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After assessing the viability of various scenarios for laying ATP players at low prices in the first article of this series, the next natural step is to analyse which scenarios are also viable in the WTA.
In the WTA, there are slightly more 2-0 wins than in the ATP - around 67.2% compared to 63.6% in the men's game.
The effect of this is that the 'set price' is generally slightly lower than in the ATP, so laying a WTA player a set up should have a little less liability than laying an ATP player in the same situation, assuming they both started the match at the same price.
However, as breaks are more frequent - 36.4% in the WTA across all surfaces in the last 12 months, compared to 21.0% in the ATP - a break has less effect on the price of a WTA player.
On that basis, the price for a WTA player when a break up in the 3rd set will generally be higher than the equivalent ATP player, because a break means less. Having said that, this will be less pronounced when a WTA player is a set and break up, given the higher propensity for WTA matches to end in a 2-0 scoreline.
As with the ATP article, what I decided to do was evaluate a number of different scenarios, based on the statistics in the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheets.
The two main variables that I looked at were projected holds (compared to the ATP surface mean) and the combined break up/down score of the relevant player, to see if we could get an edge over the market, using this data to our advantage.
The following categories were generated:-
1. Projected Hold between 5-10% below surface mean but combined score below 102 (the level I feel it is viable to consider laying a player a break up).
2. Projected Hold over 10% below surface mean but combined score below 102.
3. Projected Hold between 5-10% below surface mean but combined score not available (due to lack of in-play data on at least one player).
4. Projected Hold over 10% below surface mean but combined score not available.
5. Projected Hold between 5-10% below surface mean and combined score above 102.
6. Projected Hold over 10% below surface mean and combined score above 102 (The 'best' situation statistically).
Research was performed for all these scenarios, both when a player was a set and break up, and also when a player was a break up in the final set. The dates of this research were between the 1st April 2014 and 31st July 2014. I felt this was a very 'fair' sample because it included data from three surfaces - clay, hard and grass courts, so an unfair weighting to one surface, which may have skewed results, was not obtained.
Please note that the current average percentage for WTA top 100 players losing a break is 45.22%, so fewer than one in two (but more than one in three, which the ATP was slightly below) break leads are lost so that the set goes back on serve in the WTA.
The following was the data generated for the scenario when a player was a set and break up:-
As we can see, the overall figures barely show any edge over the WTA mean - 46.41% break-backs compared to 45.22%. However, if we were to eliminate the worst scenario - number one - Projected Hold between 5-10% below surface mean but combined score below 71, we would have had 71 winning trades with 75 losing ones, for a 48.63% success rate. Whilst this still doesn't provide a huge edge, it is better, and this would be a recommended avenue.
From a smaller sample, the two situations where combined scores were over 102 performed very well. Combining these two scenarios generated 27 winning trades from a total of 50 (54.00% success) which is 8.78% above the current WTA break-back mean. Laying players a set and break up with low projected holds with high combined break-back scores looks to be a trade with a very high positive expectation.
The following data was generated when a player was a break up in the final set:-
As with the ATP, figures were more impressive when assessing players a break up in the final set, with a 55.26% overall success ratio (10.04% above WTA mean). I explained in the ATP article why this is logically the case, as players a break up in the final set are 'less dominant' than those a set and break up in the second set.
Using this information will give traders a significant edge in the markets.
The final table shows the statistics via projected hold and combined score differences:-
Overall there were 147 winning trades and 148 losing ones for a success rate of 49.83% - 4.61% above the WTA mean for break-backs.
Stats filtered by the three combined score scenarios varied much less than in the ATP, but projected hold percentages had much more impact, with there being a significant difference between players with a projected hold 5-10% below WTA surface mean, and those with over 10% below.
However, it is clear that, as with the ATP, using projected hold and combined score percentages to identify players to lay at short prices - either from a set and break up in the second set, or a break lead in the deciding set - is highly useful and something which provides traders with a real and significant edge.
All statistics used in this article can be found on a daily basis via the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheets, sent daily to subscribers.
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