struff has never played an ATP or Challenger match on grass so how he is favourite against a player with reasonable stats despite a 4-8 record on grass in ATP matches is beyond me.  

In the match of the day in Germany, there's another wrong favourite as the bookies and the market have hugely over-reacted to Ernests Gulbis' recent record on clay and made him 1.56 against a very good grass court player in Marcos Baghdatis.Gulbis has a 5-11 career record on grass and with Baghdatis a 32-20 record himself with much better return stats, I fail to see how the enigmatic Latvian is favourite here.  I notice I'm not the only person to think that - although I did tweet it possibly first at about 7 this morning!

Over in Queens Club in London I feel Juan Martin Del Potro definitely is a lay from the start against the grass-loving veteran, Xavier Malisse.  Malisse is in decline but will be immensely comfortable on the surface and Del Potro hasn't appeared right for a few months now.  He missed Roland Garros with a 'virus'.  

I have very few stats for Kyle Edmund but I'd be stunned if he beat Grega Zemlja, who is a competent grass courter (he won Nottingham Challenger last year defeating the likes of Berankis, Sela and Levine).  Zemlja is actually value at 1.14 according to my model.   I'll lay Edmund if he gets in front and I can get over 1.5 on Zemlja.

Another great match in prospect is Lleyton Hewitt against Grigor Dimitrov.  Both came through tight 3 setters when strong favourites yesterday.  Hewitt, at his peak, was a fearsome grass courter but has obviously declined somewhat.  Dimitrov, for me, still has a lot to prove on grass.  He barely boasts a positive win/loss record on the surface and that's even flattered by his serve/return stats so far too.  Obviously he has the potential to improve that but based on the stats the Australian veteran is nice value at 2.65.

Pablo Andujar is 0-8 on grass and has only held 59.2% in that sample, breaking a mere 13.0%.  That would put him probably out of the top 200 on grass, so I'm not sure how he has any chance against Michael Llodra who is priced at 1.17 and is excellent on the surface (90.9% career holds).  Difficult to work out when to get involved here, though, as whilst Andujar has a very low projected hold I'm not sure I like the idea of laying him when a break or set up as Llodra isn't exactly notorious for coming back in matches (he has won when a set down just 6.67% in last 12 months and 8% in his last 50).  

The prices seem about right for Benoit Paire's match with Denis Kudla but projected holds (especially Kudla's) are low.  Laying either player when a break in front is an option.

Marin Cilic seems over-rated for his all-Croatian clash with Ivan Dodig.  Cilic's defeat in April in Munich to Dodig sticks in the memory because it was one of my biggest losses this year.  Dodig has to be one of the most improved players on tour this year and with him being strong mentally too, will go into this with confidence.  Grass stats are close so I like the 3.25 about Dodig pre-match.

Santiago Giraldo has a very poor recent record away from clay and I think he will struggle against Alexandr Dolgopolov.  The Columbian did manage a win yesterday over the limited Jesse Levine but is against a potentially better opponent today.  I say potentially because you often don't know what you're going to get with Dolgopolov.  But if he plays anywhere close to his best the 1.68 pre-match will look extremely generous.  Dolgopolov has a very high projected hold for this.

I hope you enjoyed reading and as always, good luck in your bets and trades.  There will be more tomorrow.

Monday, June 10th, 2013.

After a weekend away I'm refreshed for the start of the grass court season!  It's always a period in the tennis calendar that I greatly look forward to, and as I had a good grass court season last year I'm also very much looking forward to this year.  It's always a difficult period for the bookmakers, as sample size is very limited, and current clay form coming onto grass is of limited use.  Several grass court specialists such as Pironkova, Paszek and Malisse are in wretched form, so it will be interesting to see whether they take to the grass immediately or bring their previous troubles onto the surface again.

As most readers will know, grass is a significantly quicker surface than any other on tour and the 12 month ATP mean for service holds on grass is 82.8% (mean across all surfaces is 78.2%) and the effect is even more pronounced on the WTA tour with the 12 month mean for holds being 69.4% (all surfaces 63.5%).  So clearly we need to be much more selective with regards to laying the server, although with more holds to be expected, our rewards for breaks should be even greater when they do occur.

ATP Halle had the fastest courts last year out of the three grass venues this week with the average player holding 85.8% of their service games.  ATP Queens was 84.1%.  In Birmingham, the ladies held 69.9% of the time.  We also have a new clay venue this week in Nurnburg.  I have absolutely no idea how the courts play there but it's worth noting that several German clay venues play fast.  

I'm particularly interested in the progress of Melanie Oudin this week.  She came from nowhere last year to beat Jelena Jankovic in the final of Birmingham so she will have a lot of ranking points to defend this week, which will be a fairly new experience for her.  I make her decent value today over Alja Tomljanovic anyway.

As I touched upon earlier, sample size on grass is often a problem.  There are many players playing either their first professional match on grass today, and others with very limited competitive surface experience.  It's worth being a little cautious in some cases.  Some players should be able to thrive on grass but others will struggle.  I notice that a lot of clay courters are making a rare foray onto grass in Queens.  In a lot of cases I've had to try and go on their hard court form and make a statistical adjustment based on the difference in service holds between the surfaces...

Monday's Pre-Match Tips:-

WTA Birmingham:-

1pt Vesna Dolonc to beat Maria Joao Koehler at 1.50 Ladbrokes

2.5pts Melanie Oudin to beat Alja Tomljanovic at 1.78 Pinnacle Sports

2pts Alison Riske to beat Anne Keothavong at 1.38 Pinnacle Sports

2.5pts Madison Keys to beat Lesia Tsurenko at 1.55 Interwetten

1.5pts Mirjana Lucic-Baroni to beat Karolina Pliskova at 2.30 Pinnacle Sports

3pts Eugenie Bouchard to beat Bojana Jovanovski at 2.08 Marathon Bet

2.5pts Petra Cetkovska to beat Mathilde Johansson at 1.50 Ladbrokes

1.5pts Donna Vekic to beat Camila Giorgi at 2.10 Various Bookmakers

WTA Nurnburg:-

1.5pts Teliana Pereira to beat Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor at 2.95 Marathon Bet

2pts Teliana Pereira +1.5 sets to beat Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor at 1.71 Pinnacle Sports

ATP Halle:-

2pts Daniel Brands to beat Jan Hernych at 1.33 SportingBet

0.5pts Mischa Zverev +1.5 sets to beat David Goffin at 1.80 BoyleSports

ATP Queens:-

1pt Denis Kudla to beat Federico Delbonis at 1.56 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Guido Pella to beat Dan Evans at 2.92 Marathon Bet

1.25pts Guido Pella +1.5 sets to beat Dan Evens at 1.69 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Aljaz Bedene to beat Paul-Henri Mathieu at 3.00 BoyleSports/Bwin

1.25pts Aljaz Bedene +1.5 sets to beat Paul-Henri Mathieu at 1.76 Pinnacle Sports

0.5pts James Ward to beat Ivan Dodig at 3.95 Marathon Bet

1pt James Ward +1.5 sets to beat Ivan Dodig at 2.05 Pinnacle Sports

0.5pts Guillermo Garcia-Lopez to beat Xavier Malisse at 3.10 Pinnacle Sports

0.25pts Tatsuma Ito to beat Igor Sijsling at 3.90 Pinnacle Sports

0.5pts Tatsuma Ito +1.5 sets to beat Igor Sijsling at 2.09 Pinnacle Sports

0.5pts Dudi Sela +1.5 sets to beat Grigor Dimitrov at 2.50 BoyleSports


3pts Eugenie Bouchard to beat Bojana Jovanovski at 2.08 Marathon Bet.


Melanie Oudin, Alison Riske, Madison Keys, Eugenie Bouchard and Petra Cetkovska.

(Perm 10 trebles, 5 fourfolds, 1 fivefold)

Monday's Match Previews:-

After complaining at the lack of action in the second week of the French Open, karma has well and truly bitten me back with no less than 40 matches to consider today! 

As I mentioned in the tournament previews, some players are making rare forays onto the grass and in some cases it's not been that easy to price matches up - some statistical educated guesswork has been required!  However on the most part the market movement has agreed with me so I'm pretty happy with my pre-match selections.

With such a large number of matches today, I'm going to focus on the matches I feel will give us the biggest edges today.

The first tournament of the day starts in Germany, in Halle at 10am.  Just the four matches there and I like the look of the 1.33 about Daniel Brands against Jan Hernych.  Brands actually didn't play a main draw grass match in 2012 with two horrific defeats to Oliver Golding (after winning the first set 6-0) and the Spanish claycourter, Ivan Navarro.  In fact he has lost his last 5 on grass although it's fair to say that his game has significantly improved even since last year - in those five matches he was ranked between 100-140 and he currently stands at 59 in the world.  Furthermore, his big-serving game should suit grass.  Hernych is a challenger tour journeyman with an 11-15 record on grass in his career.  Brands should have way too much for the Czech and with Hernych's projected holds low, I also like selectively opposing his serve, especially when he is leading.

David Goffin's stats in his 2-4 record on grass last year were nothing special at all and I feel that his match with Mischa Zverev could be closer than the 1.5 prices about the diminutive Belgian suggest.  With his weak serve, I'll look at opposing him at short prices a break up.

Florian Mayer hasn't been in great shape lately and retired from the French Open against Denis Istomin with a right thigh injury.  He played two matches in the Prostejov Challenger last week and surprisingly lost to Teymuraz Gabashvili when priced at 1.34.  I can't have any confidence in him here and even though his opponent Martin Fischer is nothing special whatsoever, I'll be laying Mayer pre-match at 1.25 with a view to backing him at a bigger price in-play.

With 16 matches to get through in the Midlands today, it's an 11am start in Birmingham.  

Vesna Dolonc should be too strong for Maria Joao Koehler as she has much more grass experience and will be accustomed to the surface after several matches in the Nottingham ITF event last week.  She took a set off the grass-loving Tsvetana Pironkova at Wimbledon last year and is more than capable at 1.53 today.  I'll lay Koehler when in front in this.

Melanie Oudin has title points to defend this week so will have no problem with motivation against Alja Tomljanovic.  Tomljanovic hasn't got much WTA experience so sample size is limited but from what I have to go on, Oudin's stats make her much stronger favourite than the 1.80 pre-match suggests.  Tomljanovic has a low projected hold at 56% so I like the option of laying her when leading.  

Anne Keothavong has been in terrible form in the last year or so and has seen her ranking slip to almost 200.  Her opponent Alison Riske isn't great herself but she has qualified to be here, and reached the quarter finals in Nottingham last week, defeating the grass courter Tamira Paszek in the process.  1.44 about Alison is a Riske worth taking!

Keothavong has a low projected hold under 50% so I will definitely opposing her serve when I can, especially if she is shorter than the pre-match odds.

I really rate the American prospect Madison Keys and despite this being her first WTA match on grass she should be too good for Lesia Tsurenko, who also lacks grass experience (0-2 WTA record) at 1.55.  I make her a fair bit shorter for this and I'll be looking to oppose the weak serve of Tsurenko when she leads.  

Mirjana Lucic-Baroni has a reasonable grass pedigree and got to the last 32 in Wimbledon last year where she lost a tight match to Roberta Vinci.  Furthermore she beat Marion Bartoli in straight sets in the second round.  Today she faces the better Pliskova sister, Karolina Pliskova, who has ability but inexperience on grass.  The 2.30 on Lucic is a price worth taking in a match where projected holds are both high, and where I'd be surprised if there were many breaks.

As with Keys, I really like the young Eugenie Bouchard and I am surprised to see she is underdog, or even close to evens against the inconsistent Bojana Jovanovski.  I make her a decent favourite and I'll be opposing Jovanovski in play, especially when leading and much shorter odds-on.

Petra Cetkovska has shown some ability since her comeback and she should be much too strong for Mathilde Johansson today.  Quite simply she should be much the better player with her stats showing she holds much more often and breaks more often too.  I make her about 1.30 so 1.55 is a very attractive price.  I'll lay Johansson when leading in this too.  Her weak serve should be pressurised today.

Donna Vekic claims to love grass and as a semi-adopted Brit should get plenty of crowd support.  I'm surprised to see her as slight underdog against Camila Giorgi as I made her about 1.75 favourite for this.  On that basis I'll look to oppose Giorgi where possible, although that may be difficult as projected holds are fairly high for this one.  I do worry about Vekic in key points though as her (albeit limited) stats sample shows she struggles on break points.

The final match of interest in Birmingham is the one with the overall lowest projected holds between Alla Kudryavstevaand Kimiko Date Krumm.  Both players don't have the strongest serve but have decent return games so we could see a fair few breaks there.  I'll particularly look to oppose Kudryavtseva, as a no value 1.62 favourite, when leading.

In our second tournament in the UK today we start at Queens Club in London at 12:30pm.

In the opening match, the Argentine clay courter Federico Delbonis takes on Denis Kudla with zero grass experience either in ATP or Challenger tour matches.  I don't particularly rate the young American currently but he has surface experience and a better hard court record.  Kudla is available at around 1.5 and I feel that's a good price on him.  With a low projected hold, I'll look to oppose Delbonis when leading.

Dan Evans had a decent run in Nottingham last week but is 0-6 in his career in ATP events.  However, his more capable opponent, Guido Pella, has never played a competitive match on grass.  Clash of the titans there...

However, Pella has had a decent run on clay and whilst you can't take too much from that as the surfaces are very different, he beat Janko Tipsarevic and got to an ATP semi-final.  Those are things Evans can only dream of and therefore, in a match where I feel it should pretty much be evens the pair, I'll take the Argentine underdog at 2.88.  I'm definitely going to lay Evans when leading and in pressure situations.  He will be more than aware that he is going for his first ATP win.

Paul-Henri Mathieu has a good grass court pedigree but has struggled recently on court after suffering from some personal issues.  He is about 1.5 today against Aljaz Bedene who is more of a clay courter but has a reasonably fair record on other surfaces.  Bedene, however, has never played an ATP match on grass but I can't have the 1.50 on the Frenchman in no form whatsoever.  Projected holds are high but I'm taking the pre-match 3.00 on Bedene.

I feel Ivan Dodig's win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga here has given him a shorter price than he should be against James Ward.  Dodig actually lost to Paolo Lorenzi on grass in Hertogenbosch the week after, priced 1.21.  Ward is competent on grass, and actually their career grass stats aren't too dissimilar (83.2% to 82.5% holds and 15.8% to 15.9% breaks) so I'll be opposing the Croat at 1.33 today from the start, with a view to backing him at a bigger price.  Ward was on the verge of beating Kevin Anderson here last year and the South African is of a much higher level than Dodig.  

Xavier Malisse is in no form whatsoever and many are speculating about a future retirement.  However he loves grass and has an excellent record on the surface.  Today he faces Guillermo Garcia-Lopez who is a competent opponent and a touch of value at around 3.1 to take this.  Malisse in any form takes this easily but I can't have him at 1.50 in the wretched form he is currently in.  In-play options are limited as Malisse's projected hold is around average, but I do like a small lay of him at very short prices when a break up, especially the longer the match goes on for.

There could be breaks in the match between Fredrik Nielsen and Marinko Matosevic.  Nielsen, as a doubles specialist, very rarely plays singles and has a very projected hold for this match.  The Australian's projected hold is also below average and I particularly like opposing Nielsen when leading, although it's fine to oppose either player on that basis.

Finally our last tournament is on the clay in Nurnburg.  A few of the 6 matches there today interest me.

The prices between Mariana Duque Marino and Lourdes Dominguez Lino look very fair with Lino very marginal favourite.  Projected holds are both very low and I'd be very surprised if an almost blanket approach of laying both ladies' serve blindly didn't pay dividends.

Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor appears very short at 1.50 against Teliana Pereira, who has appeared to improve into a reasonably competent clay courter this year.  Certainly Pereira boasts the stronger serve of the two ladies so I'll definitely be looking to oppose Torro-Flor when a break up.  Opposing her serve full stop could also be worthwhile.

Finally I'd be shocked if Pauline Parmentier can beat Alize Cornet in the all-French clash, although we've seen before with Cornet that she can have an absolute stinker of a match and lose to much worse opposition.  The 1.17 pre-match is too short for me but I'll be looking to oppose Parmentier should this increase significantly.

I hope you enjoyed reading, and as always, good luck in your bets and trades.  More tomorrow!

Friday/Saturday, June 7th/June 8th, 2013.

It's men's semi final day today with both matches looking fairly competitive.  However it's tough to see much pre-match value now with the bookmakers as they've priced these up right, based on the statistics.

At 12 mid-day UK time the first semi-final starts, and it's the 'virtual final' as it should be much more competitive than the actual final itself.  Rafael Nadal starts at around 1.70 for the match with Novak Djokovic, and that seems fair.

Nadal started the last meeting, in Monte Carlo in April, at 1.46 against a potentially injured Djokovic, and was shocked in a  straight sets loss.  This was his only defeat on clay to the Serb on clay since 2012, he's won the other three matches.  

The projected holds are pretty close, but both are below ATP average, especially Djokovic's.  I've found in the past that 'Top Player v Top Player' clashes do tend to have more breaks than 'average' matches and this could be an avenue to explore in-play today.  I especially like opposing Djokovic when leading by a break in this match.  It's tough to get much of an edge for this match apart from that, but it should be a good spectacle for the neutral.

David Ferrer is favourite in the other men's semi-final, at a similar price to Nadal in the first semi final.  Today he takes onJo-Wilfried Tsonga, who has been highly impressive here so far.  The year long clay stats make Ferrer's price appear generous, but the 3 month stats make it a lot closer.  Tsonga has served exceptionally this fortnight (94.8% hold), although it's worth noting that Ferrer's return stats look exceptional too - 58.3% breaks of opponent's serve.

If anything I'm leaning towards siding with Tsonga here.  If there is an edge, it's definitely a small one, but with a partisan home crowd cheering him on, and a much better break point 'clutch' score indicating the Frenchman should be better on the key points, he can make his first French Open final.

I'm away for the weekend with no internet access.  I'm staying at http://www.ashlack.co.uk/, in a yurt, which is a kind of glamorous tent although it doesn't even have any electricity...

Therefore I'll write a preview for the women's final now, in advance of tomorrow's match.

I don't think anyone can have watched the Serena Williams 6-0, 6-1 demolition of Sara Errani yesterday without being incredibly impressed.  She played breathtaking tennis for the entire match and if she plays close to that level, Maria Sharapova will not stand a chance.  Sharapova's win over Victoria Azarenka was patchy, with an incredible first set display, before losing the second set and then almost choking a double break away in the final set.  She served 11 double faults in that win and those sort of numbers will cause her big problems against Williams.  The American leads the head to head 13-2, with a 6-0 lead since 2012 (2-0 on clay in that time), so she clearly has Sharapova's number generally.  In the 6 matches since 2012, Sharapova has taken just one set.

There's a big difference in the projected holds, with Williams high at 75% and Sharapova 58%.  Therefore Sharapova's projected hold is slightly below WTA average, with Williams, as you may expect, much higher.  I'll be looking to oppose Sharapova when she leads in this match by a break as I feel her serve will be very vulnerable, and despite the fact that 24-1 on clay in the last year, her clay stats are significantly worse than Williams (76.5% holds to 85.0% holds and 52.0% breaks to 55.2% breaks).  All those point to a Williams victory and I actually think she may be slight value at around 1.20.

There are no pre-match tips for these matches.  None of them fit my selection criteria, so if there's not enough value, I won't force the issue.

That's it from me for the weekend, I'll be back on Monday for the start of the grass season.  I'm really looking forward to that, I had a great grass season last year and I'm hoping for more of the same this year!

Thursday, June 6th, 2013.

It's ladies semi-finals day as the French Open begins to draw to a close.  It's pretty boring having just two matches to trade in a day, but there's not a great deal we can do about that...

If the predicted destruction that many expect Serena Williams to give Sara Errani in the second semi final happens, we may just have the one match to trade!  Williams starts at 1.08 and even at that price I wouldn't recommend a lay from the start.   The prices seem pretty fair and even may be slight value on her at that price, given the large difference in the projected holds for them.  Errani's is very low - under 50% - so we can expect her weak serve to be pressurised by the world number one who has broken serve an incredible 56.9% of the time on clay in the last 3 months.  For this match to be viable to trade I want Williams a fair bit bigger than the starting price, and then I will consider opposing Errani's serve.  

The other semi-final should be much more competitive and I like the price of around 1.90 on Maria Sharapova to defeatVictoria Azarenka.  Sharapova had a huge wobble at the start against Jelena Jankovic, losing the first set 6-0 before recovering to win in three sets.  Azarenka edged the first set on a tiebreak against Maria Kirilenko before things got a little easier in the second set.  I'm still not convinced about Azarenka on clay with Sharapova having the more impressive stats (she is 23-1 on the surface in the last year compared to Azarenka's 13-3, holding 10% more and breaking the same percentage), plus she leads the clay head to heads 2-0 with a retirement win in 2011 and a straight set win in 2012.  

I feel the pre-match price on Sharapova is value and I wouldn't put people off laying Azarenka when leading either, or even just her serve in general as her projected hold here is below average.  One thing worth noting, however, is the high break point score Azarenka has in this match up - 6% above WTA average is very large and should you oppose her serve, it may be worth profit taking at scores such as 15-40.  

There will be previews of the men's semi-finals tomorrow.

Thursday's Pre-Match Tips (also bet of the day by default):-

1pt Maria Sharapova to beat Victoria Azarenka at 1.90 Marathon Bet.

No TennisRatings Multiple today.

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013.

The second half of the quarter final draw is being played today with a semi-final place up for grabs against each other for the two winners today.  

That's a prospect that has created a probable 'virtual final' in the mens competition as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal 

are seeded to meet at that stage, and the bookmakers have them as heavy favourites to do so.

Nadal today faces Stanislas Wawrinka, who no doubt considers clay to be his best surface.  Nadal, however, leads the head to heads 9-0.  Whilst some of those have limited relevance due to the passing of time, the last two were on clay in 2012 and 2013 - and Wawrinka managed just 6 games in his defeat by Nadal in the Madrid final at the start of May.  Nadal starts around 1.08 and for me that's pretty fair.  I think Wawrinka will have major problems getting across the line in this match should he come close so I'll be looking to oppose him in-play from winning situations, particularly at short prices.

Djokovic, in the other quarter final, could have things less his own way against the German veteran, Tommy Haas.  Haas has been highly impressive this year and indeed beat Djokovic in Miami in March.  The Serb starts at 1.13 for this and for me that's a lay from the start.  Haas could prove to be a tough customer.  His easy win over Mikhail Youzhny on Monday should mean he is now fully rested for this encounter and he should have the mental strength that Wawrinka may lack.  Djokovic does usually find a way to win but I feel he will trade higher than the starting prices.  I also like the Haas +2.5 sets bet at 1.94 with Pinnacle Sports.

In the ladies quarter finals, I fear that Jelena Jankovic may have the same mental issues as Wawrinka for her match against Maria Sharapova.  Sharapova leads the head to heads 7-1 although many are old - but it's interesting to note that in those old matches, Jankovic was often a top 5 player and still lost.  She isn't now and Sharapova starts at 1.22.  That appears to be right to me.  Laying Jankovic when leading by a break probably has slightly positive expectation but I particularly like opposing her in more key situations.  I think she may well crumble in those.  Backing Sharapova when break point down definitely appeals to me.  Jankovic has won less break points than 'normal points' in the last year and Sharapova is pretty solid at saving them generally too.  A few things to think about there.

Finally I like the option of laying Victoria Azarenka from the start at around 1.20 against Maria Kirilenko.  Kirilenko's clay stats in the last year and this season are highly impressive and would indicate that this price should be a fair bit higher.  Key points, which Azarenka has a much better record on, may decide this match, but there should be some fun along the way.  Like Djokovic, I'd be surprised if Azarenka didn't trade higher today.  

The second week of Grand Slams and Masters Tournaments always frustrate me because there is so little to bet/trade on, so our opportunities are fairly limited.  I've been able to put some of that downtime to good use by putting the finishing touches to the TennisRatings Handbook.  It will be released next Monday, June 10th.   I hope readers will enjoy the finished product - I certainly have had fun writing it.  To be notified by email immediately when it becomes available, and to read a free preview chapter about prematch trading and anticipating price changes before matches, please click on the banner above.

As always, I hope you enjoyed reading and good luck with whatever you decide to bet or trade on today.  More tomorrow!

Wednesday's Pre-Match Tips:-

1pt Tommy Haas +2.5 sets to beat Novak Djokovic at 1.94 Pinnacle Sports

0.5pts Maria Kirilenko to beat Victoria Azarenka at 6.54 Pinnacle Sports

1pt Maria Kirilenko +5.5 games to beat Victoria Azarenka at 2.01 Pinnacle Sports

BET OF THE DAY:  1pt Maria Kirilenko +5.5 games to beat Victoria Azarenka

TENNISRATINGS MULTIPLE: Tommy Haas +2.5 sets and Maria Kirilenko +5.5 games double

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013.

It's quarter final action today as we reach the latter stages of the French Open.  There's a few good matches in prospect today, as well as the mandatory Serena Williams procession...

We start later today than in previous days with the the ladies matches scheduled for 1pm, and the mens scheduled after those are completed.

In the women's singles, there's an interesting clash to start between Agnieszka Radwanska and Sara Errani.  Stats favour the Italian in this, with a marginally higher projected hold.  Radwanska, though, has had Errani's number in previous matches, leading the head to head 6-1 although putting too much on this would be flawed considering only two of those are since 2010.  However I am concerned about Errani's breathing/chest injury against Suarez Navarro which stops me getting involved on her pre-match - Radwanska starts at 1.61 and that would be very short based on the projected hold data.  On that subject, projected holds are both low for this so expect breaks.  In fact, opposing the server pretty much at any time in-play would work well in this match.

Serena Williams is obviously the woman to beat in the competition and today the next lamb to the slaughter is Svetlana Kuznetsova.  Kuznetsova has had a day off to recover from her tough 3 set win over Angelique Kerber but will need all her ability to have any remote chance of an upset.  There's a huge disparity in projected holds and they indicate that Williams is actually good value at around 1.07!  If she falls behind and gets above 1.50 then I'll definitely look to oppose some Kuznetsova service games.  Williams -6.5 games with Sporting Bet at 1.93 looks a possibility for pre-match punters.  Effectively that's the same as under 17.5 games which is 1.83 with various bookmakers.

Tommy Robredo has performed miracles to get this far winning three consecutive five set matches!  I am very impressed as I, and many others, felt his 31 year old body would never be able to maintain that.  David Ferrer is his opponent today and if we are looking at supremely fit tennis players then he would be a good example.  Ferrer's superior fitness will surely see him through this but he is incredibly short at 1.08 to get the win.  I think there's a really good chance he trades a fair bit higher as surely Robredo knows that he needs to start well to have any chance of taking this.  So for me, Ferrer is a lay from the start, with a view to backing him at a bigger price in-play.

Finally I believe that Roger Federer is a touch of value today at around 1.60 against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.  Tsonga has been superb here but Federer usually has his number - the 9-4 head to head lead indicates that (7-2 from 2011 onwards).  Tsonga's serving in particular has been highly impressive in the last week, holding 97.7%.  If he will have a chance of winning this he needs to keep the high quality serving up against a much better returner than he's previously faced - although asking him to hold over 90% here is a huge ask.  I'll probably look to lay Tsonga if he trades below 1.50.  

Tuesday's Pre-Match Tips:-

2pts Serena Williams -6.5 games to beat Svetlana Kuznetsova at 1.93 SportingBet.

1pt Roger Federer - 2.5 games to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at 1.83 Bwin.


2pts Serena Williams -6.5 games to beat Svetlana Kuznetsova at 1.93 SportingBet


Williams -6.5 games and Federer -2.5 games double.

Monday, June 3rd, 2013.

After a busy non-tennis weekend I'm back!  I updated the pre-match tips profit and loss account last night and even with a week of very mediocre variance we are still well in profit for the finished month of May, the first where the pre-match tips were available.

These were the results:-

224 Bets

29.62 Points Profit

401.25 Points Staked

7.38% Return on Investment

I'll definitely take that.  I said when I first started the pre-match tips (now posted under 'pre-match betting rules') that I would be happy with 3-5% return on investment over a large sample.  I'm very happy we were able to beat that in our first month.

I'm going to add several different bets to the pre-match tips in June.  I'll be adding a 'Bet of the day' feature where I highlight my most confident pick.  I will also be adding a daily multiple.  I'm not the biggest fan of multiples myself but I appreciate that some readers may be and I want to cater for their needs as best I can.  The multiple may be as small as a double, and it may have low odds or high odds in it.  No real rules there.

Monday's Previews:-

We are now into the business end of the tournament and the players are fighting for a quarter final spot today.  We have 4 mens and 4 womens last 16 matches and most of these feature very short favourites.

For some people, that forces them to bet on one of the two longer priced matches - e.g. Haas v Youzhny or Wawrinka v Gasquet, and I read a ludicrous comment last night on a forum where someone said they had £500 to bet on either match but couldn't work out which.  If you can't work that out, don't bet.  Don't be that person!

Tommy Haas takes on Mikhail Youzhny in the first mens match at 10am UK time today.  For me, this is all about whether Haas can be fit enough following his epic 5 setter against John Isner in the last round.  I'm surprised with the ease Youzhny has dispatched his opponents so far, not particularly rating him on clay (or his consistency), and you've got to give him credit for that.  Haas has by far the better clay stats overall and just looking at these it would make him about 1.5-1.6 favourite.  He's currently around 2.1 so you have to work out whether his potential fatigue costs him around 15% in implied odds.  Personally I'm not sure he does but I think I will leave this alone pre-match and try and see how competitive Haas is at the start, being wary that he may get more tired in the 4th and 5th sets.  

Novak Djokovic is next up against Philipp Kohlschreiber and whilst you have to admire the facile nature of the wins for the world number one in the last week this is his first small test.  Kohlschreiber is a competent opponent but for me my worry would be whether he has enough self-belief to complete an upset if he got close.  My stats make this a little closer than the odds of 1.06 suggest but not by much, and I think the best that the German can hope for is to cover the 9.5 game handicap line at 1.73 with Stan James.  In play I think I'll be looking to oppose Kohlschreiber should he lead by a significant margin, such as a set and break up or even 2 sets up.  

You can pretty much read the above and apply it to the next match scheduled between Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori.  Honestly there is very little different in the assessments although it's fair to say Djokovic impressed more than Nadal in week one.  There could be more breaks in this match than the Djokovic v Kohlschreiber clash though.

In the last mens match I feel, due to the very close projected hold figures, there is a touch of value about Richard Gasquetin his home country against Stanislas Wawrinka.  I had little doubt that would be the case, with the market much more in love with the Swiss on clay generally.  The last 3 month clay stats make this price about right but the overall year long clay stats make Gasquet very marginal favourite.  There's not that much value here but in my opinion the 2.3 on Gasquet represents more value than the 1.75 or so about Wawrinka.

The women also start at 10am and I'm very interested in the first match between Francesca Schiavone and Victoria Azarenka.  I'm still not at all convinced about Azarenka on clay and was not surprised she made a meal out of beating Alize Cornet in the last round.  She starts at 1.18 and for me that's a lay from the start.  Schiavone is not as good a player overall these days but will be much more comfortable on the dirt, and that definitely brings these two players abilities closer together.  Both players are marginally below average for projected holds so with Azarenka, in my opinion, being bad value from the start, you could look to oppose her in-play in many, if not all service games.  You could also oppose Azarenka in various handicaps pre-match.  Schiavone is available +1.5 sets (effectively to win a set) at 2.75 with Marathon Bet and 1.95 with various bookmakers to cover the +5.5 game line.  Either is a good value proposition in my opinion.  Schiavone could take this.

The prices on Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Maria Kirilenko look pretty fair.  Kirilenko starts at around 1.68 and Mattek-Sands has been highly impressive (at least relatively for my expectations for her at least) this week and arguably this clay season too.  I'm finding it hard to get much of an edge for this match as projected holds are fairly close and slightly above WTA average.  Kirilenko does have a below average percentage for this matchup for saving break points, so I suppose that is a start.  I'll probably leave this alone.  I won't trade matches I feel I don't have much of an edge.

I feel that Jelena Jankovic's experience will see her through against Jamie Hampton.  Hampton had a very mediocre clay record until recently and whilst that's obviously improved this is a huge step up for her.  As with the Kirilenko match, both players have above average projected holds but Jankovic is a fair bit higher.  Whilst Jankovic is experienced she does appear to have some issues in pressure spots so you wouldn't want to assume she will get through them necessarily, or that Hampton will fail in these.  Both players have a high break point save percentage for this so that's definitely an avenue we can trade in the match (especially with fairly high projected holds).  I'm looking at the 1.94 on Jankovic -3.5 games bet for a pre-match angle in this.

Finally today, I feel Maria Sharapova will have few issues disposing of Sloane Stephens.  Stephens, I don't mind admitting, has cost me a fair bit of money lately.  She's in that annoying stage of having a great deal of potential ability but relatively poor stats and consistency.  The bookmakers are aware of the potential ability so tend to price her fairly short - so the stats tend to indicate there is value on her opponent in a lot of cases.  I suppose that's why 1.12 is available on Sharapova today when I make her 1.07 - the fear of Stephens' potential.  This is especially hyped since she beat Serena Williams in January.  However, then she went on a horror run of form after that before a recent improvement.  

I'm going with the stats again here and make Sharapova value for this.  I'm not a fan of short odds so I won't be taking the 1.12 about her but I like the 1.61 about her giving up a 5.5 game lead.  Stephens has a low projected hold too, so if she does lead in this I will be looking to oppose her when leading (providing Sharapova is priced above 1.5 or so).

There are other exciting developments in the TennisRatings world.  I will be looking to launch the TennisRatings Traders Handbook in the next few days, and it could potentially be available as early as tomorrow.  I've got some finishing touches to apply to it still but I'm excited to be able to share the content.  Keep checking back for updates on that - alternatively please feel free to sign up for updates (including a free preview chapter on pre-match trading) and as soon as the Handbook is released, you will get an email letting you know that it is available.  

Monday's Pre-Match Tips:-


1.5pts Maria Sharapova -5.5 games to beat Sloane Stephens at 1.61 Pinnacle Sports

1.5pts Jelena Jankovic to beat Jamie Hampton at 1.47 Marathon Bet

1pt Jelena Jankovic -3.5 games to beat Jamie Hampton at 1.94 Marathon Bet

0.5pts Francesca Schiavone to beat Victoria Azarenka at 6.50 SportingBet

1pt Francesca Schiavone +1.5 sets to beat Victoria Azarenka at 2.75 Marathon Bet


0.5pts Richard Gasquet to beat Stanislas Wawrinka at 2.29 Pinnacle Sports.

BET OF THE DAY:- Jankovic to beat Hampton at 1.47 Marathon Bet

TENNIS RATINGS MULTIPLE:- Sharapova -5.5 games and Jankovic -3.5 games double.  

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013.

Apologies for no weekend updates.  I've had my family stay this weekend so haven't been able to focus on much tennis this weekend!  Some updated stats for the pre-match tips for May...

224 Bets

29.62 Points Profit

401.25 Points Staked

7.38% Return on Investment

Normal service will be resumed Monday morning with pre-match tips and match previews.